A sandblaster is someone who operates specialized tools and machinery that fire high-powered jets of sand or other abrasives at metal and other similarly hard surfaces. This is done to remove paint, grime, old adhesives, rust, and other imperfections from the surface so that it can be painted and refinished.
Some examples of companies that use dedicated sandblasting employees are auto body shops and contractors who specialize in renovation and remodeling.
There are typically a variety of sandblasting tools in common use in commercial work, from handheld wands connected to a tank to larger, stationary chamber-style blasters. A sandblaster will be expected to understand how and when to use all of these types of equipment and to operate them skillfully and safely.
Part of the sandblaster's job is also to carefully delineate the area on the surface to be worked. Much in the way a painter would use masking tape to prevent getting paint on unintended areas, a sandblaster uses thicker shielding materials to prevent blasting and potentially damaging finished surfaces.
To work as a sandblaster, a person normally doesn't need an education beyond a high school diploma or GED. Most sandblasters work in some other area of a renovation or shop crew to acquire practical experience before being given responsibility to work with sandblasting equipment. Most employers will also ensure that an employee who works as a sandblaster is clear on all safety procedures and wears all necessary protective equipment at all times. Sandblasting is a job that can require physical exertion, and most sandblasters must be able to comfortably lift or carry 50-100 pounds in order to do the job.
Maintains safe work conditions by following guidelines and procedures for handling and disposing of hazardous chemicals.
Troubleshoots equipment malfunctions and completes preventive maintenance.
Prepares surfaces by masking, grit blasting, or chemical rinsing.
Completes jobs on schedule and prepares reports upon conclusion of projects