Most painting and coating workers learn on the job after earning a high school diploma or equivalent. Training for new workers usually lasts from a few days to several months.
Painting and coating workers in the manufacturing sector usually must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Employers outside of manufacturing sometimes hire workers without a high school diploma.
Taking high school courses in automotive painting is recommended.
Some automotive painters attend a technical or vocational school where they receive hands-on training and learn the intricacies of mixing and applying different types of paint.
Most entry-level workers receive on-the-job training that may last from a few days to a few months.
Workers who operate computer-controlled equipment may require additional training in computer programming.
Manufacturing transportation equipment painters typically learn to paint on the job.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Voluntary certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is recognized as the standard of achievement for automotive painters. To obtain certification, painters must pass a written exam and have at least 2 years of experience in the field. Recertification is required every 5 years. Few painting and coating workers other than automobile painters obtain certification.
ASE-approved training in refinishing taken while one is enrolled in high school, a trade or vocational school, or a community college may substitute for up to 1 year of work experience. To keep the certification, painters must retake the exam at least every 5 years.
Artistic ability. Some workers make elaborate or decorative designs. For example, some automotive painters specialize in making custom designs for vehicles.
Color vision. Workers must be able to blend new paint colors in order to match existing colors on a surface.
Mechanical skills. Workers must be able to operate and maintain sprayers that apply paints and coatings.
Physical stamina. Some workers must stand at their station for extended periods. Continuous standing or activity can be tiring.
Physical strength. Workers may need to lift heavy objects. Some products that are painted or coated may weigh over 50 pounds.