Even though most sandblasting jobs are similar, they do differ depending on the task. For each job, the sandblaster must choose the proper grit, grit flow, and tool. Sandblasters need to stay current with the newest blasting mediums, including the environmentally friendly dry ice, ice, and bicarbonate of soda. The different sandblasting job categories range from automotive to industrial, and the jobs may vary from treatment to treatment. Most instruction involves on-the-job training, and many employers seek sandblasters who have three or more years of experience.
There are many sandblasting jobs in the field of building cleaning. Sandblasting can clean almost any building exterior, including brick, concrete, and wood. Despite the fact that people call it sandblasting, other types of grit may be used. A good sandblaster needs to know when to use aggressive grit, moderate grit, or softer grit like ground corncobs. Corncob is one of the mediums appropriate for wood.
Another area in which sandblasters can find employment is the automotive industry. This is a specialized type of sandblasting where it is easy to damage the item. Often it is beneficial for a worker to know the different types of sandblasting — portable wand and cabinet blasting — when working in the automotive industry. Larger operations have blast rooms where entire airplanes, cars, and trucks or construction equipment can be stripped of paint and rust.
Industrial sandblasting jobs may require a worker to use cabinet blasters or blast rooms. Manufacturers often use sandblasting to clean parts in cabinet blasters. There are different types of cabinet blasters, including the siphon type and the direct pressure type. Sandblasters who work in an industrial setting normally perform the same job in the same place, whereas building cleaners and others may change applications and locations frequently.
Some of the other areas that offer jobs include ships where sandblasting is used to combat rust. Often in this type of application, the worker uses a closed circuit system in which the shot or grit is siphoned and reused. This reduces dust and grit waste. Other sandblasting jobs include cleaning bakery and food service equipment between runs, cleaning printing equipment, and cleaning fossils or other archeological items.
Many people learn to sandblast while working on a job, but many sandblasting equipment manufacturers offer training seminars. There are different grades of sandblasting jobs, including supervisory positions. Sometimes when two jobs are combined, such as supervisor and sandblaster, an employer may require additional training.