Painters apply paint, stain, and coatings to walls and ceilings, buildings, large machinery and equipment, and bridges and other structures.

Skills include:

  • Prepare and finish surfaces like wood and drywall
  • Work with different types of paints like water- and oil-based paint
  • Work with stains and coatings like varnish and lacquers
  • Apply specialty finishes like texturing, wall coverings, or epoxies
  • Use airless and conventional spray systems
  • Protect floors, furniture, and trim by covering surfaces
  • Fill holes and cracks with putty, caulk, or plaster
  • Prepare surfaces by removing outlet and switch covers
  • Apply primers or sealers, so the paint will stick to the surface
  • Use brushes, rollers, or sprayers to apply coatings and finishes
  • Use green building techniques to conserve energy resources
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Demands of the Job

Painters work indoors and out, sometimes on tall ladders and scaffolds. Using heavy paint cans and buckets, the work is physically demanding—bending, lifting, kneeling and standing for long periods. If you have an eye for detail, painting may be the trade for you.


Employment of painters is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all skilled trades occupations. Openings are expected to arise from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation each year. The relatively short life of exterior paints on homes and changing color trends will continue to support demand for painters.

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Average Wage:

$13.00 per hour

Find a Program or Site


  • General Contractor
  • Subcontractor
  • Supervisor
  • Journeyperson
  • Apprentice
  • Painter’s Helper