How much do painters make?
The average salary for Painters and Decorators is $27,000. The most skilled Painters and Decorators can earn up to $41,000 annually.
A painter and decorator is a tradesman responsible for the coating of buildings and other structures around them with a variety of materials. Painting work can often be executed by a team of employees covering everything from supporting roles to the painting itself.
The salary for this job depends on factors such as location, industry and experience. Some painters are self-employed, while others may work for a large company. In general, Painters and Decorators are paid more if working for a company.
Painters and Decorators are also required to work long hours so their pay is often based on hourly rates. The average salary of Painters and Decorators in the United States is $27,000 per annum, but this figure varies depending on experience, industry and location.
The Jurisdiction and Geography of Painters and Decorators
In general, the most highly compensated Painters and Decorators work in the metropolitan areas of New York City, Nassau County (Long Island), and Fairfield County (Connecticut). The Santa Cruz / Watsonville area also pays well. On the other hand, Painters and Decorators tend to make the lowest salaries in the state of West Virginia. Other low-paying states include Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana as well as many southern states.
Professional painters around Australia demand a wage of A$50-$100 per hour or more from an employer depending on their level of experience. This results in at least a fair living wage.
Painters and Decorators should expect to receive the highest salaries in the states of Maryland, Virginia (DC suburbs), Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Alaska, Massachusetts (Boston area), California (San Francisco Bay Area) as well as Hawaii. Other highly-compensated areas for this occupation include Connecticut, New Jersey (New York City suburbs), Illinois (Chicago area) and Delaware.
The lowest paying regions are mainly rural or sparsely populated parts of Australia such as Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia. It is worth noting that each state has its own Industrial Relations system which means minimum wages can differ.
Painters and Decorators Salary in the USA
All painters must know, understand and read blueprints to do their jobs well. They should also have good problem-solving skills. A strong background in math and science is helpful when learning how to mix paint colors and estimate costs of materials for a road repair project. Assess the condition of buildings before repainting them by climbing up ladders, scaffolding or even moving furniture. Attention to detail is important because paint can obscure such flaws as peeling wall paper or shoddy masonry work. Good communication skills are also essential since painters often work with clients (such as business owners) when deciding which colors will make an office space look more welcoming.
Painters and Decorators must be reliable and responsible. They should be able to provide their own basic hand tools such as ladders, brushes and paint rollers. Since they work in all kinds of weather, Painters and Decorators should also have a sturdy pair of boots for walking across roofs or up and down scaffolding.
Painters and Decorators can improve their earnings by joining unions like the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners (UBCJ), International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) or the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association (SMWIA). One way to increase income is to specialize in a specific type of painting such as faux finishes, murals, glass etching or even trompe l’oeil.
As with any trade, a strong working knowledge of math and science is necessary for Painters and Decorators who wish to become supervisors or open their own painting contracting companies.
How to become a painter?
Becoming a Painter and decorator usually requires a minimum qualification of a secondary education up to A-level (GCSE) in Maths, English Language and Art/Design. In many cases an HND or Degree would also be desirable. Due to the nature of the work, employers will often want you to have some experience before offering you a permanent contract so it is preferable if you undertake holiday work between academic terms or whilst studying towards your degree as this counts towards your future employability as well as enhancing your knowledge and experience in the industry.
Most Painters and Decorators either start as laborers or assistants helping more experienced painters (who may be fathers, uncles, cousins or friends) before advancing to become lead painters themselves. They must also pass a criminal background check which can be very strict depending on employer and location of work. This includes a full medical exam from a doctor, including blood tests for hepatitis B and C as well as a drug test. In some cases they will be asked to take a polygraph test or submit to an intensive interview with authorities to determine any previous history of drug use or problems with the law.