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Career Profile: Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

Set up, operate, or tend spraying or rolling machines to coat or paint any of a wide variety of products, including glassware, cloth, ceramics, metal, plastic, paper, or wood, with lacquer, silver, copper, rubber, varnish, glaze, enamel, oil, or rust-proofing materials. Includes painters of transportation vehicles such as painters in auto body repair facilities.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 160,000 people employed as coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders in the United States. The median annual salary is $39,130. Entry level employees earn approximately $29,460 per year and senior employees earn approximately $60,330 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Hold or position spray guns to direct spray onto articles.
  • Fill hoppers, reservoirs, troughs, or pans with material used to coat, paint, or spray, using conveyors or pails.
  • Start and stop operation of machines, using levers or buttons.
  • Determine paint flow, viscosity, and coating quality by performing visual inspections, or by using viscometers.
  • Thread or feed items or products through or around machine rollers and dryers.
  • Weigh or measure chemicals, coatings, or paints before adding them to machines.
  • Operate auxiliary machines or equipment used in coating or painting processes.
  • Remove materials, parts, or workpieces from painting or coating machines, using hand tools.
  • Record operational data on specified forms.
  • Prepare and apply stencils, computer-generated decals, or other decorative items to finished products.
  • Attach hoses or nozzles to machines, using wrenches and pliers, and make adjustments to obtain the proper dispersion of spray.
  • Turn dials, handwheels, valves, or switches to regulate conveyor speeds, machine temperature, air pressure and circulation, and the flow or spray of coatings or paints.
  • Observe machine gauges and equipment operation to detect defects or deviations from standards, and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Examine, measure, weigh, or test sample products to ensure conformance to specifications.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
160,000
Annual Openings:
16,600
Increase in Openings by 2031:
3%
Annual Salary Range:
$29,460 - $60,330
Education Requirements:
High school diploma