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Industrial Spray Painter

Kairehu Ahumahi

Alternative titles for this job

Industrial spray painters prepare, paint, powder-coat or resurface industrial parts and machinery and other items used in homes, offices and industries.


Industrial spray painters usually earn

$39K-$62K per year

Source: Careers New Zealand research, 2017

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as an industrial spray painter are average for those wanting to enter the role, but good for those with experience.


Pay for industrial spray painters varies depending on skills and experience.

Industrial spray painters usually earn between minimum wage and $62,000 a year.

Very experienced or self-employed industrial spray painters may earn more than this.

Source: Careers New Zealand research, 2017.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Industrial spray painters may do some or all of the following:

  • sand and clean surfaces to be painted
  • decide which products to use for a particular surface
  • prepare metals by treating them with chemicals or grit-blasting them
  • apply an undercoat
  • choose and mix paint
  • spray paint or powder-coat objects
  • bake powder-coat onto metal in ovens
  • polish the finished product
  • discuss treatment and painting requirements with customers.

Skills and knowledge

Industrial spray painters need to have knowledge of:

  • paint types and colours
  • up-to-date coating and preparation methods and technology
  • spray-gun painting skills
  • safety rules and procedures.

They also need the ability to read and follow complicated instructions for each type of product they use.

Working conditions

Industrial spray painters:

  • usually work regular business hours
  • work in paint shops and workshops or on clients' sites, including road and rail bridges 
  • work in conditions that may be noisy and fumey.

What's the job really like?

Mason Hinii

Industrial Spray Painter

What kind of things do you powder-coat?

“Customers bring in different things for powder-coating, which can range in size from 50 millimetres to five metres. Sometimes it's a large surface, like the exterior of a house that needs powder-coating. So we powder-coat the sides and the roof – basically anything on the house made of metal."

What does the job involve?

“It usually takes just 10 minutes to powder-coat something. Then I push it onto a trolley and into the oven where it gets baked for 10 minutes. If there are blemishes, nicks or scratches, the powder-coat won’t come right. The main challenge is getting a smooth finish.

"One of my duties is sorting out jobs and communicating with the rest of the team. The chain isn’t complete without the guys before you.”

What do you like about your job?

“I enjoy getting it done right – when I pass it from my hands to the customer's hands and it’s done perfectly. If you have a keen eye for detail and enjoy variety in a job, then this is the job for you.”

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements to become an industrial spray painter, as skills are gained on the job.

Secondary education

There are no specific secondary education requirements for this job, but science, English, maths and workshop technology are useful.

Personal requirements

Industrial spray painters need to be:

  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to follow instructions.

Useful experience

Useful experience for industrial spray painters includes:

  • painting and decorating work
  • vehicle spray painting
  • work involving metals
  • factory work.

Physical requirements

Industrial spray painters need to have normal colour vision, and not have breathing problems.

Find out more about training

0800 88 21 21 - www.mito.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Chances of getting a job as an industrial spray painter are average for those with no experience, as employers prefer experienced workers.

Job chances are good for experienced spray painters due to:

  • trained workers leaving New Zealand to work overseas for higher pay rates
  • New Zealand manufacturers needing workers to work on machinery components for export.

Your best chance of getting a job is to work for an industrial spray painting company as a labourer. If you can show you have initiative, they may train you in spray painting. 

According to the Census, 1,641 industrial spray painters worked in New Zealand in 2018.

Types of employers varied

Industrial spray painters work for:

  • specialist paint shops
  • industrial companies
  • joinery manufacturing companies, making items such as cabinets and doors
  • furniture-making companies.

Approximately 10 percent of industrial spray painters are self-employed.


  • BRANZ and Pacifecon, 'National Construction Pipeline Report 4', July 2016, (www.branz.co.nz).
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data', 2015. 
  • National Infrastructure Unit, 'The Thirty-Year New Zealand Infrastructure Plan 2015', accessed April 2017, (www.infrastructure.govt.nz).
  • Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
  • Tapp, G, national coatings manager, Intergroup, Careers New Zealand interview, April 2017.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Industrial spray painters may progress to set up their own industrial spray painting business.

Close up of a person's gloved hands working with spray equipment

Industrial spray painters' working conditions are likely to be noisy, with fumes

Last updated 16 September 2020