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.
What they do:
Paint walls, equipment, buildings, bridges, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns. May remove old paint to prepare surface prior to painting. May mix colors or oils to obtain desired color or consistency.
On the job, you would:
Fill cracks, holes, or joints with caulk, putty, plaster, or other fillers, using caulking guns or putty knives.
Cover surfaces with dropcloths or masking tape and paper to protect surfaces during painting.
Smooth surfaces, using sandpaper, scrapers, brushes, steel wool, or sanding machines.
Safety and Government
public safety and security
Arts and Humanities
Engineering and Technology
building and construction
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
understanding people's reactions
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
hold or move items with your hands
exercise for a long time without getting out of breath
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Project management software
Evergreen Technology Eagle Bid Estimating
Turtle Creek Software Goldenseal
Graphics or photo imaging software
Corel Paint Shop Pro
high school diploma/GED or no high school diploma/GED usually needed