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Become A Painter Helper

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Working As A Painter Helper

  • 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

  • $24,384

    Average Salary

What Does A Painter Helper 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 Painter Helper

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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Painter Helper Jobs

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Average Length of Employment
House Painter 3.2 years
Painter 2.8 years
Painter Helper 2.0 years
Painter Assistant 1.9 years
Painter Apprentice 1.9 years
Helper 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Painter 10.5%
Cashier 10.5%
Helper 9.1%
Cook 5.3%
Server 4.0%
Stocker 3.7%
Operator 3.0%
Welder 2.9%
Porter 2.8%
Top Employers After
Painter 24.1%
Helper 5.9%
Cashier 5.6%
Technician 4.5%
Driver 4.1%
Cook 3.6%
Mechanic 3.5%
Welder 3.5%
Manager 2.9%
Operator 2.9%
Detailer 2.6%

Do you work as a Painter Helper?

Painter Helper Demographics

Gender

Male

81.4%

Female

17.8%

Unknown

0.8%
Ethnicity

White

54.2%

Hispanic or Latino

23.9%

Black or African American

12.4%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

86.0%

Portuguese

2.3%

Japanese

2.3%

Venetian

2.3%

Carrier

2.3%

Polish

2.3%

Arabic

2.3%
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Painter Helper Education

Schools

Universal Technical Institute

14.3%

University of Phoenix

9.0%

Del Mar College

7.5%

Brazosport College

7.5%

Texarkana College

5.3%

Hinds Community College

4.5%

Delgado Community College

4.5%

Lamar University

4.5%

Baton Rouge Community College

4.5%

Lee College

4.5%

Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc

3.8%

Houston Community College

3.8%

South Texas College

3.8%

San Bernardino Valley College

3.8%

Lincoln College of Technology - Indianapolis

3.8%

Pima Community College

3.0%

Sowela Technical Community College

3.0%

Pearl River Community College

3.0%

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

3.0%

San Antonio College

3.0%
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Majors

Automotive Technology

19.0%

Business

15.4%

General Studies

8.1%

Precision Metal Working

6.8%

Criminal Justice

5.7%

Fine Arts

5.0%

Accounting

4.1%

Industrial Technology

3.4%

Psychology

3.4%

Nursing

3.2%

Biology

3.2%

Kinesiology

2.9%

Electrical Engineering

2.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.5%

Computer Science

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Medical Assisting Services

2.5%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.5%

Health Care Administration

2.3%

Graphic Design

2.3%
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Degrees

Other

56.1%

Associate

14.9%

Bachelors

13.6%

Certificate

8.4%

Diploma

5.3%

Masters

1.0%

License

0.6%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Painter Helper Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Painter Helper Russ Nelson Painting & Contracting Green Brook, NJ Jun 07, 2012 $36,795
Painter Helper Roadrunner Drywall Corp. Phoenix, AZ Apr 06, 2016 $32,244
Helper of Painter Unforgettable Coatings of Arizona LLC Mesa, AZ Apr 06, 2016 $32,244
Painter-Helper Urban Bros Painting San Rafael, CA Jul 03, 2016 $31,928
Painter-Helper Urban Bros Painting San Rafael, CA Nov 24, 2014 $31,928
Helper Painter Log Care, Inc. WY May 12, 2015 $31,305
Helper Painter Log Care, Inc. Alta, WY Apr 01, 2016 $31,305
Helpers-Painters, Paperhangers, Plasterers Placido Painting, Co. Boston, MA Sep 01, 2011 $30,950
Painter Helpers American Decorating, Inc. IL Apr 01, 2015 $29,781
Helpers Painting Monk's Home Improvements NJ Feb 14, 2014 $29,176
Painter Helper Rutgers Painting NJ Feb 01, 2011 $28,842
Painter Helper Jim Field and Sons Inc. East Hampton, NY Apr 01, 2016 $27,653
Painter Helper Alfieri Painting and Decorating Inc. Syosset, NY Mar 15, 2016 $27,548
Painters Helper Shore Painting, Inc. Southampton, NY Apr 01, 2016 $27,486
Painter Helpers Town and Country Painting Inc. Cleveland, MO Apr 01, 2016 $27,465
Painter Helper Cal-Pro Painting, Inc. Roseville, CA Mar 15, 2016 $27,131 -
$31,305
Painter Helpers Town & Country Painting Inc. KS Apr 01, 2015 $27,006
Painter Helper Roadrunner Drywall Corp. Las Vegas, NV Apr 03, 2016 $26,630
Helper of Painter Unforgettable Coatings Inc. Las Vegas, NV Apr 19, 2016 $26,630
Helper Painter and Powerwasher Rafferty Painting & Powerwashing Inc. DE Apr 20, 2015 $24,460
Painter Helper PH Construction, Inc. TX Mar 15, 2015 $24,293
Helper of Painter Unforgettable Coatings Inc. of Utah Lehi, UT Apr 18, 2016 $23,959
Painter Helpers American Decorating, Inc. IL Apr 15, 2014 $23,145
Painters Helper JLA Construction, LLC SC May 04, 2015 $23,020
Painter Helper Anjel's Home Repair and Construction Inc. Flagstaff, AZ Jan 14, 2008 $22,957
Painter Helper Anjel's Home Repair and Construction Inc. Flagstaff, AZ Mar 12, 2008 $22,957
Helpers-Painters Quick Steel Fabrication Inc. Johnston, IA Apr 18, 2016 $22,957

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Top Skills for A Painter Helper

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  1. Painting Equipment
  2. Surface Preparation
  3. Sand Paper
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Operated, cleaned and maintained all painting equipment, including brush, roll, sprayers, pumps, etc.
  • Learned proper surface preparation on piping, valves, tanks, pumps, and motors in Formosa Chemical Plant.
  • Strip wood finishes using a variety of chemicals and sand paper.
  • Apply coating system to component parts using spray gun, related equipment.
  • Inspect parts, equipment, or vehicles for cleanliness, damage, and compliance with standards or regulations.

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Top 10 Best States for Painter Helpers

  1. Alaska
  2. Maine
  3. Hawaii
  4. North Dakota
  5. Minnesota
  6. Illinois
  7. Missouri
  8. Iowa
  9. Connecticut
  10. Nevada
  • (12 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (75 jobs)
  • (134 jobs)
  • (47 jobs)
  • (77 jobs)
  • (59 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)

Top Painter Helper Employers

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