Painting Contractor Job Profile

Becoming a painting contractor can give you an opportunity to get into the construction industry and have steady work. There are many painting contractors across the United States and more will be needed to meet demand in the future. Here are the basics of being a painting contractor and what you should expect to get out of the job.

Becoming a Painting Contractor

In order to become a painting contractor, you do not need to acquire any type of formal education. In most cases, employers would prefer that you have a high school diploma and have some basic knowledge. Other than that, there is no type of college training for this type of job. While you are in school, you might consider taking some math and communications courses. Both of these skills will be used as you have to use math to estimate jobs and communicate with your customers effectively.

Although there is no formal education process, you can go through an apprenticeship program. With this type of program, you will be working closely with a professional painting contractor. This process takes about 3 to 4 years and will involve 144 hours of classroom instruction as well. This is perhaps the best way to successfully get into the field.

Basic Tasks

A painting contractor will provide a number of different services to their clients. You will be responsible for painting the inside and outside of buildings. You may choose to specialize in commercial jobs or residential applications. You will need to know a number of different painting techniques that are frequently used in the design industry. A painting contractor will need to have a functional knowledge of different types of painting equipment including paintbrushes, paint rollers and spray guns. You will need to take great pride in your work and pay close attention to detail. Many painters also learn to work with wallpaper in order to increase the number of jobs that are available to them. However, some painting contractors choose to specialize only in paint. You will often also be responsible for matching colors that are already in place.

Work Schedule

As a painting contractor, your work schedule will greatly depend on how much you want to work. During good weather, most painters will stay busy all the time. You might choose to work as much as 50 or 60 hours per week. At other times, you might not have any jobs to do. This type of business tends to be cyclical and therefore, you have to learn to work on a varying schedule.


The median salary for a painting contractor is approximately $30,000 per year.

Opportunities for Advancement

Many painting contractors choose to remain in their existing jobs throughout their career. However, you may also be able to advance to a supervisor position over a crew of painters. You might also get into a job as an estimator for a painting company. Many painting contractors eventually branch out and start their own businesses as well.