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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Painters in Bismarck, North Dakota

Bismarck, North Dakota provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for auto body painters. About ninety people are currently employed as auto body painters in North Dakota. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 11% to about 100 people employed. This is better than 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.

A person working as an auto body painter can expect to earn about $17 hourly or $36,380 yearly on average in North Dakota and about $17 per hour or $37,150 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for auto body painters are better than in the overall category of Painting and Coating in North Dakota, and better than the overall Painting and Coating category nationally.

There are six schools of higher education in the Bismarck area, including one within twenty-five miles of Bismarck where you can get a degree to start your career as an auto body painter. Given that the most common education level 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 Bismarck include:

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


Bismarck State College - Bismarck, ND

Bismarck State College, 1500 Edwards Ave, Bismarck, ND 58506-5587. Bismarck State College is a small college located in Bismarck, North Dakota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,788 students. Bismarck State College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated thirteen and three students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Bismarck, North Dakota

Bismarck, North Dakota
Bismarck, North Dakota photo by Bobak

Bismarck is situated in Burleigh County, North Dakota. It has a population of over 60,389, which has grown by 8.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bismarck, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Bismarck are valued at $168,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred fifty-nine new homes were built in Bismarck, down from two hundred seventy the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Bismarck are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and health care. The average commute to work is about 14 minutes. More than 29.4% of Bismarck residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bismarck is 2.7%, which is less than North Dakota's average of 3.2%. About 8.4% of Bismarck's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Bismarck residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 77.8%, is more than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Bismarck is home to Pioneer Park and Riverside Park. Shopping malls in the area include Kirkwood Plaza Shopping Center, Northbrook Shopping Center and Gateway Mall. Visitors to Bismarck can choose from Americinn Lodge & Suites, Super 8 of Bismarck and Ramada Inn for temporary stays in the area.