What Do Transportation Equipment Painters Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Transportation Equipment Painters 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. They also mix paints to match color specifications or vehicles’ original colors, stirring or thinning paints, using spatulas or power mixing equipment.

Other tasks include:

  • Select paint according to company requirements and match paint colors, following specified color charts.
  • 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.
  • Spray prepared surfaces with specified amounts of primers and decorative or finish coatings.
  • 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.

We asked Transportation Equipment Painters how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


61% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 46% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Transportation Equipment Painters operate lifting or moving devices to move equipment or materials to access areas to be painted. They clean equipment and work areas.

A typical day for a Transportation Equipment Painter will also include:

  • Remove accessories, such as chrome or mirrors, from vehicles and mask other surfaces with tape or paper to protect them from paint.
  • Dispose of hazardous waste in an appropriate manner.
  • Apply rust-resistant undercoats and caulk and seal seams.
  • Sand and apply sealer to properly dried vehicle finish.
  • Monitor painting operations to identify flaws, such as blisters or streaks, and correct their causes.

We asked some Transportation Equipment Painters a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?19% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?32% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?54% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?19% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?13% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?67% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Transportation Equipment Painters also use brush to hand-paint areas in need of retouching or unreachable with a spray gun. They may also apply rust-resistant undercoats and caulk and seal seams.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Transportation Equipment Painters Lay out logos, symbols, or designs on painted surfaces, according to blueprint specifications, using measuring instruments, stencils, or patterns. They might also Apply designs, lettering, or other identifying or decorative items to finished products, using paint brushes or paint sprayers.

In addition, they Set up portable equipment, such as ventilators, exhaust units, ladders, or scaffolding.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Buff and wax the finished paintwork.

To some Transportation Equipment Painters, it is also their responsibility to Verify paint consistency, using a viscosity meter.

Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Transportation Equipment Painter, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Transportation Equipment Painters work in an office-style work environment?


Every day

Do Transportation Equipment Painters work outdoors?


Once a week

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Organizers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

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