How to become a Vehicle Painter

Vehicle Painter

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

Personal requirements for 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.


  • Touching up paintwork and applying polish to vehicles.
  • Applying primer and finishing coats using spray-guns, and sanding surfaces between coats.
  • Colour matching and mixing paints to match paint shades, and selecting pre-mixed paint.
  • Removing masking papers, and waxing and polishing finished paintwork.
  • Removing rough spots on vehicle panels.
  • Painting signs and artwork on vehicles.
  • Treating vehicles with rust-proofing chemicals.
  • Sanding surfaces by hand and with power sanders.
  • Masking areas not to be painted with tape and paper.

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.


Vehicle Painter

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

  • Average age
    Average age
    36 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    2% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    42 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    91% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    13,300 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.0%
    NSW: 29.3%
    NT: 0.8%
    QLD: 20.1%
    SA: 8.6%
    TAS: 2.1%
    VIC: 26.2%
    WA: 11.9%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 4.7%
    20-24: 13.5%
    25-34: 27.4%
    35-44: 23.3%
    45-54: 19.7%
    55-59: 6.1%
    60-64: 3.7%
    65 and Over: 1.7%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 1.7%
    Bachelor degree: 1%
    Certificate III/IV: 73.1%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%
    Year 10 and below: 12.1%
    Year 11: 4%
    Year 12: 8%
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