How to Become a Painter

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To become a painter, a person does not need a college degree. Painters often perform residential and construction painting, including interior and exterior work. They may work on private homes, businesses, or government buildings. While some painters are self-employed, others work for construction companies or general contractors. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, painters and other construction workers are expected to have an 18 percent increase in job growth by the year 2020.[1]


Flickr:Tinou Bao
Education No formal education required
Starting pay $22,450[2]
Median pay $34,280[2]
10 yr growth Average: 18%[1]
Related professions General contractor
Author Selena Robinson

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Painter Job Overview

Painters are responsible for applying primer, paint, and wood stain to various surfaces. They are most often associated with painting building walls, but painters may work with any kind of surface, including products or furniture. Painters who work in the construction industry often cooperate with other construction professionals such as plumbers and electricians. Before painters can begin applying paint, they often have to perform minor improvements, including cleaning surfaces, filling holes, and sanding rough spots.[3]

Painting Job Skills

Painters need several job skills and qualities to perform their work effectively. One of the most important job skills for painters is good color recognition, which requires good eyesight. Painters must be able to spot differences in paint shades so that they can purchase the best color for their customers. They also need to be detail-oriented, so that they can spot irregularities in their finished surfaces.[4]

Painter Education

For most jobs, painters do not need a formal education. However, many aspiring painters decide to obtain a high school diploma. Learning to read, write, and perform basic math operations are important skills for painters to learn while in high school. Painters also need a good grasp of English, as well as excellent communication skills.[5]

Painter Training

Gaining experience in construction and painting can help new painters find work. Participating in an apprenticeship or training program allows aspiring painters to work on their skills and acquire important on-the-job training. Formal training programs for painters may be available at technical colleges. Painters can also pursue certification in specialized areas of the industry.[6]

Tips for Self-Employed Painters

Suggestions for operating a self-employed painting business

Also See: How to Become an Artist, How to Become an Electrician, How to Become a Plumber, How to Become a Surveyor, How to Become a Home Inspector, How to Become a General Contractor, How to Become a Licensed Contractor


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