Auto Body Painter

Apply perfectly mixed shades of color to cars and trucks.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$23,000 – $64,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Auto Body Painters do?

As any car aficionado or roving band of hippies knows, a car isn’t special until it’s been personalized with a sweet paint job. Whether a person wants their school bus covered in rainbows, or the hood of their car painted with Elvis’ face, the Auto Body Painter is the one they turn to. Auto Body Painters use different colors, tones, and techniques to give automobiles of all varieties a unique look.

This job can be found in auto body shops, or shops specializing in auto painting. As an Auto Body Painter, you start with a customer request. Some people will come to you with an exact design, while others will have more of an idea than a plan. You draw up a few options for your customer, and once they’ve selected a design that they like, you get to work.

Depending on what shape the car, truck, or bus is in, you might need to sand or strip off a previous paint job. You cover the area you’re working on in a coat of primer to make sure the paint sticks, and then lay out the outline of your design. While you work, it’s important to cover those parts you don’t want painted (like lights and windows) with plastic or tape to keep them clean.

As you paint, you mix colors to get the right tone, add thickening agents, and put on multiple coats to get the right look. When you’re done, you add a shiny coat of sealer to keep things looking fresh no matter where your customer drives.

Should I be an Auto Body Painter?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Auto Body Detailer, Auto Body Straightener, Auto Body Worker, Auto Bumper Straightener, Auto Customize Painter See More

    How to become an Auto Body Painter

    Most Auto Body Painters have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9baaaa&chl=no+college+%2869%25%29|certificate+%2831%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,69,69
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