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Career profile Industrial Paint Technician

Also known as Automotive Painter (Auto Painter), Automotive Refinish Technician (Auto Refinish Tech), Coater Operator, Hand Sprayer, Industrial Painter, Paint Technician, Powder Coater, Silk Screen Operator, Spray Painter, Top Coater

Industrial Paint Technician

Also known as Automotive Painter (Auto Painter), Automotive Refinish Technician (Auto Refinish Tech), Coater Operator

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$26,890 - $62,010 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Production and Processing
  • Mechanical
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Use brush to hand-paint areas in need of retouching or unreachable with a spray gun.
  • Apply primer over any repairs made to surfaces.
  • Apply rust-resistant undercoats and caulk and seal seams.
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What does an Industrial Paint Technician do?

Industrial Paint Technicians set up, operate, or tend spraying or rolling machines to coat or paint any of a wide variety of products, including glassware, cloth, ceramics, metal, plastic, paper, or wood, with lacquer, silver, copper, rubber, varnish, glaze, enamel, oil, or rust-proofing materials.

In addition, Industrial Paint Technicians includes painters of transportation vehicles such as painters in auto body repair facilities.

What kind of tasks does an Industrial Paint Technician perform regularly?

Industrial Paint Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Hold or position spray guns to direct spray onto articles.
  • Fill hoppers, reservoirs, troughs, or pans with material used to coat, paint, or spray, using conveyors or pails.
  • Start and stop operation of machines, using levers or buttons.
  • Determine paint flow, viscosity, and coating quality by performing visual inspections, or by using viscometers.
  • Turn dials, handwheels, valves, or switches to regulate conveyor speeds, machine temperature, air pressure and circulation, and the flow or spray of coatings or paints.
  • Attach hoses or nozzles to machines, using wrenches and pliers, and make adjustments to obtain the proper dispersion of spray.
  • Observe machine gauges and equipment operation to detect defects or deviations from standards, and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Examine, measure, weigh, or test sample products to ensure conformance to specifications.

The above responsibilities are specific to Industrial Paint Technicians. More generally, Industrial Paint Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

What is an Industrial Paint Technician salary?

The median salary for an Industrial Paint Technician is $39,060, and the average salary is $42,140. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Industrial Paint Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Industrial Paint Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Industrial Paint Technicians earn less than $26,890 per year, 25% earn less than $31,820, 75% earn less than $49,330, and 90% earn less than $62,010.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Industrial Paint Technicians is expected to change by 7.5%, and there should be roughly 15,900 open positions for Industrial Paint Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$26,890 - $62,010
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Industrial Paint Technicians?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Industrial Paint Technician are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Industrial Paint Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Industrial Paint Technicians typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Industrial Paint Technician tend to value Support, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Industrial Paint Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Industrial Paint Technicians somewhat value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Industrial Paint Technicians somewhat value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Industrial Paint Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and persistence.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Industrial Paint Technicians, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Industrial Paint Technicians need?

Working as an Industrial Paint Technician usually requires a high school diploma.

Industrial Paint Technicians need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Industrial Paint Technicians

  • 20.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 48.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 20.0% completed some college coursework
  • 6.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.9% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Industrial Paint Technicians

Industrial Paint Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as production and processing, mechanical, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Industrial Paint Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Industrial Paint Technicians

Industrial Paint Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Industrial Paint Technicians need abilities such as near vision, control precision, and visual color discrimination in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Industrial Paint Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Visual Color Discrimination
The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

Critical Skills needed by Industrial Paint Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Industrial Paint Technicians frequently use skills like operations monitoring, quality control analysis, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Industrial Paint Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.