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What does a
Painter do?

Click here to view all Painter jobs on .
Other common names for this position: House Painter, Residential Painter, Construction Painter, Building Painter, Maintenance Painter, Commercial Painter, Commercial Building Painter, Industrial Painter, Maintenance Painter, Journeyman/ Painter, Painter and Paperhanger, Painter and Interior Decorator, Touch-Up Painter


Painters prepare, protect, and decorate interior and exterior surfaces by applying materials such as paint, wallpaper and other finishes and special coatings.

They are sometimes required to mix colors and textures, as well as using other specialized painting techniques, such as pre-coating, filling, or leveling.

They are usually self-employed, but they can sometimes work for Construction Managers, private companies, or maintenance departments.

Primary Responsibilities

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Painters are required to complete.

  • Examining the inside and outside building surfaces to decide which procedures and techniques should be used, as well as to determine the type and quantity of required materials:
  • Advising the customer on selection of color schemes and choice of wall coverings as needed;
  • following specific instructions in terms of style, color, and finish; and
  • ordering and maintaining the paint supplies and materials.
  • Using scaffoldings wherever it’s not possible to reach the height.
  • Protecting or removing and putting away all objects that could interfere with the painting process (e.g. doorknobs, pictures, frames, etc.).
  • Cleaning, scraping, sanding, priming, and sealing surfaces prior to painting:
  • Getting rid of the previous coating, if any, and filling crack and holes using fillers, caulking guns, or putty knives.
  • Painting or applying other materials and specialized coatings on walls or other surfaces, using the necessary tools (e.g. brushes, rollers, or spray equipment):
  • Matching and reproducing colors as needed by blending different paints or materials;
  • taping off areas when needed;
  • creating decorative effects and special finishes as needed;
  • applying finishing coats according to paint directions; and
  • applying touch ups or second coats when necessary.
  • Installing wall coverings, mixing necessary materials to prepare paste for wallpaper application.
  • Picking up debris and cleaning up throughout the project and after finishing a job:
  • Removing paint splatters;
  • cleaning up all equipment, including brushes and spray guns;
  • making sure all tools, equipment, and materials are put away safely at the end of each work day; and
  • dismantling scaffolding, as required.
  • Preparing estimates, tenders, and invoices:
  • Analyzing, collecting, calculating, and comparing data.

Daily Tasks

  • Preparing, cleaning, and protecting interior and exterior surfaces to be painted.
  • Applying paint, wallpaper, and other materials and finishes to surfaces.

The average Painter salary in USA is $32,596 per year or $17 per hour. This is around 1.1 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $23,000 while most experienced workers make up to $46,000. These results are based on 1,909 salaries extracted from job descriptions.

Gross Salary32,595.70 $
Federal Income Tax- 2,883.11 $
Social Security- 2,020.93 $
Medicare- 472.64 $
State Income Tax- 1,280.22 $
Total Tax- 6,656.90 $
Net Pay*25,938.80 $
In New York, USA, if you make 32,595.70 $ a year, you will be taxed 6,656.90 $. That means that your take home pay will be 25,938.80 $ per year, or 2,161.57 $ per month. Your average tax rate is 20.42% and your marginal tax rate is 29.10%.
* Deductions are calculated based on the tables of New York, USA income tax.
Required Skills and Qualifications
  • Interpersonal, communication, and customer service skills:
  • Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with clients and colleagues, using a non-technical language as required.
  • Organizational and time management skills:
  • Prioritizing and planning work activities in order to efficiently manage time while managing a high volume of work.
  • Analytical skills and a strong sense of logic:
  • Approaching tasks in a reliable and resourceful way; and
  • being able to calculate areas and to relate calculations to required material.
  • Exceptional attention to detail so as to ensure they are consistent throughout a job.
  • Continual focus on safety, cost control, and client satisfaction:
  • Wearing hearing protection to protect workers from excessive noise, especially when working in factories around noisy machinery; and
  • wearing anti-dust paint respirator masks, steel-toed work boots, helmets, glasses, and ear protection, as well as any other safety equipment.
  • Manual skills, motor coordination, and physical strength:
  • Displaying good hand skills with a high regard for neat workmanship;
  • being able to move around construction sites and to lift or carry objects weighing up to 40 pounds; and
  • being able to work on ladders and being comfortable working at heights.

Aside from the skills listed above, Painters also need to have an eye for detail, as well as a great vision in order to create the proper compound specifications for paint mixing. Furthermore, these professionals must have extensive skills in applying paint, wallpaper, and coatings to interior and exterior surfaces. That includes knowledge on paints, finishes, and their properties, as well as a thorough and proven knowledge on sandblasting, hydro-blasting, and steam-cleaning techniques and tools.

Painters must also comply with the health and safety standards and legislations, as well as be aware of all the new techniques and instruments that set the trend in the field.

In the United States there are no educational requirements to get started as a Painter, but a high-school diploma is of great help. Much of the training can be done through an apprenticeship program at a trade school or union, or can be directly learned on the job. Although formal training isn't necessary, it can help applicants get higher-level jobs that offer better payment.

Painters are very likely to work an 8-hour shift, during 5 days of the week, however, they also need to adapt to any improvised schedule which may include atypical work hours, such as evenings and weekends. Finally, they also need a valid driver’s license and a good driving record, as well as a reliable mean of transportation, in order to get themselves and their tools to job sites within their designated area.

Job Offers
There are currently available job offers for the Painter position on . Below is a list of available jobs, based on USA's most populated metropolitan areas.