Offering Info

Certificate III in Aircraft Surface Finishing

  • National Course Code: MEA30118
  • TAFE NSW code: MEA30118-01V01-21TAM-028

Location – Tamworth (Apprenticeship)


Part Time



Course Start Date

Enquire Now

Study Commitment

2.8 Hours per week


3 Years

  • Nationally Recognised Training
  • Apprenticeship Allowed
  • This training is subsidised by the NSW Government

Course Details

The nationally recognised Certificate III in Aircraft Surface Finishing allows you to combine your passion for aviation with your attention to detail as you create a specialist career as an aircraft surface finisher.


Through a mix of theory and practical coursework, learn to:

  • Prepare aircraft and components for surface finishes
  • Apply paint to aircraft and components
  • Apply finishes, decals and stencils to aircraft
  • Create designs from manufacturer specifications
  • Work safely in an aviation environment


Develop the attributes to help you get ahead:

  • An interest in technical details
  • The ability to follow procedures and specifications
  • The ability to work well in a team and individually
  • Confidence in working at heights or in confined spaces
  • Critical thinking skills


Completing this course provides you with:

  • A nationally recognised qualification at Certificate III level
  • Strong pathways to continue your study and enhance your career opportunities

Career opportunities:

  • Aircraft surface finisher


Take your career further with the:

  • Certificate IV in Aircraft Surface Finishing
  • Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Structures)
  • Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Avionics) (Component Maintenance Workshop Stream)
  • Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Avionics) (Aircraft Maintenance Stream)
  • Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Mechanical) (Aircraft Maintenance Stream)
  • Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Mechanical) (Component Maintenance Workshop Stream)

When you study with TAFE NSW, we want you to succeed. Entry requirements allow us to make sure that you have the right pre-existing knowledge and skills to achieve your chosen qualification. You will need to provide evidence that you meet the requirements listed in this section.


TAFE NSW offers the Certificate III in Aircraft Surface Finishing as an apprenticeship. There may also be options available for you to study as a non-apprentice.

To be eligible for this course, you must:

  • Be employed as an apprentice in the aviation industry evidenced by a letter of support from your employer
  • Submit your training plan proposal (TPP) with your application

Enquire today to talk through your options.

Enquire today and one of our Apprenticeship and Traineeship team will help you understand any eligibility or entry requirements.


To be prepared for this course, we recommend that you have:

  • Reading and writing skills at a Year 10 level
  • Genuine interest in the aviation industry
  • Strong spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination

If you need help preparing for study, contact us about your options.


With 130 locations across the state, TAFE NSW tailors qualifications to meet the needs of the local community and specific student groups (like apprentices, fast-tracked and online students). To make sure this course is the right fit for you, we will need you to demonstrate that you can meet the additional requirements below.

To be enrolled in this course, you need to be able to provide confirmation from aviation maintenance employer. Apprentices must have a signed Training Plan Proposal prior to enrolling in the TAFE NSW course.


There are no information sessions currently scheduled for this course

Block release delivery: Over a three year period student will attend either of the follow blocks

  1. 3 x 3 weeks per year = 504 hours; or
  2. 2 x 6 weeks per year = 504 hours.
    Students attend years 1 & 2.

In their 3rd year students will undertake their workplace journals.
Total attendance: 11 weeks in total x 26 hours per week = 504 hours


This is a blended, part time day course. You will need to attend approximately 5 days a week via block release, for 3 years.

You may also be required to complete approximately 1.9 hours of additional study each week outside of class hours, including a Journal/Log of industrial experience and achievement.


We offer student services and study support to ensure you can achieve your goals. Learn about TAFE NSW Student Services

As a TAFE NSW student in this course, you will have access to:

  • LinkedIn Learning (formerly
  • Smarthinking - after hours online study support service
  • Easy computing online short courses
  • Access to local TAFE libraries
  • Accessibility and Disability Support Services
  • Access to Read&Write learning support software at TAFE and at home

The way you learn may change during your enrolment to ensure the best learning experience or to keep you safe as COVID-19 restrictions change, and some of our face to face classes may change to online or virtual classroom learning. Also, to ensure that we keep you safe while studying, we may modify our face to face classes to meet physical distancing requirements and increased cleaning on campus. If work placement and the demonstration of practical skills are requirements of your course, there may be a modification or delay in the planned timeframe due to COVID-19 impacts. Be assured, we'll keep you informed every step of the way.

This course is currently scheduled on Monday to Thursday from 8.00am to 3.00pm and Friday from 8.00am to 12.00pm via block release. This timetable may change and will be confirmed by your teacher.


There are a range of study options for NSW Apprentices and eligible non-apprentices with relevant industry work experience in this course.

Under the NSW Government fee-free apprenticeship initiative, NSW apprentices that commence their training on or after 1 July 2018 may be eligible for fee-free training. Apprentices are required to provide evidence of their NSW apprenticeship to finalise their enrolment and applicable fees.

This course is also a TAFE NSW Trade Pathways Qualification and ideal if you have been working in this industry for an extended period of time but havent received a qualification. To be eligible to enrol as a non-apprentice and secure funding, you must firstly meet the Smart and Skilled eligibility criteria and be:

  • over 21 years of age
  • able to demonstrate and provide evidence of extensive industry experience and
  • able to demonstrate relevant ongoing work experience and provide workplace evidence to support the achievement of competence.
To study this course as a NSW apprentice or to check if you meet the non-apprentice requirements for NSW funding, please enquire now or call 131 601. For further information about eligibility and explanations of the different fee categories, visit Are You Eligible?


Learners are required to purchase their personal stationary to undertake the course including calculators, PPE including safety boots, cotton drill work wear, safety glasses, earmuffs, masks and hard hats.


Learn about TAFE NSW Fees

Learn about TAFE NSW Payment/Funding


Recognition is a process of acknowledging previously completed qualifications, skills, knowledge or experience relevant to your course. This may reduce the amount of learning required, reduce your course fees and allow you to achieve your qualification faster.

Learn about Recognition at TAFE NSW Recognition

Enrolments for this course have now closed.

Enquire now and we will contact you when enrolments open. Visit our Online Courses to view our range of study options that you can start anytime.

Core Units
Number Title
AURVTP012 Apply air dry and polyurethane refinishing materials
MEA107 Interpret and use aviation maintenance industry manuals and specifications
MEA118 Conduct self in the aviation maintenance environment
MEA412 Pre-treat aluminium alloy surfaces
MEA416 Apply aircraft identification markings, graphics and decals
MEA411 Remove surface coatings from aircraft or aircraft components
MEA413 Seal aircraft and aircraft component structural seams
MEA414 Remove light corrosion from aircraft
MEA415 Paint aircraft surfaces
MEA417 Apply specialty coatings to aircraft
MSMENV272 Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices
MEA158 Perform basic hand skills, standard trade practices and fundamentals in aviation maintenance
MEA155 Plan and organise aviation maintenance work activities
MEA156 Apply quality standards during aviation maintenance activities
MEA154 Apply work health and safety practices in aviation maintenance
MEA157 Complete aviation maintenance industry documentation
AURVTP2003 Prepare spray painting materials and equipment

Note: Not all elective units listed may be available to study, please enquire for more information.

Whether you're a school leaver, an aspiring apprentice, looking to kickstart a career, or you're upskilling, reskilling, or re-training, there's a TAFE NSW course to give you the skills you need for the job you want.

Course Location

13 Janison Street, Tamworth
Phone 131 601

Fees information

We understand that many students are confused by different fees for similar courses, and want to reassure you that studying with TAFE NSW won't damage your hip pocket.

Learn more about Fees information.

Payment options and assistance

Explore payment methods, pay by instalment, scholarships and VET Student Loans.

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