Transportation Equipment Painter  What They Do

Just the Facts


Painters, Transportation Equipment Career Video



Operates or tends painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, trucks, trains, boats, and airplanes. Includes painters in auto body repair facilities.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Mixes paints to match color specifications or vehicles' original colors, stirring or thinning paints, using spatulas or power mixing equipment.
  • Selects paint according to company requirements and matches paint colors, following specified color charts.
  • Disposes of hazardous waste in an appropriate manner.
  • Removes grease, dirt, paint, or rust from vehicle surfaces in preparation for paint application, using abrasives, solvents, brushes, blowtorches, washing tanks, or sandblasters.
  • Sprays prepared surfaces with specified amounts of primers and decorative or finish coatings.
  • Pours paint into spray guns and adjusts nozzles and paint mixes for proper paint flow and coating thickness.
  • Monitors painting operations to identify flaws, such as blisters or streaks, and correct their causes.
  • Removes accessories, such as chrome or mirrors, from vehicles and masks other surfaces with tape or paper to protect them from paint.
  • Disassembles, cleans, and reassembles sprayers or power equipment, using solvents, wire brushes, and cloths.
  • Selects the correct spray gun system for the material being applied.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Auto Painter (Automobile Painter) --
  • Auto Refinisher (Automobile Refinisher) --
  • Automotive Paint Technician (Auto Paint Technician) --
  • Automotive Painter --
  • Automotive Refinish Technician --
  • Body Technician/Painter --
  • Finish Painter --
  • Paint Prepper --
  • Paint Technician --
  • Top Coater --