The median annual wage of painting and coating workers was $31,170 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.
In May 2010, median annual wages for painting and coating occupations were as follows:
Many automotive painters who work for motor vehicle dealers and independent automotive repair shops get a commission. Employers frequently guarantee commissioned painters a minimum weekly salary.
Helpers and trainees usually get an hourly rate until they become skilled enough to work on commission.
Trucking companies, bus lines, and other organizations that repair and refinish their own vehicles generally pay by the hour.
Most painting and coating workers work full time. Automotive painters in repair shops often work overtime, depending on the number of vehicles that need repainting.
Some painting and coating machine operators belong to unions, including the United Auto Workers and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Most union operators work for manufacturers and large motor vehicle dealers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition