Aircraft PainterJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

An aircraft painter is responsible for painting and polishing aircrafts. To prepare the plane for paints and finishes, an aircraft painter cleans the surfaces and parts. Aircraft painters also set up and ready 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.

Sample job description #1

Job duties

  • 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


  • Required 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

Sample job description #2

Job summary

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 an painting position, not just paint prep so you will be spraying/painting the aircraft
  • Apply glazing and sealing compounds in preparation for 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 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 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

Sample job description #3

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 automotive painting is acceptable
  • 2 years autobody experience

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for aircraft painter is $53,800 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$53,500$72,400
Los Angeles, California$60,350$81,650
Denver, Colorado$50,300$68,050
Washington, DC$61,300$82,900
Miami, Florida$50,100$67,750
Orlando, Florida$46,200$62,500
Tampa, Florida$46,650$63,100
Atlanta, Georgia$48,950$66,200
Chicago, Illinois$56,250$76,100
Boston, Massachusetts$60,800$82,300
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$48,450$65,600
New York City, New York$64,000$86,600
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$52,150$70,550
Dallas, Texas$50,750$68,700
Houston, Texas$50,300$68,050
Seattle, Washington$58,550$79,200
National Average$45,750$61,850

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?
  • Tell me about a time where your actions didn’t line up with your core values.
  • What is your ideal workspace environment?
  • Imagine halfway through your paint job, the airline changes how they want to paint the plane. What do you do?
  • When do you think it is better to use an airless spray gun instead of a brush?
  • 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 to it? 
  • How would you prepare an aircraft for painting?

Aircraft Painter Jobs in Ashburn

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