Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Aidan Maher from Construction Industry Federation to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Aidan Maher

Site Manager - Grad Entry

Construction Industry Federation

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  Aidan Maher
Try gain experience in some area of construction if possible to see if it’s for you. If you’re interested in a 9-5 job this is not for you!

If you like meeting with new people each day and dealing with issues which they may have regarding the project this is a good job for you. If you like to take charge of situations then this is also a good role for you to take on.
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Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Occupation Details

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Paint Sprayer

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

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At a Glance... header image

Spray painters apply a paint finish to new vehicles and those that have been damaged in accidents.


The Work header image

As a paint sprayer, 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.

Car Paint Sprayer

The spray painter receives the vehicle from the body repairer, who will have replaced or repaired any damaged body panels. They inspect the repaired area and think about what they need to do to complete the repair. Spray painters need to smooth the surface of the metal. They can do this by hand, with special types of sandpaper, or by using a machine. Next, the spray painter checks the surface by looking at it and touching it.  
 
The next task is to prepare and apply the paint. It is very important that the colours and tints exactly match the existing surfaces. Painters use a hand-held spray gun that applies the paint in a fine spray. They usually need to apply several coats to prevent the metal from rusting. When the paint is dry, painters polish the surface so that it blends with the rest of the vehicle.  
 
The work can be noisy and dirty. Painters need to wear protective clothing, including masks and goggles.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Follow supervisors' instructions as to which parts to restore or replace and how much time the job should take.

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Review damage reports, prepare or review repair cost estimates, and plan work to be performed.

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Sand body areas to be painted and cover bumpers, windows, and trim with masking tape or paper to protect them from the paint.

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Fit and weld replacement parts into place, using wrenches and welding equipment, and grind down welds to smooth them, using power grinders and other tools.

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Prime and paint repaired surfaces, using paint sprayguns and motorized sanders.

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Remove damaged sections of vehicles using metal-cutting guns, air grinders and wrenches, and install replacement parts using wrenches or welding equipment.

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Chain or clamp frames and sections to alignment machines that use hydraulic pressure to align damaged components.

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Fill small dents that cannot be worked out with plastic or solder.

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File, grind, sand and smooth filled or repaired surfaces, using power tools and hand tools.

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Remove upholstery, accessories, electrical window-and-seat-operating equipment, and trim to gain access to vehicle bodies and fenders.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Performing General Physical Activities:  Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards:  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Controlling Machines and Processes:  Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People:  Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Mechanical:  Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Production and Processing:  Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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Public Safety and Security:  Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Repairing:   Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Operation and Control:   Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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Quality Control Analysis:   Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Operation Monitoring:   Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Spray painters should enjoy practical and physically active work. You need to be able to interpret written instructions and technical information.  
 
Spray painters have to be able to operate and control a range of specialised equipment. This requires good co-ordination and hand skills. You need to have good colour vision. You should enjoy manual and practical work.  
 
The work may be unsuitable for you if you have respiratory or bronchial conditions.


Related Occupationsheader image

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing
Transport & Logistics

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