Career and Education Opportunities for Auto Body Painters in Laredo, Texas
If you want to be an auto body painter, the Laredo, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 4,490 people are currently employed as auto body painters in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 14% to about 5,110 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. Auto body painters generally 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 $31,930 per year on average in Texas 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 Texas, and better than the overall Painting and Coating category nationally.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Laredo where you can study to be an auto body painter, among five schools of higher education total in the Laredo area. The most common level of education 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 Laredo 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
Laredo Community College - Laredo, TX
Laredo Community College, West End Washington St, Laredo, TX 78040-4395. Laredo Community College is a medium sized college located in Laredo, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,196 students. Laredo Community College has a one to two year program in Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician which graduated six students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Laredo, Texas
Laredo is situated in Webb County, Texas. It has a population of over 221,659, which has grown by 25.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Laredo, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Laredo cost $137,000 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Laredo, down from 1,257 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Laredo are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, other transportation, and support activities, and couriers, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 14.7% of Laredo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Laredo is 8.1%, which is the same as Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Laredo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. El Buen Pastor Assembly of God Church, El Mesias United Methodist Church and Heights Baptist Church are among the churches located in Laredo. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Laredo is home to the Webb County Courthouse and the Dolores Ranch as well as Shirley Field and Laredo Entertainment Center. Visitors to Laredo can choose from Blue Caribbean Ventures, Motel 9 and Bender Hotel for temporary stays in the area.