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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Painters in Wichita, Kansas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for auto body painters in the Wichita, Kansas area. The national trend for auto body painters sees this job pool growing by about 0.8% over the next eight years. 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 $19 hourly or $39,650 yearly on average in Kansas and about $17 per hour or $37,150 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Painting and Coating, people working as auto body painters in Kansas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Painting and Coating nationally.

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Wichita area, including three within twenty-five miles of Wichita where you can get a degree to start your career as an auto body painter. 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 Wichita 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

Butler Community College - El Dorado, KS

Butler Community College, 901 S Haverhill Rd, El Dorado, KS 67042-3280. Butler Community College is a medium sized college located in El Dorado, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,190 students. Butler Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated six and zero students respectively in 2008.

Hutchinson Community College - Hutchinson, KS

Hutchinson Community College, 1300 N Plum St, Hutchinson, KS 67501. Hutchinson Community College is a small college located in Hutchinson, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,853 students. Hutchinson Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated seven and three students respectively in 2008.

Wichita Area Technical College - Wichita, KS

Wichita Area Technical College, 301 South Grove, Wichita, KS 67211-2099. Wichita Area Technical College is a small college located in Wichita, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,842 students. Wichita Area Technical College has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas photo by Pacoperez6

Wichita is located in Sedgwick County, Kansas. It has a population of over 366,046, which has grown by 6.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Wichita, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Wichita cost $106,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,012 new homes were constructed in Wichita, down from 1,248 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Wichita are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is transportation equipment, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 25.3% of Wichita residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Wichita is 8.8%, which is greater than Kansas's average of 6.3%.

The percentage of Wichita residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Mizpah Baptist Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church and Christ the King Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Wichita. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Wichita is home to the Pleasant Valley and the Wichita Plaza as well as Hyde Park and Watson Park. Shopping centers in the area include Central Heights Shopping Mall, Airpark Shopping Center and Sweetbriar Shopping Center. Visitors to Wichita can choose from Afton Motel, Hampton Inn Wichita-East and Corral Motel for temporary stays in the area.