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Paint Sprayer Career Guide

Read more about how paint sprayers restore and even transform vehicles to their very best.

Safeera Sarjoo
26th April 2016
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What is a paint sprayer?

Auto body sprayers make cosmetic repairs and changes to vehicles. This includes decorative finishes and protective coatings using a manual spray gun or automated equipment. Paint sprayers don’t normally require a specific level of formal education, however training is becoming increasingly common within this field. Some facilities may require paint sprayers to learn skills to create specialised finishes.

Typically, paint sprayers will be working on light vehicles like cars, vans and motorcycles as well as heavy vehicles such as lorries, trucks, buses and coaches. 

What are their responsibilities?

Within this role you will be required to use specialist equipment and follow safety procedures for using hazardous materials.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Setting up the spray equipment
  • Mixing paint by eye or by using computer technology to ensure accurate colour match
  • Clean and prepare surfaces to be painted, which includes removing rust and filling cavities and dents
  • Ensure areas that aren’t going to be painted are masked
  • Applying primer and main coats, followed by the finish
  • Ensure quality control by checking finished jobs
  • Cleaning and maintaining spray equipment

What are some characteristics that suit this role?

It’s important that paint sprayers have good hand to eye coordination, the ability to concentrate and a good eye for detail and colour. As some jobs may involve specific colour requirements, normal colour vision is important.

You will also need good practical skills and should be able to follow instructions and keep records. This job is one that will also require you to work as both part of a team and individually.

Entry Requirements and Training

Most spray painters enter the industry through a modern apprenticeship. You will be expected to have a good general standard of education and colour normal vision. Common entry is gained through a modern apprenticeship in manufacturing, engineering or motor vehicle, however depending on the job market, opportunities will vary.

Another way into the industry is through a college course which can prepare you with needed for this role. You may want to enquire with colleges if paint spraying is included as part of their course. These courses should teach you about the different facets of auto body painting.

Training typically takes place on the job where senior staff will supervise you. There could also be the opportunity to study for industry qualifications relating to specific areas of your job or a specialism you’d like to focus on. In order to gain complete confidence in using specialised equipment, you may be sent on courses offered by these manufacturers to ensure you’re well versed in using their products. 

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