Paint laboratory technician

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Lacquer laboratory technicians are employees of a laboratory; they are responsible for product development , optimization , manufacture , testing and application of paints , printing inks and lacquers . Paint laboratory assistants work predominantly at paint manufacturing or processing companies, but also in scientific institutes.


The job of the paint laboratory technician emerged in Germany in 1951 from the job description of the chemical laboratory technician , when it was recognized that the development work in paint manufacturing companies is becoming more and more specific and the training to become a chemical laboratory technician is not targeted enough for this purpose. The profession was introduced in Switzerland in 2008.


Paint laboratory technicians are specialists in the formulation of paints and varnishes, i. that is, they know how the required properties can be given to the respective formulation. In addition to the formulation itself, this includes detailed knowledge of paint-specific raw materials ( binders , hardeners , pigments , fillers , solvents and additives ), substrates (e.g. wood , metal or plastic ), paint production, tests on liquid and hardened paint and application ( Processing).

Areas of application

Paint laboratory assistants are typically employed in the following areas of a paint manufacturing company.

Development (R&D)

In development laboratories one tries to develop new products with new properties and to replace old z. B. to improve. A crucial requirement nowadays is the implementation of new regulations ( VOC directive, REACH ). The aim here is to recreate the properties of the original recipe with a new or adapted formulation that complies with the law.

Coloristics and colorimetry

Colorists deal with the adjustment of the color , both when creating the formulation in the laboratory, as well as with the nuance (fine adjustment) of individual batches in production. The assessment takes place both colorimetrically and visually .

Quality assurance and analytics

Flow cup

In order to ensure the quality of the manufactured products, current production batches must be checked and corrected regularly.

Lacquer laboratory assistants who are used in the incoming inspection ensure the quality of the raw materials supplied. Lacquer laboratory assistants employed in analytical departments examine, for example, competing samples, raw materials or error patterns that occur in the event of complaints.

Application technology

Technical application departments simulate the conditions in paint processing companies. This means that the formulations produced in the laboratory are examined in more detail for their suitability in practice or the causes of complaints are determined. Work in this area requires a lot of experience and is therefore more likely to be carried out by experienced paint laboratory technicians.


In Germany, paint laboratory technician is a recognized occupation under the Vocational Training Act (BBiG). The profession, which has been recognized since 1951, is thus one of the established apprenticeships. In Switzerland, a deficiency that had been rectified for a long time with German specialists is being remedied with the introduction of the training for paint laboratory technicians EFZ, specializing in paint and paint, introduced in 2008 . The first year comprised 16 aspiring paint laboratory technicians from Switzerland and Liechtenstein.


The training to become a paint laboratory technician generally takes 3.5 years, but can be shortened to three years. The training consists of practical work and theoretical lessons in school. Safety aspects as well as environmental protection and health protection are conveyed.

During the training, an intermediate examination (extended final examination part 1) and the final examination are taken. Both exams consist of a theoretical part and two practical parts. The focus of the first practical part is on analytical knowledge such as B. ash content determination, ion detection, pH value measurements and titration , that of the second part on the practical paint knowledge learned. There the topics are production of a coating material, application technology, paint testing and colorimetry .


All paint laboratory technicians trained in Switzerland receive the specialist part of their training in the Swiss competence center in Winterthur . This distinguishes the training from the chemical laboratory technician, which is implemented by the cantons. Training in Switzerland lasts three years. The acquisition of an English diploma is an integral part of the training. In technical terms, the training differs from the German one mainly in that it acquires additional knowledge about printing inks.

Training opportunities

Opportunities for further training exist z. B. as a chemical engineer (two-year chemistry related education and training to professional colleges ) or paint and varnish technician (two-year chemistry-related training). The training to become a chemical technician is also possible part-time in Germany (duration: 4 years).

Graduates with a technical college entrance qualification have the opportunity to train to become paint engineers . This training is only offered at a few universities (in Germany at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences and the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h Association of the German Paint Industry e. V., as of December 12, 2008
  2. a b J. Nowak; Majesties, puppets and makers; Paint and varnish 06/2000
  3. a b c M. Lüpold; First Swiss lacquer trainees start their apprenticeship; Paint and varnish 08/2008
  4. ^ Job description at the Federal Employment Agency, as of December 12, 2008
  5. Information page of the VSLF on the apprenticeship as paint laboratory technician in Switzerland , accessed on May 10, 2019.
  6. HS Esslingen: Description of the course at the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences. Retrieved May 28, 2019 (German, English).
  7. ^ HS Niederrhein: Description of the course at the Hochschule Niederrhein. Retrieved May 28, 2019 .