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Become A Blaster/Painter

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Working As A Blaster/Painter

  • Getting Information
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $46,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Blaster/Painter Do

Painters apply paint, stain, and coatings to walls and ceilings, buildings, bridges, and other structures.

Duties

Painters typically do the following:

  • Cover floors, furniture, and trim with dropcloths, tarps, and masking tape, to protect surfaces
  • Remove and replace pictures and outlet and switch covers
  • Fill holes and cracks with putty or plaster
  • Prepare surfaces by scraping, wire brushing, or sanding to a smooth finish
  • Calculate the area to be painted and the amount of paint needed
  • Apply primers or sealers so the paint will adhere
  • Install scaffolding and set up ladders
  • Apply paint or other finishes, using handbrushes, rollers, or sprayers

Applying paint to interior walls makes surfaces attractive and vibrant. In addition, paints and other sealers protect exterior surfaces from damage caused by weather, sunlight, and pollution.

Because there are several ways to apply paint, workers must be able to choose the proper tool for each job, such as the correct roller, power sprayer, or brush. Choosing the right tool typically depends on the surface to be covered and the characteristics of the material applied.

A few painters—mainly industrial—use special safety equipment. For example, painting in confined spaces, such as the inside of a large storage tank, requires workers to wear self-contained suits to avoid inhaling toxic fumes. On some projects they may operate abrasive blasters to remove old coatings, which may require the use of additional clothing and protective eyewear. When painting bridges, ships, tall buildings, or oil rigs, painters may work from scaffolding, bosun’s chairs, and harnesses in order to reach work areas.

The following are examples of types of painters:

Construction painters apply paints, stains, and coatings to interior and exterior walls, new buildings, and other structural surfaces.

Maintenance painters remove old finishes and apply paints, stains, and coatings later in a structure’s life. Some painters specialize in painting or coating industrial structures, such as bridges and oil rigs, to prevent corrosion. These workers are sometimes called industrial painters.

Artisan painters specialize in creating distinct finishes by using one of many decorative techniques. One such technique is adding glaze for increased depth and texture. Other common techniques include sponging, distressing, rag rolling, color blocking, and faux finishing.

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How To Become A Blaster/Painter

Most painters learn their trade on the job. No formal education is typically required to enter the occupation.

Education

There are no specific education requirements to become a painter, but high school courses in mathematics, shop, and blueprint reading can be useful. Also, some 2-year technical schools offer courses through apprenticeships affiliated with union and contractor organizations. Credits earned as part of an apprenticeship program usually count toward an associate’s degree.

Training

Most painters learn their trade on the job. They typically begin by doing simple tasks, such as helping carry materials and laying drop cloths, and then move on to more complicated tasks, such as priming surfaces to be finished.

Some painters learn their trade through a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship, although a few local unions have additional time requirements. For each year of the typical program, apprentices must have at least 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. Through technical instruction, apprentices learn how to: use and care for tools and equipment, prepare surfaces, mix and match paint, and read blueprints. In addition, they may learn about application techniques, the characteristics of different finishes, including wood finishing, and safety practices. 

After completing an apprenticeship program, painters are considered journey workers and may perform tasks on their own.

Unions and contractors sponsor apprenticeship programs. Some apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. The basic qualifications to enter an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Physically able to do the work

Although the vast majority of workers learn their trade on the job or through an apprenticeship, some contractors offer their own training program for new workers. The National Association of Home Builders through the Home Builders Institute offer Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT), which covers information for eight construction trades, including painting.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Those interested in industrial painting can earn several certifications from NACE International Institute or from the Society for Protective Coatings. The most common certification, from both groups, is called Protective Coating Specialist. Courses range from 1 day to several weeks, depending on the certification program and specialty. Applicants also must meet work experience requirements.

Important Qualities

Color vision. Painters must be able to identify and differentiate between subtle changes in color.

Customer-service skills. Workers who paint the inside and outside of residential homes often interact with clients. They must communicate with the client, listen to what the client wants, and help select colors and application techniques that satisfy the client.

Detail oriented. Painters must be precise when creating or painting edges, because minor flaws can be noticeable.

Physical stamina. Painters should be able to stay physically active for many hours, because they spend most of the day standing with their arms extended while climbing ladders.

Physical strength. Painters must lift and move numerous items during the course of a job. For example, a 5-gallon bucket of paint weighs over 40 pounds.

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Average Length of Employment
Journeyman Painter 6.4 years
Painter Foreman 5.8 years
Spray Painter 4.8 years
Bridge Painter 4.4 years
Blaster/Painter 4.0 years
Industrial Painter 3.4 years
Painter 3.2 years
Shipyard Painter 2.7 years
Blaster 2.1 years
Painter Assistant 1.9 years
Sand Blaster 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Blaster/Painter
Painter 27.0%
Foreman 5.8%
Rigger 4.8%
Supervisor 4.4%
Blaster 4.0%
Mechanic 3.7%
Welder 3.5%
Carpenter 3.0%
Roustabout 2.9%
Technician 2.5%
Cashier 2.4%
Operator 2.3%
Top Careers After Blaster/Painter
Painter 24.3%
Foreman 6.9%
Supervisor 5.2%
Blaster 3.6%
Rigger 3.5%
Carpenter 3.2%
Welder 2.7%
Owner 2.5%
Driver 2.3%

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Top Skills for A Blaster/Painter

  1. Sand
  2. Safety Meetings
  3. Surface Prep
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform surface prep on tanks, shipboard piping systems, interior and exterior surface area utilizing grinders and sandblasters.
  • Assisted foreman with supply inventory, safety meetings, etc.
  • Performed surface preparation by abrasive blasting and coatings application following specifications on a steel structure of a bridge
  • Apply primers or sealers to prepare new surfaces, such as bare wood or metal, for finish coats.
  • Operated fork lifts, air compressors, blast pots, and other heavy equipment.

Blaster/Painter Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,133 Blaster/Painter resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Blaster/Painter Resume

View Resume Examples

Blaster/Painter Demographics

Gender

Male

82.8%

Unknown

12.7%

Female

4.5%
Ethnicity

White

56.6%

Hispanic or Latino

17.8%

Black or African American

17.6%

Asian

5.3%

Unknown

2.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

72.7%

Portuguese

9.1%

Dari

9.1%

Carrier

9.1%
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Blaster/Painter Education

Schools

Del Mar College

9.3%

Houston Community College

7.2%

Lamar Institute of Technology

6.2%

A-Technical College

6.2%

Southern University and A & M College

6.2%

Lee College

6.2%

Delgado Community College

5.2%

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

5.2%

The Academy

5.2%

Texas Southern University

4.1%

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

4.1%

South Louisiana Community College

4.1%

Louisiana Technical College - Lafayette

4.1%

Tulsa Welding School

4.1%

University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College

4.1%

Lamar University

4.1%

Bishop State Community College

4.1%

College of the Mainland

4.1%

Central State University

3.1%

Oklahoma City Community College

3.1%
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Majors

General Studies

13.5%

Precision Metal Working

12.7%

Business

12.3%

Automotive Technology

10.8%

Fine Arts

5.4%

Criminal Justice

5.4%

Drafting And Design

4.2%

Electrical Engineering

4.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.5%

Computer Science

3.5%

Industrial Technology

3.1%

Psychology

3.1%

Management

2.7%

Information Technology

2.7%

Construction Management

2.7%

Music

2.3%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.3%

Education

1.9%

Engineering

1.9%

Property Management

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

61.6%

Associate

15.6%

Certificate

9.3%

Bachelors

8.6%

Diploma

3.7%

License

1.0%

Masters

0.2%
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Blaster/Painter Videos

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