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Working As a Coater Operator

  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Getting Information
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Stressful

  • $30,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Coater Operator Do

Painting and coating workers often use machines to paint and coat a wide range of products, including cars, jewelry, and ceramics.

Duties

Painting and coating workers typically do the following:

  • Set up and operate machines that paint or coat products
  • Select the paint or coating needed for the job 
  • Clean and prepare products to be painted or coated
  • Determine the required flow of paint and the quality of the coating 
  • Apply paint or coating
  • Clean and maintain tools, equipment, and work areas

Millions of items ranging from cars to furniture are coated by paint, varnish, rustproofing, or other types of liquid applications. Painting or coating is used to make a product more attractive or protect it from the elements. The paint finish on an automobile, for example, makes the vehicle more attractive and provides protection from corrosion.

Before workers begin to apply the paint or other coating, they often need to prepare the surface by sanding or cleaning it carefully to prevent dust from becoming trapped under the paint. Masking is frequently required and involves carefully covering portions of the product with tape and paper.

After the product is prepared, workers may use a number of techniques to apply the paint or coating. A common technique is dipping an item in a large vat of paint or some other coating. Spraying products with paint or another coating is also common. Many factories use automated painting systems.

The following are examples of types of painting and coating workers:

Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders position the spray guns, set the nozzles, and synchronize the action of the guns with the speed of the conveyor carrying products through the machine. During the process, these workers program the machine, tend the equipment, watch gauges on the control panel, and check products to ensure that they are being painted evenly. The operator may use a manual spray gun to touch up flaws.

Dippers use power hoists to immerse products in vats of paint, liquid plastic, or other solutions. This technique is commonly used for small parts of electronic equipment, such as cell phones.

Painting, coating, and decorating workers apply coatings to furniture, glass, pottery, toys, books, and other products. Paper is often coated to give it a gloss. Silver, tin, and copper solutions are frequently sprayed onto glass to make mirrors.

Spraying machine operators use spray guns to coat metal, wood, ceramic, fabric, and paper products with paint and other coating solutions.

Transportation equipment painters are the best known group of painting and coating workers. There are three major specialties:

  • Transportation equipment workers, or automotive painters, usually refinish old or damaged cars, trucks, and buses in automotive repair and paint shops by applying paint by hand with a spray gun. Those who work in repair shops are among the most competent manual spray operators: they perform intricate, detailed work and mix paints to match the original color—a task that is especially difficult if the color has faded. Painting an old car is similar to painting other metal objects.
  • Transportation equipment painters work on new cars and oversee several automated steps. A modern car is first dipped in an anticorrosion bath, then coated with colored paint, and finally painted with several coats of clear paint to prevent damage to the colored paint.
  • Other transportation equipment painters either paint equipment that is too large to paint automatically—such as ships or giant construction equipment—or do touchup work to fix flaws in the paint that are caused by damage either during assembly or during the automated painting process.

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How To Become A Coater Operator

Most painting and coating workers learn on the job after earning a high school diploma or equivalent. Training for new workers usually lasts from a few days to several months.

Education

Painting and coating workers in the manufacturing sector usually must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Employers outside of manufacturing sometimes hire workers without a high school diploma.

Taking high school courses in automotive painting is recommended.

Some automotive painters attend a technical or vocational school where they receive hands-on training and learn the intricacies of mixing and applying different types of paint.

Training

Most entry-level workers receive on-the-job training that may last from a few days to a few months.

Workers who operate computer-controlled equipment may require additional training in computer programming.

Manufacturing transportation equipment painters typically learn to paint on the job.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Voluntary certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is recognized as the standard of achievement for automotive painters. To obtain certification, painters must pass a written exam and have at least 2 years of experience in the field. Recertification is required every 5 years. Few painting and coating workers other than automobile painters obtain certification.

ASE-approved training in refinishing taken while one is enrolled in high school, a trade or vocational school, or a community college may substitute for up to 1 year of work experience. To keep the certification, painters must retake the exam at least every 5 years.

Important Qualities

Artistic ability. Some workers make elaborate or decorative designs. For example, some automotive painters specialize in making custom designs for vehicles. 

Color vision. Workers must be able to blend new paint colors in order to match existing colors on a surface.

Mechanical skills. Workers must be able to operate and maintain sprayers that apply paints and coatings.

Physical stamina. Some workers must stand at their station for extended periods. Continuous standing or activity can be tiring.

Physical strength. Workers may need to lift heavy objects. Some products that are painted or coated may weigh over 50 pounds.

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Coater Operator Career Paths

Coater Operator
Press Operator Forklift Operator Foreman
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Press Operator Welder Shop Foreman
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Press Operator Machine Operator Technician
Production Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Numerical Control Operator Numerical Control Programmer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Numerical Control Operator Technician Team Leader
Production Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Numerical Control Operator Technician Production Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Production Operator Operator Foreman
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Production Operator Production Worker Quality Assurance Technician
Quality Assurance Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Production Operator Material Handler Buyer
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Foreman Production Supervisor
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Coordinator Production Supervisor
Quality Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Electrician Warehouse Manager
Warehouse Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Inspector Quality Technician Quality Engineer
Quality Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Inspector Specialist Operations Specialist
Lead Operator
5 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Inspector Coordinator Logistics Coordinator
Shipping Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Cook Executive Chef Line Leader
2nd Shift Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Machinist Computer Numerical Controller Machinist Numerical Control Programmer
Computer Numerical Controller Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Machinist Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Supervisor
Shift Production Supervisor
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Coater Operator 4.0 years
Furnace Operator 4.0 years
Filler Operator 3.2 years
Assistant Operator 3.2 years
Machine Operator 3.2 years
Batching Operator 3.1 years
Assembly Operator 3.0 years
Operator 2.9 years
Packaging Operator 2.6 years
Line Operator 2.5 years
Coater 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Coater Operator
Cashier 9.8%
Operator 5.9%
Assembler 4.4%
Driver 4.1%
Supervisor 3.5%
Technician 3.5%
Welder 3.1%
Manager 2.9%
Top Careers After Coater Operator
Operator 7.3%
Assembler 4.6%
Technician 4.2%
Manager 3.8%
Cashier 3.3%
Supervisor 3.1%
Machinist 2.9%

Do you work as a Coater Operator?

Top Skills for A Coater Operator

  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Batch Records
  3. Raw Materials
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Trained entry-level personnel assembly/safety procedures.
  • Document all necessary information on batch records as required.
  • Weighed and measured raw materials, components and entered essential information forms in system.
  • Have quality knowledge and is trained to make certain adjustments and/or set-up a machine/manufacturing process at floor management direction.
  • Performed quality checks at the line.

Coater Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

72.6%

Female

17.8%

Unknown

9.6%
Ethnicity

White

64.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

2.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7%

Hmong

11.1%

French

11.1%

Portuguese

5.6%

Thai

5.6%
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Coater Operator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.8%

Fox Valley Technical College

5.8%

The Academy

5.8%

Wilson Technical Community College

4.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.7%

A-Technical College

4.7%

Ridgewater College

4.7%

Clinton Community College

4.7%

Cleveland State University

4.7%

Sinclair Community College

4.7%

Shelton State Community College

4.7%

Rockland Community College

3.5%

Wilkes Community College

3.5%

New River Community College

3.5%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.5%

Kent State University

3.5%

Cuyahoga Community College

3.5%

Purdue University

3.5%

Indian Hills Community College

3.5%

Jones County Junior College

3.5%
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Majors

Business

23.0%

General Studies

10.6%

Automotive Technology

5.8%

Electrical Engineering

5.5%

Criminal Justice

5.5%

Industrial Technology

5.2%

Accounting

4.8%

Computer Science

4.5%

Liberal Arts

4.5%

Management

3.6%

Education

3.3%

Information Technology

3.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.0%

Graphic Design

3.0%

Precision Metal Working

2.7%

Engineering Technology

2.4%

Medical Assisting Services

2.4%

Medical Technician

2.4%

Pharmacy

2.1%

Chemical Engineering

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

44.6%

Associate

20.3%

Bachelors

18.7%

Certificate

9.7%

Diploma

4.3%

Masters

2.2%

Doctorate

0.2%
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