What is a Spray Machine Operator

What Does a Spray Machine Operator Do

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

How To Become a Spray Machine 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.


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.


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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Average Salary for a Spray Machine Operator

Spray Machine Operators in America make an average salary of $25,117 per year or $12 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $31,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $20,000 per year.
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Spray Machine Operator Demographics

Spray Machine Operator Gender Statistics


74.7 %


21.3 %


4.0 %

Spray Machine Operator Ethnicity Statistics


68.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.0 %

Black or African American

12.4 %

Spray Machine Operator Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics


100.0 %
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Spray Machine Operator Education

Spray Machine Operator Majors

15.0 %
10.0 %

Spray Machine Operator Degrees

High School Diploma

51.9 %


33.3 %


7.4 %

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High School / GED
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Top Skills For a Spray Machine Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 45.8% of Spray Machine Operators listed Hand Tools on their resume, but soft skills such as Color vision and Mechanical skills are important as well.

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