Paints & coatings

Paint. It adorns and protects just about every surface from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.

Careers information

What does it involve?

There are around 40 companies in the paint and coatings manufacturing industries, employing around 1,000 people. Most operations are based in Auckland and Wellington.

You’re probably familiar with these household names: Resene, Benjamin Moore, Wattyl and Dulux. The ‘architectural paint’ these companies produce (e.g. house paint) accounts for the biggest part of the industry. But there’s another important type of paint too – the industrial coatings used to protect surfaces like the bottoms of boats.

Most manufacturers produce either water-based or solvent-based products, but not both. As well as producing paint, some manufacturers produce polyurethanes, resins and adhesives too.

The skills needed to make paint, inks, resins, and adhesives are similar to those involved across the manufacturing sector. And as these products are made by mixing base ingredients, a knowledge of and interest in chemistry is helpful too.

What kind of jobs could I do?

Jobs include:

  • Paint Production Operator
  • Paint Blenders
  • Paint Mixers

Plus there are opportunities to work in the types of roles that are common to all manufacturing processes (e.g. quality control, production management).

How could I get into the industry?

You can join from school, with NCEA passes, or move into the industry from another manufacturing industry.

How much could I earn?

Icn Money

Newly Qualified

$30k - $50k

Industry facts

  • There are 1,000 people employed in the industry, from manufacturing through to retail

How we support your industry

We partner with industry associations and members of your industry to help recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers in your industry, identifying potential learners, and encouraging work placements.

We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences and regularly celebrate your learners’ success.


National qualifications

You can achieve the Level 2 and 3 certificate qualifications through an eighteen-month programme.

These qualifications are currently under review.

This qualification is designed for people moving into or already employed in the paint industry. Graduates of this qualification will be able to work under supervision in paint production, quality control and paint testing.

Click here for the NZQA qualification overview.

This qualification is designed for people wanting to advance their skills and knowledge in the paint industry.

Click here for the NZQA qualification overview.