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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Painters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

If you want to be an auto body painter, the Winston-Salem, North Carolina area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 1,450 working auto body painters in North Carolina; this should grow by 11% to about 1,620 working auto body painters in the state 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.

Auto body painters earn approximately $18 per hour or $38,410 yearly on average in North Carolina. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $37,150 annually. Incomes for auto body painters are better than in the overall category of Painting and Coating in North Carolina, and better than the overall Painting and Coating category nationally.

The Winston-Salem area is home to eighteen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Winston-Salem where you can get a degree as an auto body painter. Auto body painters usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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 Winston-Salem 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Auto Body Painter Training

Forsyth Technical Community College - Winston Salem, NC

Forsyth Technical Community College, 2100 Silas Creek Pky, Winston Salem, NC 27103-5197. Forsyth Technical Community College is a medium sized college located in Winston Salem, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,748 students. Forsyth Technical Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-seven and four students respectively in 2008.

Surry Community College - Dobson, NC

Surry Community College, 630 S. Main St., Dobson, NC 27017-8432. Surry Community College is a small college located in Dobson, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,527 students. Surry Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.

Guilford Technical Community College - Jamestown, NC

Guilford Technical Community College, 601 High Point Rd, Jamestown, NC 27282. Guilford Technical Community College is a large college located in Jamestown, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,289 students. Guilford Technical Community College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated zero and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem, North Carolina photo by File Upload Bot

Winston-Salem is situated in Forsyth County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 217,600, which has grown by 17.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Winston-Salem, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Winston-Salem cost $76,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,032 new homes were built in Winston-Salem, down from 1,706 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Winston-Salem are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 30.3% of Winston-Salem residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Winston-Salem is 9.0%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Winston-Salem residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Wachovia Arbor Church, Mount Zion Church and Hope Church are all churches located in Winston-Salem. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Moravian Church in America.

Winston-Salem is home to the Stafford Center and the Dixie Classics Fairgrounds as well as Forest Park and Mineral Springs Park. Shopping centers in the area include College Plaza Shopping Center, College Village Shopping Center and Club Haven Shopping Center.