Duties and responsibilities
A paint technician is an auto body technician that specializes in painting and varnishing automobiles. They will have a knowledge of paint and varnish types, paint properties, application methods and the tools and equipment required (e.g., brushes, rollers, airbrushes, dryer lamps and drying ovens). Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Examining the surfaces of automobiles that are to be treated
- Appropriately preparing surfaces to be painted
- Giving customers price estimates for the paint job
- Ordering the appropriate paint and any other substances
- Mixing and preparing paints, and any other substances that need to be applied
- Keeping paperwork up to date
- Ensuring that the finished product is of the highest standard
Paint technicians will most likely need a high school diploma. It will also be advantageous to have completed programs in automotive body repair at a technical college. Although not essential, it is recommended that all auto body technicians, which includes paint technicians, gain certification as it shows competence and usually brings higher pay.
Skills and relevant work experience
To become a paint technician, you will need skills and talents such as:
- Physical fitness and stamina, as paint technicians may need to stand up for long periods of time, lift heavy materials or work in small and cramped spaces (e.g., underneath cars or in the boot)
- Organization skills, as paint technicians will need to ensure that repairs are they are completed before the deadline. They will also need to ensure that all paint is kept tidy and in order
- Attention to detail, as noticing issues in paint work requires someone who can notice the smallest scratches and imperfections
- Customer-service skills, as paint technicians must be good a listening, understanding and communicating with paying customers
- Dexterity, as paint technicians may have to paint detailed or small things. This requires a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination
The majority of paint technicians will work full time. They may have to work evenings, weekends and overtime if necessary to meet deadlines.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for automotive body repairers was $43,580 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,710, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $73,470. Paint technicians can expect to earn within a similar range.
The employment of all auto body technicians is expected to grow 2% from 2019 t0 2029, which is slower than the average for all occupations. However, once in the profession, paint technicians can progress to more senior roles. Some paint technicians may also open their own paint repair shop, which gives them more autonomy, flexibility and control.