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Painters, Construction and Maintenance

Painters, Construction and Maintenance
Quick Facts : Painters, Construction and Maintenance*
2010 Median Pay$34,280
Entry Level EducationLess than high school
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012390,500
Job Outlook18% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change72,100

Painters apply paint, stain, and coatings to walls, buildings, bridges, and other structures. Their work sometimes requires them to wear self-contained suits for protection from fumes. Because there are several ways to apply paint, workers must be able to choose the proper tool for each job, such as the correct roller, power sprayer, and the right size brush.

What Painters, Construction and Maintenance Do

  • Cover floors and furniture with drop-cloths and tarps to protect surfaces
  • Fill holes and cracks with caulk, putty, plaster, or other compounds
  • Prepare surfaces by scraping, wire brushing, or sanding to a smooth finish
  • Calculate the area to be painted and the amount of paint needed
  • Choose and mix paints and stains to reach desired color and appearance

Work Environment

Painting requires a lot of climbing, bending, kneeling, and stretching. Most industrial painters work outside, almost always in dry, warm weather. Those who paint bridges or building infrastructure may be exposed to extreme heights and uncomfortable positions.
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Job Outlook

Employment of painters is expected to grow 18 percent from 2010 to 2020.
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The average salary of construction and maintenance painters was $34,280 in May 2010.
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Painters, Construction and Maintenance*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Painters, Construction and Maintenance


Construction Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Painters, Construction and Maintenance*
Percent Change in Employment

Painters, Construction and Maintenance


Construction Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Painters, Construction and Maintenance

Most painters learn their trade informally on the job, some learn through a formal apprenticeship. Some painters learn their trade through a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship, although a few local unions have additional time requirements. Through technical instruction, apprentices learn how colors go together; how to use and care for tools and equipment, to prepare surfaces, mix and match paint, and read blueprints; application techniques; characteristics of different finishes; wood finishing; and safety practices.
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