What does a Construction Painter do?

Median Pay $37,960
Growth Rate 6%
Citation Retrieved from BLS.gov

A painter would prepare surfaces for paint, paint the surface evenly with the appropriate amount of coats, and follow any safety guidelines set by their employer. Some painting projects would require a worker to be high off the ground, so safety equipment may be necessary.

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How to Become a Painter

what does a painter do

You would most likely learn how to become a painter on-the-job. However, there are a few apprenticeship programs out there and some companies may offer their own custom training program for new hires. There may be no minimum educational requirement either, so students who haven’t graduated high school yet may be able to gain a side job painting.

On-the-job, you can expect to learn how to fix blemishes, prime, and seal a surface. You will also learn the most effective methods to paint a large area. Employers will cover their expectations for quality as well as their safety procedures.

Job Description of a Painter

A painter would start a project by ensuring they understand the requirements of the job and ask any questions necessary of their employer or customer prior to starting the project. Next, they must ensure they have enough materials and paint to start the project. They would then cover surfaces in the area of the painting project that must be kept free of paint, for instance floors, ceilings, and molding.

Another area of preparation is the area that is to be painted. Painters need an even, smooth surface so would fill any blemishes, such as holes or cracks, prior to painting. They would then smooth out any raised areas with sandpaper or other tools and then prime or seal the area before they paint.

A painter must ensure they paint the surface evenly so the area does not look discolored when the project is complete. This may require painters to have a strategy that allows an area of paint to dry while they can continue working on another area.

Painter Career Video Transcript

Watching paint dry may be famously boring, but putting on a fresh coat can bring a dull space to life. Painters apply paint and stain to bring a new look and weather protection to surfaces of homes, buildings, and other structures. Painters uncover the original surface, and even out any imperfections before applying primer or sealant. To protect adjacent surfaces, they tape off, or cover them with tarps. Only after careful preparation do they paint using hand brushes, rollers, or sprayers.

Industrial painters work on bridges, oil rigs, and tall buildings. They may operate sand blasters to remove old coatings, and work from scaffolding, or suspended by cables from harnesses. Artisan painters use special techniques to create unique finishes. Helpers haul materials and tools, clean work areas and equipment, and perform other basic tasks as assigned.

Painters typically work both indoors and outdoors, spending the day climbing, bending, kneeling, and reaching. They have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. Falls from ladders, muscle strains from lifting, and exposure to irritants such as drywall dust are common risks. Protective eyewear and clothing is worn when needed. Most painters work full time, and many are self-employed.

There is no education requirement and most painters learn on the job. Some learn the trade through a 3 or 4 year apprenticeship that combines paid work experience with more formal training.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Painters, Construction and Maintenance.

National Center for O*NET Development. 47-2141.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.