What Does an Aircraft Painter Do?
An aircraft painter is responsible for painting and polishing aircraft. To prepare the plane for painting and finishes, an aircraft painter cleans the surfaces and individual parts. Aircraft painters also set up the equipment used to apply paint, epoxy, and other materials to the aircraft. In addition, they create a pre-design before applying the paint to the plane.
Aircraft painting is physically demanding work. It also requires a knowledge of various techniques used to ensure that paint remains on the correct surfaces, including masking and sanding surfaces. Aircraft painters are responsible for maintaining their equipment between jobs and ensuring they are ready for the next task. They make repairs to old paint jobs using color-matching software and appropriate touch-up paints and finishes.
Are you a job seeker?
of job openings
and apply online
National Average Salary
Aircraft painter salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Aircraft Painter is:
Aircraft Painter Job Descriptions
The key to attracting the ideal aircraft painter often lies in the job description. To make this task easier, we have curated a selection of examples that can be used as templates, ensuring you set the right foundation for your talent search.
Airlines take great pride in their aircraft’s painting and appearance as a way for the public to recognize their brand while in the air. As a result of company growth and new openings, [Your Company Name] is hiring aircraft painters. We are looking for someone detail-oriented who takes pride in their workmanship. Those we hire need to have two years of experience, and we expect your skills to continue improving as you gain more experience. Beginners will apply chemical paint stripping solution and prepare the aircraft to be painted by cleaning, masking, and sanding while those with more experience will apply the stripe, registration, and logo to the aircraft. If you are reliable, willing to work with minimal supervision, and ready to learn, you are a great candidate for this position.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Using tools and paint remover solutions, remove old paint from aircraft body and spare parts
- Clean, sand and scratch aircraft surfaces to prepare them for painting
- Apply epoxy, polish, resin or other materials to metal aircraft surfaces before applying the final color coat
- Mix paint pigments to create desired colors
- Mask and outline aircraft body to paint airline logo and livery, numerals, and brand name letters
- Follow safety regulations and wear protective gear during spray painting operations
Education and experience
- This position requires a high school diploma or equivalent
Required skills and qualifications
- Knowledge of the properties of various paints, finishes, and paint removers
- Teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
- Strong hand-eye coordination and proficiency in using tools
- Sufficient physical strength and dexterity to climb on aircrafts and manipulate painting equipment
- Knowledge of the use, handling, and disposal of hazardous materials
- 3+ years working with aircraft
- Experience working at high heights
- Excellent steadiness in your hands
- Strong self-starter attitude
- The Aircraft Painter coats surfaces of aircraft with paint, lacquer, epoxy, resin, or other material, using brushes, rollers, spray guns, and other devices, removes old paint from aircraft, using liquid paint remover and scraper
- Prepares, paints, and finishes coating to aircraft, parts, and assemblies
- Client out paint schemes and designs
- Performs specialized paint assignments
- Must be properly trained and physically capable of wearing a respirator
- Must be able to utilize and maintain painting equipment
- High School Diploma or GED
- Minimum of 1-year experience finishing and painting in either Aircraft, Automotive, or Marine Industry
- Minimum of 1-year experience working with engineering to improve manufacturing processes
The Aircraft Painter is responsible for sanding and preparing surfaces for paint, mixing paint products, and applying paint products within the allocated man-hour budgets while staying on schedule and maintaining quality standards, and performing the tasks within the guidelines of all safety and regulatory regulations and requirements.
Essential duties and responsibilities
- Mask, sand, and prepare aircraft for paint application
- This is a painting position, not just paint prep so you will be spraying/painting the aircraft
- Apply glazing and sealing compounds in preparation for the final painting
- Operate and maintain all types of preparation and priming equipment. Mix paints and primers
- Perform leading-edge sealant work in final detail
- Comply with all safety, 5S, and housekeeping policies. Use personal protective equipment and ensure the aircraft interior is protected (PTP)
- High school diploma or equivalent
- 2+ years of aircraft paint experience on corporate aircraft
- Able to work from documentation such as company procedures, preparation packages, etc.
- Able to work in a confined space
- Able to lift and transport up to 50 lbs. with or without reasonable accommodation
- Must have the visual capacity and muscular dexterity to work on fine detail, high-cost products with a minimum of errors and rework
- Able to use standard spray paint equipment: paint guns, sanding equipment, dual action orbital sander, and common hand tools
- Must not be abnormally allergic to paint, paint stripper, solvents, primers, or other paint-related products that produce fumes or dust while performing work-related duties
- Ability to use a respirator
ABC Company is looking for a skilled Painter to paint the interior and exterior of airplanes. Your job will be important since good painting has both practical and aesthetic benefits. An excellent painter is knowledgeable in selecting the right material for their job. They must have experience in painting with various tools and in various heights and spaces while observing all safety measures. They must be reliable and deft as well as possess great attention to detail in completing their duties. The goal is to deliver high-quality painting work.
- Read instructions and examine surfaces to determine the kind and amount of work necessary
- Prepare the applicable surface for coating
- Follow instructions for each procedure
- Paint surfaces according to instructions with various tools
- Take and adhere to all health and safety precautions
- Well-versed in all prepping and preparing to coat
- Proven experience as a painter
- Excellent knowledge of painting material and how to select, mix, and apply them
- Solid knowledge of commercial painting techniques
- Aptitude in using appropriate tools (sprayers etc.)
- Manual dexterity with excellent balance to work on ladders, etc.
- Conscientious with great attention to detail
- Paint aluminum
- 5 years of automotive painting is acceptable
- 2 years of autobody experience
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Aircraft Painter Certification Scheme (APCS) – This course was created to indicate to potential employers the candidate’s competency to work safely on and around an aircraft. Eligibility for this certification requires completing a closed-book examination which may be taken after a short course, or by an experienced aircraft painter without the class. Course topics include paint application techniques, safety of the aircraft and painters, spray gun maintenance and use, aircraft design and mandatory markings, and paint removal techniques.
- SSPC Aerospace Coating Application Specialist Certification (ACAS) – This two-day assessment certifies that experienced aircraft painters have the experience and training required to prepare and paint aircrafts. This is a hands-on exam where candidates will need to be able to answer questions verbally and troubleshoot if necessary. There is no written exam.
How to Hire an Aircraft Painter
Consider the following when hiring an aircraft painter:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. We recommend the following options when hiring an aircraft painter:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend using CareerBuilder when hiring an aircraft painter:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- What are your strengths as an aircraft painter?
- What motivates you at work?
- Tell me about something you excelled at in your painting training and work experience.
- Are you comfortable working at heights?
- What do you like about aircraft painting?
- What do you not like about aircraft painting?
- What do you do when you have a question but your supervisor is gone?
- Tell me about your favorite painting project you have done.
- How do you decide how many coats of paint are needed?
- What is your ideal workspace environment?
- Imagine halfway through your paint job, the client changes how they want to paint the plane. What do you do?
- When is it best to use an airless spray gun?
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you handle it?
- In this job, you need to have great attention to detail. Can you think of a time you noticed something others may have missed?
- Describe a time you received criticism from your supervisor. How did you respond?
- How would you prepare an aircraft for painting?