Expand mobile version menu

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:

  • Selects appropriate coatings, paints, or sprays, or prepares them by mixing substances according to formulas, using automated paint mixing equipment.
  • Holds or positions spray guns to direct spray onto articles.
  • Fills hoppers, reservoirs, troughs, or pans with material used to coat, paint, or spray, using conveyors or pails.
  • Starts and stops operation of machines, using levers or buttons.
  • Determines paint flow, viscosity, and coating quality by performing visual inspections, or by using viscometers.
  • Attaches hoses or nozzles to machines, using wrenches and pliers, and makes adjustments to obtain the proper dispersion of spray.
  • 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.
  • Observes machine gauges and equipment operation to detect defects or deviations from standards, and makes adjustments as necessary.
  • Performs test runs to ensure that equipment is set up properly.
  • Cleans machines, related equipment, and work areas, using water, solvents and other cleaning aids.

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 bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • 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.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • 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
  • 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 use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • 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
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • 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:

  • Coater Operator --
  • Hand Sprayer --
  • Industrial Painter --
  • Machine Operator --
  • Paint Technician --
  • Painter --
  • Powder Coater -- Sets up and operates three stage washer, dryer, bake over and powder coating equipment.
  • Press Operator --
  • Silk Screen Operator --
  • Spray Painter --