Painters, Construction and Maintenance
Paint walls, equipment, buildings, bridges, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns. May remove old paint to prepare surface prior to painting. May mix colors or oils to obtain desired color or consistency.
Sample of reported job titles: Facilities Painter, Highway Painter, House Painter, Industrial Painter, Maintenance Painter, Painter
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Fill cracks, holes, or joints with caulk, putty, plaster, or other fillers, using caulking guns or putty knives.
- Cover surfaces with dropcloths or masking tape and paper to protect surfaces during painting.
- Smooth surfaces, using sandpaper, scrapers, brushes, steel wool, or sanding machines.
- Read work orders or receive instructions from supervisors or homeowners to determine work requirements.
- Apply primers or sealers to prepare new surfaces, such as bare wood or metal, for finish coats.
- Apply paint, stain, varnish, enamel, or other finishes to equipment, buildings, bridges, or other structures, using brushes, spray guns, or rollers.
- Erect scaffolding or swing gates, or set up ladders, to work above ground level.
- Mix and match colors of paint, stain, or varnish with oil or thinning and drying additives to obtain desired colors and consistencies.
- Calculate amounts of required materials and estimate costs, based on surface measurements or work orders.
- Polish final coats to specified finishes.
- Wash and treat surfaces with oil, turpentine, mildew remover, or other preparations, and sand rough spots to ensure that finishes will adhere properly.
- Select and purchase tools or finishes for surfaces to be covered, considering durability, ease of handling, methods of application, and customers’ wishes.
- Remove old finishes by stripping, sanding, wire brushing, burning, or using water or abrasive blasting.
- Remove fixtures such as pictures, door knobs, lamps, or electric switch covers prior to painting.
- Use special finishing techniques such as sponging, ragging, layering, or faux finishing.
- Cut stencils and brush or spray lettering or decorations on surfaces.
- Waterproof buildings, using waterproofers or caulking.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Analytical or scientific software — Evergreen Technology Total Faux
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Sage ACT!
- Data base user interface and query software — Insight Direct ServiceCEO
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Corel Paint Shop Pro; Corel Painter
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows
- Project management software — Evergreen Technology Eagle Bid Estimating; On Center Quick Bid; Turtle Creek Software Goldenseal
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Contractor City Contractor Forms Pack; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
- Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
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- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
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- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
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- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Protect structures or surfaces near work areas to avoid damage.
- Apply material to fill gaps in surfaces.
- Smooth surfaces with abrasive materials or tools.
- Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements.
- Prepare surfaces for finishing.
- Apply paint to surfaces.
- Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
- Mix substances or compounds needed for work activities.
- Estimate construction project costs.
- Estimate materials requirements for projects.
- Clean surfaces in preparation for work activities.
- Order construction or extraction materials or equipment.
- Select construction equipment.
- Apply sealants or other protective coatings.
- Apply decorative or textured finishes or coverings.
- Cut carpet, vinyl or other flexible materials.
- Operate heating or drying equipment.
Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities
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- Spend Time Standing — 89% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 84% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 76% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 69% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Contact With Others — 51% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 14% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 57% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 41% responded “Very important.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets
- Time Pressure — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 12% responded “High responsibility.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 28% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Climbing Ladders, Scaffolds, or Poles — 49% responded “More than half the time.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 33% responded “Very important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 43% responded “High responsibility.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 24% responded “Very important results.”
- Physical Proximity — 55% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Exposed to High Places — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 30% responded “Some freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 25% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 28% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 37% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Level of Competition — 27% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 28% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 28% responded “Very little freedom.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
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|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|52||High school diploma or equivalent
|30||Less than high school diploma|
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Interest code: RC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$20.25 hourly, $42,130 annual|
|Employment (2020)||350,800 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||32,700|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Associated Builders and Contractors
- Home Builders Institute
- International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
- National Center for Construction Education and Research
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Painters, construction and maintenance
- Painting and Decorating Contractors of America
- The Associated General Contractors of America
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This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.