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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Painters in Rochester, Minnesota

For those living in the Rochester, Minnesota area, there are many career and education opportunities for auto body painters. Currently, 1,360 people work as auto body painters in Minnesota. This is expected to shrink by 4% to about 1,310 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for auto body painters, which 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.

Auto body painters earn approximately $17 per hour or $36,990 yearly on average in Minnesota. Nationally they average about $17 hourly or $37,150 yearly. Incomes for auto body painters are better than in the overall category of Painting and Coating in Minnesota, and better than the overall Painting and Coating category nationally.

There are seven schools of higher education in the Rochester area, including one within twenty-five miles of Rochester 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 training to become an auto body painter if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Rochester include:

  • Decorative Painter. Paint, coat, or decorate articles, such as furniture, glass, or leather.
  • Solderer. Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.


Riverland Community College - Austin, MN

Riverland Community College, 1900 8th Ave NW, Austin, MN 55912-1473. Riverland Community College is a small college located in Austin, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,068 students. Riverland Community College has a two to four year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated eight students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Rochester, Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota
Rochester, Minnesota photo by Jonathunder

Rochester is located in Olmsted County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 100,413, which has grown by 17.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rochester, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rochester are priced at $233,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty-seven new homes were constructed in Rochester, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Rochester are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is health care, computer and electronic products, and construction. The average commute to work is about 15 minutes. More than 38.1% of Rochester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rochester is 5.8%, which is less than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Rochester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Faith Family Church, Faith Harbor Church and Saint Francis Catholic Church are all churches located in Rochester. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church.

Rochester is home to the Soldiers Field Golf Course and the Guggenheim Building as well as Mohn Park and Manor Park. Shopping centers in the area include Apache Mall, Miracle Mile Shopping Center and Crossroads Shopping Center. Visitors to Rochester can choose from Best Western, Maria's and Econo Lodge Downtown for temporary stays in the area.