Painters typically do the following:
Painters apply liquid coatings and other sealers that dry into solids to add texture or color to interiors and to protect exterior surfaces from damage caused by weather, sunlight, and pollution.
For each job, painters must choose the correct tool, such as a roller, power sprayer, or brush. There are several ways to apply paint, and deciding on which tool to use typically depends on both the type of surface to be painted and the characteristics of the paint. Some employers require painters to provide their own tools
The following are types of painters:
Commercial painters prepare and paint the interiors and exteriors of offices, businesses, and other nonresidential buildings. Commercial painters may work with and be responsible for large areas due to the size of buildings involved in nonresidential projects.
Industrial painters prepare and paint large machinery, such as industrial or manufacturing equipment; vehicles, such as cars and ships; and structures, such as bridges and water towers. Industrial painters may also apply special coating materials to structure or equipment surfaces to protect them from corrosion or deterioration.
Industrial painters must contain the area in which they are working to prevent hazardous materials from contaminating the environment and exposing the public to risks. Industrial and commercial painters also must perform quality control and quality assurance to ensure that they find mistakes, meet technical specifications, and use materials appropriately.
Residential painters prepare and paint the interiors and exteriors of homes and multifamily residential buildings. Residential painters may interact with customers living in the home while painting is in progress. As a result, residential painters may need to adjust their hours or work plans to accommodate customer needs or schedules.
There are no formal education requirements to become a painter. Some technical schools offer optional certificates in painting.
Those interested in industrial painting can earn several certifications from NACE International Institute or from the Society for Protective Coatings. Courses range from 1 day to several weeks, depending on the certification program and specialty. Applicants also must meet work experience requirements.
Some states require licensing for lead paint removal. Contact your state’s licensing board for more information.
Employers may require workers to have a driver’s license to commute to jobsites.