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Occupational Profile
Apprenticeship

Painter and Decorator

Painters and decorators apply paint, coatings and other finishes to the interior and exterior surfaces of buildings and other structures.

  • Avg. Salary $51,180.00
  • Avg. Wage $24.73
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook Down
  • Employed 7,000
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Decorator

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

56%
56%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Painter and Decorator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Painters and Decorators
NOC code: 7294
METHODICAL

Interest in copying information to mix and thin paint to obtain desired colour and texture; in preparing and cleaning surfaces using methods such as scraping, sanding, sand-blasting, hydro-blasting and steam-cleaning; in removing old wallpaper and loose paint; in repairing cracks and holes in walls; and in sandpapering and applying sealers

OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating spray equipment and other associated equipment; and in using brushes and rollers to apply paint and other materials

innovative

Interest in speaking to customers to provide advice on colour schemes and wall coverings

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

In general, painters and decorators:

  • estimate the quantity of materials required by measuring surfaces or reviewing a work order
  • remove the old coating by stripping it with solvents, heat, sanding, wire brushing, or water and sand blasting 
  • prepare the surface for covering by cleaning it, filling nail holes and cracks, and sanding rough spots
  • apply an undercoat primer or sealer before painting, or apply sizing before wallpapering
  • match specified colours by using premixed paints, or by mixing colour and pigment, oil, and thinning and drying additives
  • use brushes, rollers or spray guns to apply liquid coatings such as paint, stain or varnish to surfaces of wood, metal, brick, concrete, plaster, stucco or stone
  • sandblast and apply industrial coatings
  • apply finishes that are sponged, ragged or layered
  • apply paper, natural and synthetic fabric wall coverings
  • be aware of product changes.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Painters and decorators arrange their work so they will be outdoors in late spring, summer and early fall, and indoors in the late fall and winter. They must stand for long periods of time often working with their arms raised over their heads. There is some risk of injury from falling off ladders, scaffolds or swing stages, and from working with hazardous chemicals such as paint thinners and removers.

Painters and decorators may be required to lift and move items that weigh up to 20 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Painters and decorators need the following characteristics:

  • good colour sense
  • manual dexterity
  • the ability to work at heights
  • the strength required to move heavy ladders or set up scaffolding 
  • willingness to keep up to date with continual product changes
  • a desire to do precise and thorough work.

They should enjoy work that involves variety and creativity.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

To work in Alberta, a painter and decorator must be ONE of the following:

  • a registered apprentice
  • an Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate  
  • someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • self-employed.

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2 and Math 10-3, or equivalent, or a pass mark in all 5 GED tests, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.  

The term of apprenticeship is 3 years (three 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,300 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training each year. High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for credit or certification.

Painter and decorator apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at:

  • the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton
  • the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Painters and decorators are employed by contractors involved in new construction, repair, alteration or remodelling work, and organizations that own or manage large buildings such as apartment complexes or schools. Many painters and decorators are self-employed.

Although there is indoor painting to do in the winter, the work is seasonal to some extent. Employment prospects are also affected by economic conditions, particularly conditions in the construction industry.

Experienced painters and decorators may advance to supervisory positions with painting and decorating contractors, or set up their own businesses. Alberta certified journeyperson painters and decorators who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

In Alberta, 79% of people employed as painters and decorators work in the Construction (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • time of year (see above)
  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Construction industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 7,000 Albertans are employed in the Painters and decorators occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.1% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 7 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range from $21 to $42 an hour plus benefits (2014 estimates). Apprentices earn 55% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 75% in the second and 85% in the third.

Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)
NOC code: 7294

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $32.63 $20.42 $18.00
Overall $20.00 $37.00 $24.73 $22.00
Top $26.00 $39.91 $31.05 $32.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Educational Services
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
Manufacturing
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

56%
56%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

41%
41%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

18%
18%

2015 Vacancy Rate

7%
Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Construction
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

Alberta Painting Contractors Association website: www.apca.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Calgary Construction Association website: www.cca.cc

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 29, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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