Paint sprayer

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Car paint sprayer, vehicle paint sprayer, body shop worker, paint technician

Paint sprayers apply coatings and protective finishes to cars, vans, motorbikes and other vehicles.

Salary Range: £18,000 to £30,000

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How to become a paint sprayer

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

College

You can take a college course that will teach you some of the skills you’ll need in this job. Useful courses include:

  • Level 1 Diploma in Accident Repair Paint
  • Level 2 Diploma in Vehicle Accident Repair Paint Principles

Some colleges offer paint spaying as part of an engineering course. Check with local colleges for details.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

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Apprenticeship

A common way into this job is to complete an advanced apprenticeship in vehicle body and paint. You could also do an accident repair technician or vehicle damage paint technician advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

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Direct application

You can apply for jobs in vehicle paint spraying if you’ve got experience and a qualification in vehicle accident and repair, motor manufacturing or engineering.

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Further information

You can find out more about a career in paint spraying in the motor industry through Autocity.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to repair machines or systems
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • setting up painting equipment
  • sanding down and preparing the bodywork
  • selecting, matching and mixing colours
  • applying primer coats, main coats and finishes
  • carrying out quality checks
  • cleaning and maintaining equipment

Working environment

You could work in a workshop.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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Career path and progression

Your employer may offer you the chance to work towards IMI Accreditation. This allows you to move up to paint technician and senior paint technician roles.

You could also become a shift supervisor, quality control inspector or workshop manager.

You may be able to set up your own paint spraying business or specialise in car customisation.