Coating Technician: Job Description and Education Requirements

A coating technician requires little formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

A coating technician selects, mixes and then applies paints or chemicals to various surfaces, such as a vehicle or other machine. They use different application devices, like a spray gun, to perform their duties. The minimum education required to become a coating technician is a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Essential Information

Coating technicians apply paints, varnishes and other chemicals to individual parts, machines, automobiles and other products. They typically use power tools, such as spray guns, or operate automated painted systems. Most coating technician employers only require a high school education and provide training on the job, but a certificate from a vocational program may increase employment and advancement options. Coating technicians need basic math and mechanical aptitude, as well as some computer skills to operate the machinery.

Required Education High school diploma or the equivalent at minimum; vocational certificates can be helpful
Other Requirements On-the-job training
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 1% for all painting and coating workers
Mean Salary (2015)* $31,210 for painting, coating and decorating workers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Job Description for a Coating Technician

Coating technicians use power tools and computer numerical control (CNC) machines to apply a surface solution to products, both for aesthetic reasons and for protection. These professionals work in different industries, applying coating during the final stages of manufacturing of automobiles, aircraft, furniture, pipes, pharmaceuticals, toys, confections and other products. Coating work is also done during repairs of some products.

Coating solutions include paint, sugar, plastic and varnish, which are applied by dipping or using spray guns or automated painting systems. In the case of automated systems, coating technicians are responsible for setting up the components of the system and monitoring operation for flaws or inconsistencies. They also may do touch-up work once automated processes are complete.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that painting and coating workers could expect a 1 percent job growth rate between 2014-2024. Those with painting experience could have the best job prospects. In May 2015, the BLS stated that painting, coating and decorating workers earned an average annual salary of $31,210.

Duties of a Coating Technician

Preparation work includes the selection and, if necessary, mixing of different paints and other chemicals. Coating technicians may utilize mixing equipment and pumps to transfer mixes into spray guns. For automated systems, such as CNC machines, coating technicians must adjust spray nozzles, install brushes, set conveyor belt speeds and mask parts of the product that don't need coating.

Coating machine workers must monitor valves and gauges during operation to eliminate defects. They can adjust spray flow, air circulation and temperature. Quality inspections can be performed visually or with the use of viscometers.

Coating technicians may apply several coats for certain products. Examples include the application of anti-corrosive material to automobiles and varnish to furniture before finishing with coats of paint.

Education Requirements for a Coating Technician

Employers generally require individuals to have earned their high school or equivalency diploma for entry-level coating positions. High school courses that may be beneficial include algebra, geometry, computer fundamentals and first aid.

Coating technicians typically learn on the job. Completion of a certificate program at a technical school or community college can provide a competitive advantage and increase opportunities for advancement. Relevant courses might cover mixing and applying paint, corrosion, drafting and CNC machinery.

A coating technician usually receives on-the-job training; however, some individuals might find earning a certificate in a related field can help create job opportunities or advancement. In addition to applying paint and other chemicals to surfaces, these technicians are responsible for monitoring the output levels of air, temperature, and spray on their equipment.


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