Residential, industrial and commercial painters prepare surfaces and apply paints to walls and moldings, indoors and outdoors. Industrial work may include bridges, tanks, powerhouses, sandblasting and spray painting. Commercial work can involve painting/brush and roll, and wall covering.

What the painter does

Painting today serves many purposes besides decoration alone. Modern chemical plants produce paints for the protection of almost any material against any type of weather or chemical corrosion. Today’s painter must know how to mix paints and to prepare the surfaces of buildings and other structures and then apply paint, varnishes, lacquers, shellac and similar materials to the surfaces. The painter uses three major tools to apply coatings - brush, spray gun and roller. A painter also erects scaffolds, ladders and safety barriers. In addition, this craftsman also hangs all types of wall coverings.

Working conditions

A painter works both indoors and out. Outside work is done in relatively mild weather. In some jobs, especially maintenance and redecoration of offices and buildings, the painter may be required to work evenings or weekends. Work is seasonal; however, new materials and methods tend to give more steady employment throughout the year.

General qualifications

  • Age- minimum age is 18.
  • Education- high school graduate or equivalent.
  • Good physical condition- must be able to perform work of the trade.

Admission requirements

  • Applications are accepted only through the union local.
  • Initiation fee is required.
  • Personal interview.

Terms of apprenticeship training

  • Length of program - 3 years.
  • Related training- minimum of 144 hours of annual classroom instruction, and 1,500 work hours a year.

Recommended high school courses

  • General mathematics.
  • General science.
  • Mechanical drawing.
  • Chemistry.