Car Painting Training Program Information

Read on to learn about the curriculum of car painting certificate programs, as well as optional certifications. You can also see the average salary of automobile painters and common admissions requirements.

Essential Information

Some automotive repair and maintenance shops employ individuals who have specialized skills in custom car painting. Many of these individuals learn their skills through on-the-job training, but some might enroll in an automotive custom painting certificate program.

Certificate programs in automotive custom painting are primarily offered by 2-year community colleges and technical schools that also offer certificate and degree programs in automobile maintenance and collision repair. Some schools even require students to have an academic or professional background in car repair before they can go on to learn about car painting technology.

Automotive custom painting certificate programs are designed to provide individuals with the training and skills necessary to refinish the exterior portions of cars and other automobiles. Students learn about the theories of color mapping, graphic design and stenciling. They also spend practical training hours learning how to perform real air-brushing on automobiles.

Education Prerequisites

There are often very few educational prerequisites for individuals who are interested in enrolling in a certificate program in automobile custom painting. Some schools offer open-registration courses for the certificate program, meaning that students do not even need to apply to the college to enroll in them. Some schools do suggest that incoming students have a professional background in car maintenance, repair or technology.

Program Coursework

Certificate programs in car painting are often entirely vocational, and they contain only those courses that might benefit someone looking for a career in the field immediately upon graduation. Specific course topics include:

  • Color mapping
  • Graphics
  • Airbrushing
  • Advanced special effects
  • Blending and fading
  • Multi-color painting
  • Hand striping

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation equipment painters (which included automobile painters) held about 46,770 jobs in the country in 2013 ( They earned an average annual wage of $43,930 in 2013. Most automobile painters were employed by automotive repair and maintenance shops, dealers and manufacturers.

Continuing Education Information

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers a voluntary certification for custom car painters. Having certification can help car painters prove their competence and skill in the field when applying for jobs. Individuals must have at least two years of professional experience and must pass a written examination before they can earn the certification.

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