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:
Help painters, paperhangers, plasterers, or stucco masons by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
On the job, you would:
Clean work areas and equipment.
Perform support duties to assist painters, paperhangers, plasterers, or masons.
Apply protective coverings, such as masking tape, to articles or areas that could be damaged or stained by work processes.
Arts and Humanities
Engineering and Technology
building and construction
talking to others
changing what is done based on other people's actions
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
keep your arm or hand steady
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:
Office suite software
Microsoft Office software
Project management software
Sage Construction Anywhere
Turtle Creek Software Goldenseal
no high school diploma/GED or high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.