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Paint Technician Career Description

Paint technicians use their knowledge of the physical sciences like chemistry, physics and mathematics to address complicated industrial problems concerning paint and its use.

What am I going to do in this occupation?

The work of paint technicians can be divided into the following categories:

The paint technicians' work may include the chemical and physical analysis of paints, with regard to the type of elements and their quantitative composition. For this task, paint technicians make use of highly developed apparatus and equipment.

They must have knowledge of the specific chemical and physical properties of literally thousands of different colour pigments, solvents and binding agents, as well as the machinery that is used in the manufacturing process. Paint technicians also have to be able to formulate and manufacture various synthetic resins that constitute the binder of paint.

Before the technicians can compose a formula for a certain type of paint, they have to have comprehensive experience and background knowledge on the properties of the different elements that are used in the formula. The formulation forms an important part of the paint technicians' work and is closely related to finding and testing substituting elements, especially when the prices of the existing elements are rising or when certain elements becomes unavailable and have to be substituted.

Testing done by the SABS and other standards organisations assures the public of the reliability and quality of the paint. A great variety of tests are done on paints, such as tests on the application, drying, prevention and resistance (against water decay and corrosion).

Paint technicians do research and development on new and existing types of paint, with the purpose of improving or changing them to the advantage of the consumer and the producer. Since this is a specialized field, most paint technicians with experience and knowledge of the subject are concerned with research.


What kind of personality do I need? Prospective paint technicians must not be colour-blind. A scientific aptitude, an interest in calculations and ability to reason analytically are essential in this career. Paint technicians must be methodical and accurate in their work and they must find laboratory work interesting. They must be familiar with this subject, keep abreast of new developments and be able to function independently.

Where can I work?

The paint industry is well established and sophisticated. Paint manufacturing represents a considerable part of the chemical industry. More than seventy paint factories in the country annually and jointly produce more than a hundred million liters of paint and supply work to thousands of people.

Can I work for myself in this occupation?

You can act as consultant or researcher for large companies. With the necessary experience and capital, you can start your own paint factory.

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