How Do I Become an Aircraft Painter?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 13 May 2019
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There is no absolute road to take if you want to become an aircraft painter other than graduating from high school. There are, however, many steps that you can take to better prepare yourself to become an aircraft painter and have an edge when attempting to secure employment. You can find several technical programs that teach the basics of painting and body repair. Completing courses from an accredited school will typically give you credibility when applying for a painting position. You might also want to look into an aircraft repair course, because once you become an aircraft painter, much of the work will likely involve the repair and restoration of older aircraft.

Unlike becoming a doctor or lawyer, there is not a predefined path that you must take to become an aircraft painter. You simply must have and be able to demonstrate the talent and knowledge to perform the job. There are, however, several steps to take that will better your chances of employment, such as enrolling in an automobile painting course at a local community college. These courses will teach you the basics about painting, mixing paint and surface preparation, which are useful skills if you want to become an aircraft painter. Finishing high school or obtaining a high school equivalency certificate is often the only educational requirement to become an aircraft painter.


Several community colleges and trade schools around the world offer airplane repair courses that entail the repair of damage to the exterior of an aircraft. Since part of the duty of an aircraft painter includes reporting any noticeable damage or potential metal fatigue on the aircraft, this type of course could give an edge to a potential job candidate seeking to become an aircraft painter. You may also want to work for some automobile painting shops to be able to show experience as a painter and to get a letter of recommendation for a potential new employer.

Not many airplanes are disassembled and taken to a paint shop, so the repainting is typically completed at an airport shop. It might prove helpful to visit these shops and ask them about their employment requirements. Repeated contact is often required for an employer to take notice of you, and this is increased exponentially when you are attempting to secure a job that is not being advertised. Serving an apprenticeship under an experienced painter's guidance may also prove useful in your quest to become an aircraft painter.



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