Industrial Painters, Coaters, and Metal Finishing Products Operators

Occupation:Industrial Painters, Coaters, and Metal Finishing Process Operators
Category:Manufacturing and Utilities

About the job

Nature of work:

Industrial painters and coaters operate and tend machines or use brushes and spray equipment to apply paint, enamel, lacquer or other non-metallic protective and decorative coatings to surfaces of various products. Metal finishing process operators operate machines or equipment to deposit metallized substances on workpieces and surfaces to provide decorative, protective and restorative coatings. These workers are employed by manufacturing companies and custom refinishing, coating and plating shops.

Job duties:
Industrial painters and coaters perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Select appropriate paint or mix paints using automated paint mixing equipment according to a pre-determined formula.
  • Operate or tend equipment to clean, wash, strip, sand, remove corrosion, fill dents, or otherwise prepare items for application of paint, lacquer or other protective or decorative coatings.
  • Operate or tend automated spray paint, dip or flow coating equipment or other mechanized painting or product coating application equipment.
  • Operate hand-held spray guns to spray paint or coat stationary items or items on moving conveyor system with protective or decorative coatings.
  • Paint small items and apply touch-ups using paint brushes.
  • Clean and maintain painting and coating, ventilation, compressed air and personal protective equipment.
  • May prepare and apply stencils, computer-generated decals or other decorative items on finished products.
Metal finishing process operators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Prepare and mix metallizing solutions according to formulas or specifications.
  • Operate or tend equipment to clean, degrease, pickle and etch metal and non-metal surfaces to prepare workpieces with desired surface characteristics.
  • Tend automatic metal coating machines which convey objects through a series of cleaning, rinsing and plating solutions.
  • Operate and control electroplating equipment to coat metal and other workpieces.
  • Operate hot-dip metal plating equipment to galvanize metal and other workpieces.
  • Operate spray equipment to build up worn or damaged parts or to bond protective or decorative coatings on various objects.
  • Check proper thickness of plating using micrometers, calipers or other devices.
  • May operate equipment to polish metallic surfaces of products.
  • May tend ovens which cure metal coating.
Sample job titles:
  • airbrush painter
  • assembly line painter
  • decal applier
  • industrial painter
  • production painter
  • sign letterer
  • spray painter
  • undercoater - motor vehicle manufacturing

These jobs require mechanical aptitude and physical fitness. Good spatial perception, form perception, and hand-eye coordination are important. You must be accurate and attentive to detail. Some secondary school education may be required. Completion of college or other courses may be required. On the job training is usually provided. Experience as an assembler may be required for inspectors.

Job requirements:
  • Some secondary school education is usually required.
  • Several months of on-the-job training are usually provided.
  • Some industrial painters, such as aviation painters, may require specialized training and certification or college courses.
Other considerations:

Some experience in operating production machinery or equipment may be required. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Industrial Painters, Coaters, and Metal Finishing Process Operators most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 57% of Industrial Painters, Coaters, and Metal Finishing Process Operators who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $48,236. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Industrial Painters, Coaters, and Metal Finishing Products Operators220Moderate growth65High
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $18.50
Maximum: $30.00
Minimum: $7,771
Median: $36,550
Maximum: $74,851
Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities15,275Weak growth1,275Moderate
Minimum: $12.00
Median: $18.75
Maximum: $30.00
Minimum: $6,056
Median: $30,111
Maximum: $70,518
Industrial Painters, Coaters, and Metal Finishing Products OperatorsCompared to: Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities
Percent employed full-time95%87%
Percent self-employed0%3%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentIndustrial Painters, Coaters, and Metal Finishing Products OperatorsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton8%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley8%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeIndustrial Painters, Coaters, and Metal Finishing Products OperatorsCompared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4545
GenderIndustrial Painters, Coaters, and Metal Finishing Products OperatorsCompared to: Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities
% Employed% Employed
EducationIndustrial Painters, Coaters, and Metal Finishing Products OperatorsCompared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school19.3%$25,21322.9%$21,011
High school40.4%$28,88538.1%$28,358
Trades certificate14.0%$52,59212.4%$37,356
College certificate or diploma19.3%$31,23820.3%$36,968
University certificate or diplomaxx1.1%$35,915
Bachelor's degree5.3%x4.4%$36,852
University advanced certificate or diplomaxx0.3%$55,581
Master's degreexx0.5%x
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryxx0.1%N/A
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
63 Otter Lake Court, 2nd Floor
Halifax, NS B3S 1M1
Tel: (902) 455-9327

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.