AS a paint sprayer you would apply decorative finishes and protective coatings to products, using a manual spray gun or automated equipment.
You would normally work in one of four sectors — manufacturing, engineering, construction or the automotive industry.
On a manufacturing production line you would apply finishes to white goods (ovens, fridges and dishwashers), furniture and other consumer items.
On a construction or engineering site, you would work on buildings or large structures, for example ships and bridges. Paint Spraying can also be used in the finishing of timber products which are manufactured in the shopfitting industry before being fixed on site.
Your duties could include:
SETTING up the spray equipment;
MAKING sure all the materials are mixed correctly to get the right colour and consistency;
PREPARING the surfaces to be covered;
APPLYING primer coats;
APPLYING main coats, followed by the finish;
CHECKING finished jobs as part of quality control;
CLEANING and maintaining spray equipment.
You would follow strict safety procedures covering the use of hazardous materials, taking care to avoid contaminating the coatings and work area.
You would normally work between 35 and 40 hours a week on a shift rota.
If your job is in manufacturing, you are likely to work in a clean and specially ventilated section of a factory or in a paint booth.
In construction, a lot of your time would be spent outside on site, often working from ladders, mobile raised platforms or scaffolding.
You would normally wear protective clothing, including gloves, overalls and a face mask.
Production line paint sprayers can earn between £13,000 and £17,000 a year. Vehicle paint sprayers can earn around £15,000 to £23,000. Paint sprayers in construction can earn between £14,500 and £22,000. Sprayers dealing with specialist coatings may earn up to £25,000 a year.
You could become a paint sprayer after completing an apprenticeship in manufacturing, engineering or motor vehicle finishing.
Alternatively, you could take a college course which would teach you some of the skills needed for this career. Relevant courses include: City and Guilds Award, Certificate or Diploma in Vehicle Systems and Body and Paint Maintenance (Entry Level, Level 1), City & Guilds Diplomas in Accident Repair Paint Principles (Level 1, 2 and 3), Institute of the Motor Industry Awards (IMIAL) Diploma in Vehicle Accident Repair Paint Competence.
You would be expected to have normal colour vision for this work.