Painters, Transportation Equipment
SOC: 51-9122.00


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

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
54,300 employed

Projected (2024):
57,500 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Aircraft Painter
  • Aircraft Painter Apprentice
  • Auto Painter (Automobile Painter)
  • Auto Refinisher (Automobile Refinisher)
  • Auto Striper
  • Automotive Paint Technician (Auto Paint Technician)
  • Automotive Painter
  • Automotive Refinish Technician
  • Black Off Worker
  • Boat Painter
  • Body Technician/Painter
  • Bronzer
  • Car Painter
  • Colorman
  • Dope Sprayer
  • Dopeman
  • Doper
  • Duco Polisher
  • Finish Painter
  • Industrial Painter
  • Mobile Paint Specialist
  • Paint Prep Technician
  • Paint Prepper
  • Paint Specialist
  • Paint Technician
  • Pressure Washer
  • Railroad Car Letterer
  • Railroad Car Painter
  • Refinish Technician
  • Rust Proofer
  • Sandblaster Paint Sprayer
  • Shipyard Painter
  • Top Coater
  • Touch Up Painter
  • Transportation Equipment Painter
  • Transportation Equipment Painter Apprentice
  • Vehicle Painter

  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed


    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    Job 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.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Dispose of hazardous waste in an appropriate manner.
  • Remove grease, dirt, paint, or 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 for proper paint flow and coating thickness.
  • Monitor painting operations to identify flaws, such as blisters or streaks, and correct their causes.
  • Sand vehicle surfaces between coats of paint or primer to remove flaws and enhance adhesion for subsequent coats.
  • Spray prepared surfaces with specified amounts of primers and decorative or finish coatings.
  • Allow the sprayed product to dry and touch up any missed spots.
  • 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, or exhaust units to speed the drying of vehicles between coats.
  • Fill small dents or scratches with body fillers and smooth surfaces to prepare vehicles for painting.
  • Apply designs, lettering, or other identifying or decorative items to finished products, using paint brushes or paint sprayers.
  • Buff and wax the finished paintwork.
  • Lay out logos, symbols, or designs on painted surfaces, according to blueprint specifications, using measuring instruments, stencils, or patterns.
  • Set up portable equipment, such as ventilators, exhaust units, ladders, or scaffolding.
  • Verify paint consistency, using a viscosity meter.
  • Mix paints to match color specifications or vehicles' original colors, stirring or thinning paints, using spatulas or power mixing equipment.
  • Select paint according to company requirements and match paint colors, following specified color charts.
  • Remove accessories, such as chrome or mirrors, from vehicles and mask other surfaces with tape or paper to protect them from paint.
  • Disassemble, clean, and reassemble sprayers or power equipment, using solvents, wire brushes, and cloths.
  • Sand and apply sealer to properly dried vehicle finish.
  • Clean equipment and work areas.
  • Operate lifting or moving devices to move equipment or materials to access areas to be painted.
  • Use brush to hand-paint areas in need of retouching or unreachable with a spray gun.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Air compressors
  • Blow torches
  • Claw hammers
  • Computer terminals
  • Desktop computers
  • Exhaust units
  • Forklifts
  • Hoisting equipment
  • Hot air guns
  • Hydraulic jacks
  • Infrared drying lamps
  • Manlift buckets
  • Metal inert gas MIG welding equipment
  • Oxyacetylene welding equipment
  • Paint application brushes
  • Paint application rollers
  • Paint booths
  • Paint sprayguns
  • Paint stencils
  • Pallet jacks
  • Plasma cutters
  • Portable buffers
  • Power buffers
  • Power drills
  • Power paint mixers
  • Power sanders
  • Respiratory protection equipment
  • Rivet guns
  • Robotic paint equipment
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Sandblasters
  • Scaffolding
  • Shielded arc welding tools
  • Step ladders
  • Straight screwdrivers
  • Tungsten inert gas TIG welding equipment
  • Viscosity meters
  • Wire brushes
  • Data entry software
  • Inventory control software
  • Maintenance management software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Robotic painting software
  • Scheduling software

  • production

    industry stats

    SOC: 51-0000

    Total Employed: 9,073,290

    Average Annual Salary: $36,220