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Painting/Coating/Spraying Machine Worker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Career Video



Sets up, operates or tends 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.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Weighs or measures chemicals, coatings, or paints before adding them to machines.
  • Determines paint flow, viscosity, and coating quality by performing visual inspections, or by using viscometers.
  • Observes machine gauges and equipment operation to detect defects or deviations from standards, and makes adjustments as necessary.
  • Selects appropriate coatings, paints, or sprays, or prepares them by mixing substances according to formulas, using automated paint mixing equipment.
  • Sets up and operates machines to paint or coat products with such materials as silver and copper solution, rubber, paint, glaze, oil, or rustproofing materials.
  • Turns dials, handwheels, valves, or switches to regulate conveyor speeds, machine temperature, air pressure and circulation, and the flow or spray of coatings or paints.
  • Starts and stops operation of machines, using levers or buttons.
  • Records operational data on specified forms.
  • Starts pumps to mix solutions and fill tanks.
  • Fills hoppers, reservoirs, troughs, or pans with material used to coat, paint, or spray, using conveyors or pails.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Abrasive Coating Machine Operator -- Sets up and operates machine to coat cloth, fiber, or paper with granules of abrasive material.
  • Asphalt Coater -- Tends dipping tanks and auxiliary equipment that immerse and coat articles with asphalt.
  • Cheese Sprayer -- Tends equipment that coats popcorn or similar food product with melted cheese.
  • Fiberglass Machine Operator -- Operates machine to spray melted glass fibers onto products, for example boat hulls and lawn furniture.
  • Paraffin Machine Operator -- Tends machine that sprays fiber can lids or paperboard box blanks with paraffin wax to make items moistureproof or airtight.
  • Powder Coater -- Sets up and operates three stage washer, dryer, bake over and powder coating equipment.
  • Chocolate Dipper --
  • Enamel Machine Operator --
  • Laminating Press Operator --
  • Paint Booth Operator --
  • Sanding Machine Operator --
  • Silk Screen Operator --