Painting is a great trade because of how easy it is to learn on the job. This work mainly consists of preparing walls and other surfaces to be painted, or even unpainted by the use of sandpaper and scarping to remove previous paint. Painters know how to blend specific colors to achieve the customer’s desired color or texture that will fit the wall or structure. Painting jobs either occur prior to a customer moving into their residence or after tenants move out but the work is not only for the general home. Painting can apply in much larger instances, such as exterior painting for main buildings or workplaces. No matter where the painter finds themselves, they should always be prepared to work in varying weather, usually on a ladder or working safely with heights.
Painters should be able to get along with other coworkers as well as the customers they are working for, especially since the job requires them to work within their homes. Because of this, general manners and kindness should be implemented and resourceful when working around customers in their own residencies. The same applies for working in larger buildings. Professionalism and organization are key elements that are expected from painters.
College is not necessary to become a painter, only a high school diploma or a GED and a few years of experience that one may receive from an apprenticeship. They should have reliable transportation to get from job to job. Painters should be able to complete projects on time, on budget and have great team building skills because of how closely they work with their coworkers. Painting is almost never done alone as the job typically calls for bigger projects, so getting along with others is a major part of the job. If you work well with others and enjoy painting, this may be your calling!
Examples of Pre-Apprenticeship Skills
- Demonstrating the correct use of common tools and job site safety
- Preparing and finishing wood and drywall surfaces
- Working with several different types of paints and being able to distinguish them
- Working with stains and coatings
- Applying special finishes such as texturing and wall coverings
- Collaborate well with fellow workers
- Meet with property managers to talk about color or finish options
- Discuss budgeting and timely options for the specific job
Painters find themselves working both indoors and outdoors, depending on the residence or what the customer desires. Painting is different than other trades, in that it deals a lot with the customer. Sometimes workers must complete their job around the customer, or in their own homes, so it is important to stay respectful, cooperative, and efficient in the painting job.
Painting can often involve standing on ladders for long periods of time or working on scaffolds. These workers should be able to work from heights and implement the proper safety precautions. Painters should also be ready to carry heavy paints cans and buckets. This type of work is definitely physically demanding, as it can involve bending, lifting, kneeling, and standing for hours of the day.
Most importantly, painters should have an eye for detail and be able to communicate with their team well. Painting coworkers can become close friends after working so closely for long periods of the day, so general respect is a must for the job as well.
Opportunities in a Painting Career
Painters are always in high demand because of the never-ending cycle of updating buildings and renewing the look of homes. With a wide variety of jobs in both the public and private sphere, painters usually never have trouble finding a company to work for. General contractors, facility management companies, or just general remodelers are a few examples of businesses that seek out painters, though there are several other options depending on the specialty that a painter may choose.
But painting does not just involve actual painting. It also includes sealing, staining, finishing and paper hanging. The painting trade requires a variety of skills, as well as knowing how to work with specific tools and being comfortable working from heights. Weather and humidity can affect painted surfaces, so workers should know how to adapt to those as well. With such a wide scope of work and different locations available, painting is a promising and busy career to hold on to.
- General contractor
- Paining supervisor
- Painter’s assistant
Average Pay Rate
During pre-apprenticeship training, new painters receive anywhere between $10 to $14 an hour, depending on the employer. With continued training, those further experienced receive between $14 to $16 an hour. Once fully certified, painters can make between $40,000 to $50,000 a year, again, depending on the employer or the location. Full certification takes about 3 to 4 years, but the process is definitely worth it.