Painting and Wallpaper

If you're artistic, enjoy color and decorating and like to work with your hands, a career in painting and wallpapering might be for you. Continue reading to learn more about employment projections, salaries and training options for painting and wallpapering specialists.

Is Painting and Wallpapering for Me?

Career Overview

Professional painting and wallpaper hanging includes more than just brushing paint on a surface or hanging a roll of paper. Painters must also have an understanding of paint applicators, special techniques, surfaces and finishes. Paperhangers should know how to install a variety of wall coverings.

Employment and Salary Information

An understanding of decorative wall coverings and paint can help you prepare for a career as a painting and wallpaper professional, carpenter or finisher. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), minimal or no change in employment is projected for paperhangers nationwide between 2012 and 2022.

Painters, as well as construction and maintenance workers, will see a 20%, or faster-than-average, growth in jobs during the same 10-year period. In May 2012, the average annual salary of painters, construction and maintenance workers was $38,590, while paperhangers earned $38,630 (www.bls.gov).

How Do I Work in Painting and Wallpaper?

Educational Options

Many painting and wallpaper professionals acquire their skills through experience or train on the job. Occupational apprenticeships, usually 3-4 years in length, are available and often recommended. To qualify, you'll need to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or its equivalent and be physically fit. Once admitted, you'll learn how to safely mix and apply paint, match colors, prepare surfaces and work with different kinds of equipment.

Similar training in the use of paint and wallpaper can be found at a limited number of technical colleges, or through certificate and associate degree programs in interior decorating programs. Additional coursework might include instruction in seaming, taping and wall lining. You can also learn how to interpret plans and designs. Formal education programs might also require classes in communication, accounting and math calculations. Online classes in carpentry may be helpful if you're considering a career in the field.

Required Skills

If you're interested in pursuing a career in painting and wallpapering, you need to have good eyesight and be physically agile and fit. A sense of balance and stability is important, especially when standing on ladders of varying height.

Industry Certifications

Professional certifications can serve as proof of professionalism and quality of work, and can help to enhance your reputation in the field. Industrial painters may earn a Protective Coating Specialist credential through the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (www.naceinstitute.org).

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