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Become A Maintenance Painter

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Working As A Maintenance 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

  • $34,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Maintenance 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 Maintenance 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
Carpenter/Painter 4.0 years
Finish Painter 3.8 years
Roof Painter 3.7 years
House Painter 3.5 years
Painter 3.2 years
Landscape Painter 3.0 years
Buildings Painter 3.0 years
Interior Painter 2.9 years
Painter Apprentice 2.1 years
Painter Helper 2.0 years
Painter Assistant 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Maintenance Painter
Painter 30.1%
Cashier 5.9%
Carpenter 3.5%
Owner 3.4%
Supervisor 3.2%
Janitor 2.7%
Handyman 2.4%
Cook 2.4%
Driver 2.4%
Technician 2.3%
Top Careers After Maintenance Painter
Painter 26.6%
Cashier 5.4%
Owner 4.3%
Technician 3.8%
Driver 3.4%
Handyman 3.0%
Supervisor 2.7%
Janitor 2.7%
Cook 2.6%
Server 2.4%

Do you work as a Maintenance Painter?

Average Yearly Salary
$34,000
Show Salaries
$19,000
Min 10%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Kroger
Highest Paying City
Danville, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a Maintenance Painter make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Maintenance Painter in the United States is $34,044 per year or $16 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $19,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $58,000.

Real Maintenance Painter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Liberty Maintenance, Inc. Campbell, OH Dec 17, 2009 $121,046
Painters, Construction and Maintenance C-Bossolina Construction Inc. Warwick, NY Apr 15, 2013 $73,462
Painters, Construction, and Maintenance R & D Building Services Glendora, CA Mar 18, 2008 $62,610
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Polteam Renovation, Corp. New York, NY Jul 11, 2014 $60,299
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Jhonatas Construction and Cleaning Everett, MA May 12, 2014 $59,197
Painters, Construction and Maintenance ANKA Painting Company, Inc. Palisades Park, NJ Nov 12, 2010 $58,302
Painters, Construction, and Maintenance ANKA Painting Company, Inc. Palisades Park, NJ Jan 05, 2011 $58,302
Painters, Construction and Maintenance L.A. Painting NJ Oct 28, 2011 $57,616
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Colicchio Construction LLC Westfield, NJ Oct 28, 2011 $57,616
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Renaissance Painting and Design Corp. Garfield, NJ Jun 09, 2008 $57,330
Painters, Construction and Maintenance William H. Russell Vineyard Haven, MA Aug 03, 2011 $52,395
Painters, Construction and Maintenance William H. Russell Jan 19, 2011 $52,395
Painters, Construction and Maintenance J. A. J. Proactive Contracting LLC New York, NY Sep 27, 2012 $50,000
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Kylemore Development, Co Greenvale, NY Apr 02, 2008 $48,731
Painters, Construction and Maintenance BCS Painting, Inc. Denville, NJ Aug 26, 2009 $42,679
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Quality Painting Service, LLC. Edgartown, MA Sep 02, 2010 $42,366
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Schmuckle Painting, Inc. Carlsbad, CA Sep 19, 2008 $41,698
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Color Age Stores, Inc. New Hyde Park, NY Jul 03, 2008 $41,636 -
$46,728
Painters, Construction & Maintenance Richard Rubin Painting, Inc. Princeton, NJ Oct 02, 2009 $41,573
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Ceebraid-Signal Management/Morgan Gregory Limited Partnership Stamford, CT Jun 23, 2014 $40,843
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Whalen Contracting Corp. East Quogue, NY Mar 12, 2008 $40,676
Painters, Construction and Maintenance B & B Contracting Island Park, NY Mar 31, 2010 $40,676
Painters, Construction and Maintenance G & S Renovations, LLC Stamford, CT Jan 02, 2008 $35,959
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Lenny Moreci Painting, LLC Montauk, NY Feb 19, 2010 $35,291
Painters, Construction and Maintenance ITEK Construction Arlington, VA Apr 21, 2014 $34,874
Painters, Construction and Maintenance United Painting Company Ashland, MA Mar 12, 2008 $34,749
Painters, Construction and Maintenance MV Color & Finish Oak Bluffs, MA Jun 18, 2010 $34,540
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Combined Energy Services, Inc. Monticello, NY Feb 06, 2013 $34,466
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Apartment Services, Inc. DBA Paint Plus Little Rock, AR Oct 15, 2012 $34,424
Painters, Construction and Maintenance Sheldrake&Mumford Inc. Livermore, CA Jan 17, 2008 $34,289

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Top Skills for A Maintenance Painter

  1. Drywall Repair
  2. New Surfaces
  3. Exterior Painting
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked on dormitory remodeling projects: drywall repair/replacement and texturing, as well as light plumbing and electrical repair.
  • Apply primers or sealers to prepare new surfaces, such as bare wood or metal, for finish coats.
  • Performed all aspects of interior and exterior painting and finishing work on diverse surfaces using a variety of coatings.
  • Used tools such as hand sprayers, paint sprayers, putty knives, blowtorch cutting metal and stick weld.
  • Removed fixtures, such as pictures and electric switch covers, from walls prior to painting.

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Top 10 Best States for Maintenance Painters

  1. Alaska
  2. Minnesota
  3. Hawaii
  4. Iowa
  5. Indiana
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Missouri
  8. Ohio
  9. Illinois
  10. North Dakota
  • (74 jobs)
  • (779 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)
  • (545 jobs)
  • (775 jobs)
  • (765 jobs)
  • (506 jobs)
  • (1,402 jobs)
  • (1,082 jobs)
  • (97 jobs)

Maintenance Painter Demographics

Gender

Male

78.9%

Unknown

13.2%

Female

7.8%
Ethnicity

White

63.0%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

5.4%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

74.5%

Romanian

4.3%

Russian

4.3%

Portuguese

2.1%

Vietnamese

2.1%

German

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

French

2.1%

Greek

2.1%

Carrier

2.1%

Polish

2.1%
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Maintenance Painter Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.9%

The Academy

10.4%

Ashford University

6.0%

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

6.0%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

4.5%

Lansing Community College

4.5%

Saint Louis Community College

4.5%

Vincennes University

4.5%

Nassau Community College

4.5%

Bergen Community College

4.5%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

4.5%

Purdue University

4.5%

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

4.5%

Universal Technical Institute

4.5%

Laramie County Community College

4.5%

Greenville Technical College

4.5%

Saint Paul's College

3.0%

Austin Peay State University

3.0%

Bellingham Technical College

3.0%

Wayne State University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

18.7%

General Studies

9.0%

Fine Arts

7.2%

Criminal Justice

6.7%

Computer Science

4.7%

Education

4.7%

Accounting

4.7%

Automotive Technology

4.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.2%

Heating And Air Conditioning

4.2%

Precision Metal Working

3.7%

Communication

3.7%

Liberal Arts

3.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.2%

Electrical Engineering

3.0%

Psychology

3.0%

Graphic Design

3.0%

Drafting And Design

2.7%

Kinesiology

2.7%

Biology

2.7%
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Degrees

Other

47.9%

Bachelors

19.7%

Associate

15.4%

Certificate

10.2%

Diploma

3.0%

Masters

1.7%

License

1.3%

Doctorate

0.8%
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