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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Painters in Little Rock, Arkansas

Auto body painters can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Little Rock, Arkansas area. Currently, 690 people work as auto body painters in Arkansas. This is expected to grow 19% to about 820 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for auto body painters are expected to grow by about 0.8%. In general, auto body painters operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, and airplanes.

A person working as an auto body painter can expect to earn about $15 hourly or $31,870 annually on average in Arkansas and about $17 per hour or $37,150 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Auto body painters earn more than people working in the category of Painting and Coating generally in Arkansas and more than people in the Painting and Coating category nationally.

The Little Rock area is home to twenty-five schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Little Rock where you can get a degree as an auto body painter. Given that the most common education level for auto body painters is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be an auto body painter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Auto Body Painter

In general, auto body painters operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, and airplanes.

Auto body painters spray prepared surfaces with specified amounts of primers and decorative or finish coatings. They also decide on the correct spray gun system for the material being applied. Equally important, auto body painters have to pour paint into spray guns, and adjust nozzles and paint mixes so as to get the proper paint flow and coating thickness. They are often called upon to remove grease and rust from vehicle surfaces in preparation for paint application. They are expected to disassemble and reassemble sprayers and power equipment, using solvents and cloths for cleaning duties. Finally, auto body painters paint by hand areas that cannot be reached with a spray gun, or those that need retouching, using brushes.

Every day, auto body painters are expected to be able to distinguish between colors. It is also important that they twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done.

It is important for auto body painters to remove accessories from vehicles, such as chrome or mirrors, and mask other surfaces with tape or paper so as to protect them from paint. They are often called upon to decide on paint in line with company requirements, and match colors of paint following specified color charts. They also fill small dents and scratches with body fillers, and smooth surfaces in order to ready vehicles for painting. They are sometimes expected to mix paints to match color specifications or vehicles' original colors, then stir and thin the paints, using spatulas or power mixing equipment. Somewhat less frequently, auto body painters are also expected to decide on the correct spray gun system for the material being applied.

They also have to be able to apply rust-resistant undercoats, and caulk and seal seams and assemble portable equipment such as ventilators and scaffolding. And finally, they sometimes have to adjust controls on infrared ovens and exhaust units so as to speed the drying of vehicles between coats.

Like many other jobs, auto body painters must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Little Rock include:

  • Solderer. Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Body Painter Training

Pulaski Technical College - North Little Rock, AR

Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W Scenic Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118-3347. Pulaski Technical College is a medium sized college located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,092 students. Pulaski Technical College has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

University of Arkansas Community College-Morrilton - Morrilton, AR

University of Arkansas Community College-Morrilton, 1537 University Blvd., Morrilton, AR 72110. University of Arkansas Community College-Morrilton is a small university located in Morrilton, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,955 students. University of Arkansas Community College-Morrilton has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated five and five students respectively in 2008.

Arkansas State University-Beebe - Beebe, AR

Arkansas State University-Beebe, 1000 Iowa Street, Beebe, AR 72012-1000. Arkansas State University-Beebe is a small university located in Beebe, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,458 students. Arkansas State University-Beebe has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas photo by Broooooooce

Little Rock is located in Pulaski County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 189,515, which has grown by 3.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Little Rock, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Little Rock cost $236,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-one new homes were built in Little Rock, down from seven hundred thirty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Little Rock are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 35.5% of Little Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Little Rock is 6.1%, which is less than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Little Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 59.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Macedonia Spiritual Church, Baseline Christian Church and Baseline Missionary Baptist Church are all churches located in Little Rock. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Little Rock is home to the Rock Creek Golf Course and the Barton Coliseum as well as McArthur Park Historic District and Meriwether Park. Shopping malls in the area include Mainstreet Market Shopping Center, Market Street Plaza Shopping Center and Markham Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Little Rock can choose from LA Quinta - Inns- Medical Center Area, Hampton Inn & Suites and Acme Motel for temporary stays in the area.