Industrial Coating Apprentice: Your Future Role?

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Construction is one of the most integral industries to the UK’s economy. An industrial coatings applicator is a critical resource for any construction project. It’s a career that can take you all over the UK while working on protecting our national infrastructure. Learn all about starting a new career or retraining an old one with an apprenticeship in a demanding yet highly rewarding role.

Career opportunities after you qualify

Apprenticeships in construction are highly valued due to the mix of technical learning and practical experience you gain on the job. There is ample room to grow in the field, as your expertise and responsibilities grow.  Industrial coating applicators are particularly in demand, with pathways to progress in your career.
Here’s an example of a Level 6 Construction apprenticeship.

The day-to-day tasks of a professional applicator

Coating application is all about assessing coatings for contamination, removing any unsafe coatings, and replacing them with new applications with corrosion resistance. The varied nature of projects and tasks means no two days are the same, but many responsibilities come with them!

Working with powerful tools and atypical materials leads to environmental and health and safety concerns. A successful apprentice will look to develop self-leadership, particularly in assessing workplace hazards. Quality assurance is a substantial element of the role, as you develop long-term solutions to fix defects and treat the underlying causes of corrosion.

Important priorities you can expect are:

  • Assess different surfaces and appropriate techniques to apply new coatings.
  • Store, maintain and care for equipment.
  • Keep records on quality controls and budgets.
  • Apply safe practices to manage equipment.
  • Handle waste in an environmentally friendly manner.

How do industrial coating applicators work?

In the modern era compatibility with your working patterns is vital to enjoy and succeed in your career.
Working in coating applications, you will likely have the opportunity to travel around the UK. Potential projects include sports stadiums, bridges, offices, hospitals, and other substantial constructions.

Depending on your preference you can work with companies of different types, from small to large-sized enterprises.

Several traits will help you in this role, including:

  • ability to work unsupervised.
  • challenge unsafe and outdated working practices.
  • logically think through problems.

 Being able to develop a plan to see out a project, considering your own and other people’s safety, industry standard procedures and quality control will help you climb the career ladder.

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What are the apprenticeship requirements?

At a minimum you will need level 1 English and Maths before starting the apprenticeship, and complete level 2 English and Maths before starting your end point assessment (EPA).

It takes around 18 months to reach gateway where you will then be assessed.

Level 2 Industrial Coating Applicator Assessments

The End Point Assessment (EPA) usually begins around 18 months into your apprenticeship. It is comprised of two sections: a 3½ hour practical session followed by an hour professional discussion with an interviewer.

The specification will be centred on applying protective coatings to steelwork, along with six theoretical questions. During the practical, you will be tested on your ability to:

  • Interpret and execute the requirements given during the practical.
  • Demonstrate appropriate care for health and safety along with environmental protection practices.
  • Implement quality control measures and take responsibility for the accuracy of your work.

During your apprenticeship, you will complete a portfolio of at minimum 10 corrosion protection projects. Although it does not directly contribute to your final mark, it is necessary for your professional discussion. An assessor will ask you 6 questions about your ability to complete projects.

You must pass both sections to receive a passing grade for the apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship standard and assessment plan go into much more detail on the technical aspects of completing the apprenticeship.

Becoming an Industrial Coating Apprentice

An apprenticeship in industrial coating application is a fantastic way to break into the construction industry. With a mix of practical and theoretical training, you will be constantly developing your expertise with never a boring moment.

You can find information about other apprenticeships here.

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