A paint refinishing technician repaints and refinishes damaged body parts and vehicle bodies in accordance with factory and dealership quality specifications and time standards.
As with all positions within dealerships, paint refinishing technicians are expected to uphold the highest ethical standards.
The duties of a paint refinishing technician include:
- Working with estimators to appraise damaged vehicles and determine repair vs. replacement costs.
- Preparing vehicle surfaces for minor damage repairs.
- Doing color-matching, priming, mixing paint and top coating for vehicles.
- Refinishing surfaces by painting.
- Inspecting painted sections for quality and continuity.
- Applying refinishing products in the correct sequence for proper adhesion and durability.
- Complying with all laws and regulations pertaining to paint, thinners, and other hazardous materials and wearing all required safety equipment.
To become skilled in all aspects of automotive painting, it is usually recommended to have three to four years of on-the-job training. Some painters are enrolled in apprenticeship programs, which generally last four years. Painters also receive training and formal instruction in areas such as shop safety practices, proper use of equipment and blending colors.
An employee working in the collision repair section of the automotive field must give strong attention to detail and have an interest in automotive repair and technology.
People working within the automotive retail industry often have to work extended hours, evenings and weekends to achieve their goals.
Courses in automotive collision repair, offered by high schools, community colleges, and vocational schools, are helpful. A background in art, business and automotive classes is useful.
Automotive refinishers may advance to managerial positions. Experienced painters/refinishers may even open their own shops.
The average annual earnings of paint refinishing technicians are approximately $27,000 to $71,000. Earnings vary depending on experience, and the dealer's geographic location and size.
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Benefits vary by employer, but most dealerships offer on site training, health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefit options. Talk with the specific dealer human resource manager about benefit packages.
Working in the automotive industry can be physically demanding. Certain positions require employees to spend most of their workday on their feet and to carry heavy and awkwardly sized items. A reasonable level of physical fitness and flexibility is beneficial.