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How to Get a Job as a Painter

Aside from nailing color-recognition, supreme customer-service skills, and stamina, painters should always adhere to dress codes, Yarbrough says. “One has to have a professional appearance and a good demeanor because you’re working in the presence of the customer and the public,” he says.

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility fair Average
Stress Level good Low
Flexibility fair Average

What is the Job Like?

The majority of painters work full-time schedules—applying finishes to bridges (outdoor) or the interiors of buildings (indoor). And only those with high endurance need apply. The profession requires an excessive amount of climbing, bending, kneeling, and stretching to paint or stain those hard-to-reach corners of buildings and other structures. As a result, painters have a fairly high injury rate. Common injuries suffered include ladder falls and muscle strains incurred from heavy lifting. Despite the likelihood of injury, painting careers, Yarbrough says, are not particularly high-stress. “There’s not the stress level that there is in many other types of jobs where you’re dealing with deadlines and so forth,” he says. But a low-stress working environment is not license to slack on the job. “Quality is important, and you must be productive to be able to maintain a job anywhere,” he explains. Delivering a quality aesthetic is also crucially important. “You must understand how to perform the job correctly,” he says. “If you keep that in mind, you’ll always be successful.”

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Last updated by Kimberly Palmer.


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