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Updated / 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 $52,848.00
  • Avg. Wage $26.38
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 6,600
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Decorator

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Painters and Decorators (7294) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Painters and Decorators (H144) 
  • 2011 NOC: Painters and decorators (except interior decorators) (7294) 
  • 2016 NOC: Painters and decorators (except interior decorators) (7294) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

47%
47%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Painter and Decorator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Painters and Decorators
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 Mar 31, 2020

In general, painters and decorators estimate the quantity of materials required by measuring surfaces or reviewing a work order. From there they:

  • 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
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Painters and decorators work at residential, commercial or industrial sites. They arrange their work commitments 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, 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.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Painters and decorators need:

  • Good colour sense
  • Manual dexterity
  • Comfort with heights
  • Strength to move heavy ladders or set up scaffolding
  • Precision and thoroughness

They should enjoy work that involves variety and creativity. They must also keep up to date with changes in paint and decorative products and technologies.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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 find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train them. They must also meet ONE of the following:

  • Have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2, Math 10-3, or equivalent
  • Have a pass mark in all 5 Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
  • Pass an entrance exam

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 admission, credit, or certification. Credits may reduce the period of apprenticeship.

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. For more information, see the Apprenticeship Training Catalogue.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Apprenticeship Trades

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Painter and Decorator

Painters and decorators apply paint, coatings and other finishes to the interior and exterior surfaces of buildings and other structures. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act [pdf] and Painter and Decorator Trade Regulation [pdf], you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.

What You Need

The term of apprenticeship in Alberta 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.

Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete technical training examinations.

Working in Alberta

Painter and decorators trained in other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they hold a certificate or license recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board or have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified in Alberta. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.

Contact Details

Any of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Service Offices located throughout Alberta. For a list of office locations and telephone numbers, click on “Contact Us” on the home page of the Tradesecrets website (tradesecrets.alberta.ca).

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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 are self-employed.

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

Experienced painters and decorators may advance to supervisory positions with painting and decorating contractors, or set up their own businesses.

In Alberta, 79% of people employed as painters and decorators work in the Construction [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is 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 (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)

In Alberta, the H144: Painters and Decorators occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.1% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 7 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Journeyperson painters and decorators wage rates vary but generally range from $21 to $42 an hour plus benefits (2019 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)

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 $16.00 $28.00 $21.03 $18.00
Overall $20.00 $40.00 $26.38 $22.00
Top $23.00 $48.00 $30.71 $30.00

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
Public Administration
Educational Services
Manufacturing
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

47%
47%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

35%
35%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

2%
2%

Vacancy Rate

1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

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

Alberta Painting Contractors Association website: apca.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. 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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