Coating Application Specialist (CAS)

Industrial painting has become a highly technical profession, with the introduction of more sophisticated coatings and application techniques. The need for qualified craft workers is greater than ever. The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) Coating Application Specialist (CAS) certification is the newly recognized standard of quality for facility owners concerned with avoiding and mitigating corrosion. The goal of the CAS is to strengthen the qualifications of the current workforce and lay the groundwork for development of a strong industrial painter workforce for the decades to follow.

To avoid costly repairs and maintenance, a CAS professional should be included as part of any project specification.


Every year, huge financial losses occur due to failures of industrial paints and coatings. Coating failures can occur for dozens of reasons, although they are typically a resultof poor application or an inadequate specification.

This white paper will first examine the most common types of coating failures and
their causes. Then, it will describe how a new program of industry training and
certification is solving this problem — and saving millions of dollars in repair
and maintenance costs.

The Problem: Coating Failures and People Failures

One way to measure the cost of coating failures is in corrosion — as coatings fail, structures degrade. And the costs to repair corrosion add up to more than $276 billion a year, according to U.S. Federal Highway Administration research.

Those figures have no doubt increased dramatically in the decade since the 2001 study was done. The costs of failure can involve:

  • Labor and material costs to re-coat structures as quickly as 1-3 years after construction, instead of the 10-20 years originally intended
  • Lost productivity and/or revenue as work spaces are closed for repairs
  • Injuries or damages due to corrosion-related equipment failures
  • Surprise maintenance costs to mitigate corrosion or coating breaches that don’t yet require full replacement

“The costs to repair corrosion add up to more than $276 billion a year”

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