The rewarding role of an industrial painter entails several responsibilities, including painting, washing, basic rigging, paint prepping, and general maintenance on parts, steel, aluminum, and equipment. They also ensure the final product has a durable finish that will withstand the hard-working conditions it’s exposed to.

An experienced industrial painter is well versed in a variety of techniques when it comes to painting surfaces. This means that they must also have the ability to select accurate tools – from spray equipment, airbrushes, and stencils, to rollers and brushes – necessary for specific tasks at hand.

Main Responsibilities of an Industrial Painter

Industrial painters work on structures such as bridges, sports stadiums, wind turbines, buildings used as power generation facilities, high-rise offices, and warehouses. They can also work on more minor structures such as lighting columns.

Here are some responsibilities of an industrial painter.


  • Preparing the surface of new or existing steel structures to remove any contamination, mill scale, rust, or unsound existing coatings.
  • Applying the appropriate corrosion protection coatings to specified standards.
  • Prepping the substrate for paint by applying a mechanical etch (sanding/media-blasting), washing the substrate with a chemical etching solution (Alumi-Prep/Phosphate solution), and force drying the substrate with compressed air and fans.
  • Preparing the paints to be used before applying on the designated surfaces.

Tools & Equipment:

  • Utilizing equipment such as viscosity cups, thickness gages, and gloss gages to verify the makeup of the paint.
  • Using knowledge of the job to mix the paint to specification.


  • Prioritizing work in order as needed and without supervision.
  • Guaranteeing own safety on the job by utilizing special safety equipment such as self-contained suits or protective eyewear.
  • Performing cleaning and maintenance of equipment and work area.

Future Opportunities for an Industrial Painter

The minimum entry for an industrial painter apprenticeship is Grade 10 and proof of a minimum of 16 credits. After the completion of a 6,000-hour apprenticeship program, a designated industrial painter can work as journeypersons for small, medium, and large companies in the industrial sector or indirectly for those companies through contractors. They can also work in union and non-union environments.

The Finishing Trades Institute of Ontario offers a fulfilling Industrial Painter Apprenticeship program.

Click here to learn more about becoming an industrial painter and apply today!