How to become a Vehicle Painter

Vehicle painters prepare surfaces of vehicles, match and mix colours, and apply primer and finishing coats of paint.

Personal requirements of a Vehicle Painter

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Normal colour vision
  • No breathing-related problems
  • No allergies to thinners or paints
  • Able to stand or bend for lengthy periods

Education & Training for a Vehicle Painter

To become a vehicle painter you usually have to complete an apprenticeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Duties & Tasks of a Vehicle Painter

Vehicle painters:

  • prepare surfaces to be painted by hand or machine
  • mix and match paint by eye or by using computer technology to ensure correct colour match
  • apply primer and finishing coats using spray guns and rub down surfaces between coats
  • touch up paintwork and apply polish to vehicles
  • remove masking papers before waxing and polishing finished paintwork
  • paint signs or artwork on vehicles
  • treat vehicles with rust-proofing chemicals.

Working conditions for a Vehicle Painter

Vehicle painters wear protective clothing and face masks.

Employment Opportunities for a Vehicle Painter

Vehicle painters work for crash repair firms and motor vehicle manufacturers. Some are self-employed, usually in partnership with panel beaters. Experienced vehicle painters may become representatives for paint manufacturers or assessors with insurance companies.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT ACT 0.3%

NSW NSW 31.2%

NT NT 0.4%

QLD QLD 15.4%

SA SA 8.9%

TAS TAS 2.3%

VIC VIC 27.7%

WA WA 13.8%

Hours worked:



Higher unemployment

Gender split:

Male 96.8%

Female 3.2%

Education level:

Age brackets:

15-19 - 5.3%

20-24 - 33.6%

25-34 - 19.5%

35-44 - 19%

45-54 - 13.8%

55-59 - 2.6%

60-64 - 3.7%

65 and Over - 2.6%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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