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Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Painters in Norman, Oklahoma

Auto body painter career and educational opportunities abound in Norman, Oklahoma. There are currently 710 jobs for auto body painters in Oklahoma and this is projected to grow 11% to about 800 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%. 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 $15 hourly or $31,440 yearly on average in Oklahoma and about $17 hourly or $37,150 yearly 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 Oklahoma earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Painting and Coating nationally.

The Norman area is home to thirty-seven schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Norman where you can get a degree as an auto body painter. Auto body painters usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Norman 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

Gordon Cooper Technology Center - Shawnee, OK

Gordon Cooper Technology Center, 1 John C Bruton Blvd, Shawnee, OK 74804. Gordon Cooper Technology Center is a small school located in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 918 students. Gordon Cooper Technology Center has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated nine students in 2008.

Mid-Del Technology Center - Midwest City, OK

Mid-Del Technology Center, 1621 Maple Dr, Midwest City, OK 73110-4825. Mid-Del Technology Center is a small school located in Midwest City, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 84 students. Mid-Del Technology Center has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

Mid-America Technology Center - Wayne, OK

Mid-America Technology Center, 27438 State Hwy 59, Wayne, OK 73095-0210. Mid-America Technology Center is a small school located in Wayne, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 777 students. Mid-America Technology Center has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Rose State College - Midwest City, OK

Rose State College, 6420 S E 15th, Midwest City, OK 73110-2799. Rose State College is a medium sized college located in Midwest City, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,427 students. Rose State College has an associate's degree program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

Metro Technology Centers - Oklahoma City, OK

Metro Technology Centers, 1900 Springlake Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73111-5240. Metro Technology Centers is a small school located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 987 students. Metro Technology Centers has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.

Moore Norman Technology Center - Norman, OK

Moore Norman Technology Center, 4701 12th Avenue NW, Norman, OK 73069-8399. Moore Norman Technology Center is a small school located in Norman, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 857 students and an admission rate of 61%. Moore Norman Technology Center has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated nine students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Norman, Oklahoma

Norman, Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma photo by Okguy

Norman is located in Cleveland County, Oklahoma. It has a population of over 106,957, which has grown by 11.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Norman, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Norman are priced at $184,600 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred sixteen new homes were built in Norman, up from four hundred nineteen the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Norman are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 39.8% of Norman residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Norman is 4.7%, which is less than Oklahoma's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of Norman residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Alameda Baptist Church, Alameda Church of Christ and All Welcome Victory Church are among the churches located in Norman. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Norman is home to the Cerebral Palsy Institute and the Park on Main as well as Owen Field and Rotary Park. Shopping malls in the area include Colonial Estates Shopping Center, Anatole Shopping Center and Carriage Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Norman can choose from Ramada Days Inn, Montford Inn and Guest Inn - Norman for temporary stays in the area.