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Details for Painters, Transportation Equipment


Operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, trucks, trains, boats, and airplanes.


  • Dispose of hazardous waste in an appropriate manner.
  • Select paint according to company requirements, and match colors of paint following specified color charts.
  • Mix paints to match color specifications or vehicles' original colors, then stir and thin the paints, using spatulas or power mixing equipment.
  • Remove grease, dirt, paint, and rust from vehicle surfaces in preparation for paint application, using abrasives, solvents, brushes, blowtorches, washing tanks, or sandblasters.
  • Pour paint into spray guns, and adjust nozzles and paint mixes in order to get the proper paint flow and coating thickness.
  • Monitor painting operations in order to identify flaws such as blisters and streaks so that their causes can be corrected.
  • Sand vehicle surfaces between coats of paint and/or primer in order to remove flaws and enhance adhesion for subsequent coats.
  • Disassemble, clean, and reassemble sprayers and power equipment, using solvents, wire brushes, and cloths for cleaning duties.
  • Spray prepared surfaces with specified amounts of primers and decorative or finish coatings.
  • Remove accessories from vehicles, such as chrome or mirrors, and mask other surfaces with tape or paper in order to protect them from paint.
  • Allow the sprayed product to dry, and then touch up any spots that may have been missed.
  • Apply rust-resistant undercoats, and caulk and seal seams.
  • Select the correct spray gun system for the material being applied.
  • Apply primer over any repairs made to vehicle surfaces.
  • Adjust controls on infrared ovens, heat lamps, portable ventilators, and exhaust units in order to speed the drying of vehicles between coats.
  • Fill small dents and scratches with body fillers, and smooth surfaces in order to prepare vehicles for painting.
  • Apply designs, lettering, or other identifying or decorative items to finished products, using paint brushes or paint sprayers.
  • Paint by hand areas that cannot be reached with a spray gun, or those that need retouching, using brushes.
  • Sand the final finish, and apply sealer once a vehicle has dried properly.
  • Buff and wax the finished paintwork.
  • Lay out logos, symbols, or designs on painted surfaces, according to blueprint specifications, using measuring instruments, stencils, and patterns.
  • Set up portable equipment such as ventilators, exhaust units, ladders, and scaffolding.
  • Verify paint consistency, using a viscosity meter.
  • Operate lifting and moving devices in order to move equipment or materials so that areas to be painted are accessible.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.



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Wages for this career
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