Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Use Creativity and Precision as an Automotive Painter

Have you ever noticed a car with a really cool paint job on the road? How about one with a perfect finish? This is the work of a highly skilled and trained Automotive Painter.

Centennial College’s Automotive Painter Traditional Apprenticeship is a great way to learn the ins and outs of the auto body painting industry. All you need in order to apply is an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. In addition, you must be currently employed as an apprentice. For general information about apprenticeship registration, please contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Once you have applied and been accepted, you will find that the focus of the Automotive Painter program is on techniques, equipment and materials in modern automotive finishing and refinishing systems. In addition, you will learn components, frames, panels and grills, holes and dents and other surface repairs. These areas are taught through four training periods of 1,800 hours with an employer and one eight-week college session. The in-school session takes place at the state-of-the-art Ashtonbee Campus, which is the largest automotive training centre in the province. Another impressive feature of the Automotive Painter program is its “earn-while-you-learn” approach, which sees qualified students receive income support from the Employment Insurance of Canada.

Upon graduation from Centennial College’s Automotive Painter program, you will have an employable set of skills. First and foremost, you will have knowledge of the tools, materials, equipment and techniques of the trade, as well as the ability to mix and blend paints. Due to the chemical nature of the paints with which you will work, you will also know safe working procedures such as proper air ventilation. Communication skills are also emphasized in the program, as you will need to communicate with clients in regards to their auto body painting needs. Lastly, you will gain basic math and computer skills to estimate how much paint will be needed and then be able to properly weigh out that paint.

In the auto body industry, your job will be to refinish motor vehicle bodies by sanding, spot filling, priming, conditioning and painting. Common tasks include: selecting appropriate paint, mixing paints using automated paint mixing equipment, ensuring cars are clean, free of corrosion and have any dents filled before the application of paint, lacquer or other decorative coatings (this is done by repairing body surfaces using hand and power tools, spot fill and prime). In addition, Automotive Painters use automated spray paint, dip or flow coating equipment or mechanized painting or coating application equipment as well as hand-held spray guns and paintbrushes for touch-ups. Lastly, you may also have to prepare and apply stencils, computer-generated decals or other decorative items to the finished product. It is both a creative and practical job.

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