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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Painters in Fort Collins, Colorado

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for auto body painters in the Fort Collins, Colorado area. There are currently 890 jobs for auto body painters in Colorado and this is projected to grow 7% to about 950 jobs 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%. Auto body painters generally operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, and airplanes.

The income of an auto body painter is about $23 per hour or $48,190 annually on average in Colorado. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,150 yearly on average. Earnings for auto body painters are better than earnings in the general category of Painting and Coating in Colorado and better than general Painting and Coating category earnings nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Fort Collins where you can study to be an auto body painter, among eleven schools of higher education total in the Fort Collins area. The most common level of education for auto body painters is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 Fort Collins 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

Aims Community College - Greeley, CO

Aims Community College, 5401 W. 20th St., Greeley, CO 80632. Aims Community College is a small college located in Greeley, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,620 students. Aims Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated sixteen and three students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado photo by Citycommunications

Fort Collins is located in Larimer County, Colorado. It has a population of over 136,509, which has grown by 15.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Collins, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Collins are valued at $216,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-seven new homes were built in Fort Collins, down from four hundred eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Fort Collins are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 48.4% of Fort Collins residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Collins is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Fort Collins residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Visitors to Fort Collins can choose from Carousel Properties, AmericInn Motel & Suites Fort Collins and Hampton Inn Ft. Collins for temporary stays in the area.