What Do Painters Do?
Transportation equipment painters use machines to paint buses, trains, airplanes, truck, boats and other transportation vehicles. They may work in a few different types of institutions including repair facilities, manufacturing plants and car dealerships.This type of position is expected to increase by 10% in the United States. That could translate to 1,400 job openings annually.
Painters Skills and Abilities
In order to be a successful transportation equipment painter, you have to have certain skills and abilities. You have to be able to work with a team and play your role in the vehicle painting. You have to have physical traits like arm-hand steadiness and dexterity, so that you can run the machine properly. It is important that you are able to detect subtle color variations, so that you can ensure that the entire car is painted the same color. You also need a technical knowledge of chemistry, machines, processing and management.
As a painter, you will be expected to do a lot throughout the vehicle painting process. Towards the beginning you will have to prepare the vehicle to be painted by removing dirt, rust, old paint and grease. You may have to work with a mechanic to repair the vehicle prior to repainting. Before you can apply the paint you will have to put an undercoat of primer and rust-resistant sprays. Then you will have to be able to select paint colors based on company specifications or customer wishes. As the machines are running to apply the paint, you will have to monitor the paint flow, so that you can spot flaws and fix them before the car is finished. After the car is painted you will have to apply small, hand-painted details, logos, symbols or other designs for the finishing touches. You will also have to clean the equipment and your work area to make sure that everything keeps running smoothly and safely.
Painters Tools and Technology
In order to make the duties easier, you have to be familiar with certain tools and technology. You have to know how to use cleaners like abrasives, brushes, blowtorches, sandblasters, solvents and washing tanks. You have to know how to use buffers, exhaust units and air compressors. You also have to know how to use certain software to make scheduling and record taking easier like scheduling software, data entry software and maintenance management software.
Education and Training for Painters
Each institution may expect different things out of its new employees. Many companies will hire painters that have a high school diploma, but others want their employees to at least have a non-degree award. Either way, most painting companies require that you go through some on the job training. You could take courses like:
- Collision and Repair Technology
- Auto Body Design
- Paint Mixing Technology
The average transportation equipment painter in the United States makes about $40,800. Your salary will vary depending on your previous experience, how much education you have, who you work for and where you live. Typically painters make between $25,700 and $69,000.
Painters Jobs by Geography
As you start pursuing a painter career, you have to realize how much geography can affect it. Geography affects job availability as well as salary. That means that you may not be able to get a job where you live, but in other parts of the country these jobs are easier to get. Utah, Rhode Island and Tennessee are the states expected to see the most growth in this occupation. It also means that just because the states have a lot of job availability does not mean that the average salary is good. Connecticut, Missouri and Virginia have the highest average salary. When you start on a path towards a career, you have to remember how much geography and education can affect your success.