Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Painters in Rapid City, South Dakota
If you want to be an auto body painter, the Rapid City, South Dakota area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 120 jobs for auto body painters in South Dakota and this is projected to grow by 21% to about 150 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.
Auto body painters earn about $14 per hour or $29,510 yearly on average in South Dakota and about $17 per hour or $37,150 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Painting and Coating, people working as auto body painters in South Dakota earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Painting and Coating nationally.
The Rapid City area is home to six schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Rapid City where you can get a degree as an auto body painter. Given that the most common education level for auto body painters is a high school diploma or GED, 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 Rapid City 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
Western Dakota Technical Institute - Rapid City, SD
Western Dakota Technical Institute, 800 Mickelson Dr, Rapid City, SD 57703-4018. Western Dakota Technical Institute is a small school located in Rapid City, South Dakota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 959 students and an admission rate of 97%. Western Dakota Technical Institute has a two to four year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated thirteen students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Rapid City, South Dakota
Rapid City is situated in Pennington County, South Dakota. It has a population of over 65,491, which has grown by 9.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Rapid City, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rapid City are priced at $147,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, one hundred ninety-eight new homes were constructed in Rapid City, down from two hundred fifty-three the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Rapid City are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 16 minutes. More than 26.7% of Rapid City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Rapid City is 5.7%, which is greater than South Dakota's average of 4.5%.
The percentage of Rapid City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 62.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church.
Rapid City is home to the Lazy J RV Park and Campground and the Pioneer Museum as well as College Park and Dinosaur Park. Shopping malls in the area include Haines Station Shopping Center, Baken Park Shopping Center and Baken Park Shopping Center. Visitors to Rapid City can choose from Lazy U Motel, Stardust Motel and Motel Town House for temporary stays in the area.