What Do Painters Do?
Construction and maintenance painters focus on painting walls, equipment, bridges, structural surfaces and buildings. This means that they have to remove old paint before they can paint. It also means that they use rollers, spray guns and brushes depending on the size of the job. A painter may also have to mix their own colors.The construction and maintenance painter position is expected to increase by about 20% in the United States. That will likely translate to about 11,050 annual job openings.
Painters Skills and Abilities
To be a successful painter there are certain things you have to be able to do. You have to have the strength, dexterity and arm-hand steadiness required to maneuver the paint brush or roller. You have to have the technical knowledge of construction necessary to understand the best ways to clean and prepare surfaces. You have to be able to communicate clearly, so that customers know what to expect and you know what customers expect from you. You also have to be able to manage your time, so that you can get the big jobs done as scheduled. You also have to have the proper knowledge about safety protocols, so you can stay safe on every job.
You will be expected to use your skills and abilities in order to prepare the painting surface. That means that you will have to fill holes, joints and cracks, so that the surface is smooth. You may also have to sand the surface to get it ready to paint. You will have to cover the surrounding area with drop cloths to ensure that the paint only goes where the customer wants it. Finally, you will have to prepare the surface by priming it with primers and sealers. After you have prepared the surface, your painting duties continue. You have to properly paint the surface to the specifications that the customer has given you. That means you have to do it in their schedule, with the color they want and the safety required. You have to know what fixtures to remove and how to put decorations on doors and walls. Your main duty as a construction and maintenance painter is to please the customer.
Painters Tools and Technology
In order to be a truly successful painter, you have to be able to use certain tools and technology:
- Hoppers and Spray Guns
- Brushes and Rollers
- Hydraulic Lifts
- Power Sanders
- Pressure Washers
- Project Management Software
- Spreadsheet Software
These tools and technology help you efficiently prepare the surface, paint the surface and keep records.
Education and Training for Painters
Painting is not really a specialized job. There are certain things that you have to know how to do, but many of them can be learned on the job. Because of this, many companies will hire someone with less than a high school diploma. You could take courses related to:
- Painting Buildings
- Safety Protocols
The salary of an average construction and maintenance painter is about $36,000. Of course, with less education and experience it is likely that you will make less and with more education and experience it is likely that you will make more. Typically a painter makes between $23,700 and $62,100.
Painters Jobs by Geography
One factor that affects salary is geography. Depending on where you live, you are likely to make either more or less than the national average. For example, Illinois, Missouri and the District of Columbia have the highest average salaries in the country. Geography also affects job availability. Arizona, Nevada and Utah are expected to see the most growth in the industry. Typically that means that there are going to be more job openings there and therefore more chance that you get one of those jobs. When you start thinking about your future career, it is important to realize how geography and education can affect your success.