Aircraft Painter

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

If you're interested in a career in aircraft maintenance, you might want to consider becoming an Aircraft Painter. As an Aircraft Painter, you'll be responsible for ensuring that commercial and private airplanes are looking their best. 

Your job as an Aircraft Painter will typically involve cleaning the aircraft's exterior, preparing it for painting, applying paint, and ensuring that the freshly painted aircraft meets all safety and environmental standards. You'll work closely with other maintenance personnel to coordinate your work with routine maintenance and repair services.

To be an Aircraft Painter, you'll need to have a keen eye for detail, a steady hand, and the ability to follow safety protocols strictly. You'll need to be able to work in varied weather conditions, including high temperatures and humidity. 

Overall, Aircraft Painter job description entails preparing and painting the exterior of aircraft, and also requires knowledge of a range of painting techniques, tools and materials.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Prepare aircraft surfaces for painting by cleaning, sanding, and masking.
  • Apply paint and coatings to aircraft surfaces using spray guns and other equipment.
  • Mix paints to achieve the required color and consistency.
  • Inspect painted surfaces to ensure that they meet quality and safety standards.
  • Remove paint and coatings from aircraft surfaces as necessary.
  • Follow safety guidelines and regulations when working with hazardous materials and equipment.
  • Keep records of paint usage and other related information.
  • Work collaboratively with other maintenance personnel to complete assigned tasks.
  • Keep work area clean and organized.
  • Communicate effectively with supervisors and colleagues.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become an Aircraft Painter in the Transportation industry, a high school diploma or equivalent education is usually required. You also need to have experience in painting or other related mechanical work. Some employers may require additional training in aircraft painting, which can be obtained through vocational schools or on-the-job training programs. Aircraft Painters must be able to learn quickly, work meticulously, and have an eye for detail. They should also have good hand-eye coordination and be able to work well in a team. The job can involve working in confined spaces and on elevated surfaces, so being physically fit and comfortable with heights is also important.

Salary Range

Aircraft Painter salary range in the United States varies based on experience, company, and location. On average, an Aircraft Painter earns around $24 per hour, which translates to $50,000-$60,000 per year. Entry-level positions start at around $38,000 per year, with experienced painters earning up to $75,000 per year. 

In other countries, like Canada and Australia, Aircraft Painters earn similar salaries to those in the United States, with entry-level positions starting at CAD 15-20 per hour and AUD 25 per hour, respectively.



Career Outlook

If you're interested in becoming an Aircraft Painter, the job outlook over the next 5 years looks promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of painters, transportation equipment (which includes Aircraft Painters) is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

As Aircraft Painters, you would be responsible for applying paint to the exterior of aircraft to protect them from weather and corrosion. The job can be physically demanding and requires a high attention to detail, but it can also be highly rewarding.

Overall, the transportation industry is expected to experience growth in the coming years, which means that there will likely be a need for Aircraft Painters. If you're interested in pursuing this career path, it's a good idea to start building your skills and qualifications now to open up more opportunities in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does an aircraft painter do?

A: An aircraft painter is responsible for priming, painting, and finishing the exterior of planes. They use specialized equipment and paints to ensure that the plane has a polished, professional appearance.

Q: What skills are required to become an aircraft painter?

A: Aircraft painters must have a keen eye for detail and be able to work carefully and methodically. They should be comfortable with using a variety of painting equipment and have a strong understanding of specialized painting techniques.

Q: What education is needed to become an aircraft painter?

A: There's typically no formal education required to become an aircraft painter, but most employers prefer candidates who have completed a vocational or technical school program in painting or a related field.

Q: Is being an aircraft painter physically demanding?

A: Yes, aircraft painting can be physically demanding, as painters often need to climb ladders and scaffolds to reach different parts of the plane. They also need to be comfortable with standing and working for long periods of time.

Q: Are there any safety concerns associated with being an aircraft painter?

A: Yes, aircraft painters work with a variety of chemicals and hazardous materials, so they need to follow strict safety protocols to avoid injury or damage to the plane. They may wear protective equipment such as respirators, goggles and gloves to minimize exposure.

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