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 in Automotive Refinishing Technology. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Vehicle Painter

Vehicle painters may perform the following tasks:

  • 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.

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