Construction and maintenance painters use a variety of tools to apply paint to many different surfaces. These workers can be involved in interior or exterior painting. The equipment they use includes rollers, spray guns and brushes and they need to know how to get a smooth, professional looking finish no matter which tool they are using.
Work in this field can involve covering huge surfaces with one single type of paint or completing intricate detail work. Construction and maintenance painters may be working on new buildings and installations, or they may be charged with refurbishing an existing structure. In the latter case, the job responsibilities of these workers can also include removing old layers of paint and clearing the surface to be painted of any dirt or debris.
Also, because painting may need to be done high up on a building, both interiorly and exteriorly, construction and maintenance painters need to be comfortable working at significant heights. They also must be prepared to take appropriate safety measures and follow all policies and procedures about this type of work.
- Work in this field generally requires a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Most construction and maintenance painters receive the majority of their industry-specific training on the job, although there are also apprenticeship programs available.
- This work regularly involves exposure to chemicals and potentially hazardous fumes.
- There is expected to be average job growth for construction and maintenance painters over the next few years.
- A little less than half of all active workers in this field are self-employed.
Work Environment for Construction and Maintenance Painters
There are many different types of environments in which construction and maintenance painters do their work. For instance, some may do work on residential structures, either as part of an initial construction team or as an independent contractor charged with refurbishing an existing home. Others work on larger buildings such as churches, schools, office buildings and bridges.
Many construction and maintenance painters also specialize in either indoor or outdoor applications. For those who work inside, the primary concerns are assuring proper ventilation, light and access to surfaces that need to be painted. Those who do the majority of their work outside, on the other hand, need to be careful not to become a hazard to pedestrians, and they also may be required to work at great heights more often.
Education, Training and Licensing
A high school diploma or equivalent is usually preferred by most employers when hiring construction and maintenance painters. It is also possible to increase job prospects by pursuing some specific education in the field. Many apprenticeship programs exist in various areas that can help those looking to enter the field develop the basic skills they will need.
On the job training is also quite common in this industry, with less experienced painters working as assistants to their more senior colleagues. There are also certifications available from the National Association of Corrosion Engineers that can help construction and maintenance painters demonstrate their expertise in a particular area. Attaining one of these certifications generally involves satisfying requirements for work experience, completing a training course and passing an examination.
Employment Figures, Projections, Outlook and Earnings
As of May 2009, there were about 214,240 people employed as construction and maintenance painters according to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There is expected to be average job growth in this field of about 7% from 2008 levels to 2018, but the overall job opportunities should still be very good due to the need to replace workers who are leaving the field.
The BLS also estimates that the median annual income for construction and maintenance painters was $33,720 in May 2009. The income range for the middle 50% of wage earners in this field was from $27,560 and $44,110, while the lowest 10% made less than $22,650. On the other hand, the top 10% of wage earners in this category made more than $58,100.