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Painters and Decorators (Except Interior Decorators)

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NOC:7294
Occupation:Painters and Decorators (except Interior Decorators)
Category:Trades and Transportation

About the job

Nature of work:

Painters and decorators apply paint, wallpaper and other finishes to interior and exterior surfaces of buildings and other structures. They are employed by construction companies, painting contractors and building maintenance contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties:
Painters and decorators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Read specifications to determine quantities of materials required.
  • Prepare and clean surfaces using methods such as scraping, sanding, sandblasting, hydro-blasting and steam-cleaning; remove old wallpaper and loose paint; repair cracks and holes in walls; and sandpaper and apply sealer.
  • Mix and thin paint to obtain desired colour and texture.
  • Apply paint or other materials, such as stains, lacquer, enamel, oil, varnish, fibreglass, metal coating or fire retardant using brushes, rollers or spray equipment.
  • Measure, cut and apply wallpaper or fabric to walls.
  • Assemble and erect scaffolding and swing stages.
  • May advise customer on selection of colour schemes and choice of wall coverings.
  • May provide cost estimates to clients.
Sample job titles:
  • construction painter
  • house painter
  • industrial maintenance painter
  • painter
  • painter and decorator
  • painter and paperhanger
  • residential painter
Skills:

To work in this trade you should have physical stamina, agility, and coordination, and be capable of climbing, reaching, crouching, and handling heavy materials. While most of the work is done indoors, you must be willing to work outdoors and at heights. You must be able to perform basic mathematical calculations and read blueprints and drafting specifications.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a three- to four-year apprenticeship program or over three years of work experience in the trade is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Trade certification for painters and decorators is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified painters and decorators upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.
Other considerations:

Jobs in the construction industry are strongly affected by seasonal changes and general economic conditions, and many are on a project basis. As a result, workers in these jobs should be prepared for periods of unemployment. The physical demands of this work may make it difficult for people to stay in these jobs for a long time. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Painters and Decorators (except Interior Decorators) most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. With employment conditions being somewhat seasonal, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year affect some workers. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 32% of Painters and Decorators (except Interior Decorators) who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $35,356. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Painters and Decorators (Except Interior Decorators)1,010decline35Moderate
Minimum: $12.50
Median: $18.25
Maximum: $25.50
Minimum: $2,891
Median: $18,963
Maximum: $51,100
Occupations in Trades and Transportation57,925Decline slightly3,400High
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $20.35
Maximum: $34.00
Minimum: $7,580
Median: $37,269
Maximum: $79,787
Painters and Decorators (Except Interior Decorators)Compared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
Percent employed full-time71%89%
Percent self-employed17%13%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentPainters and Decorators (Except Interior Decorators)Compared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern14%$9,81512%$30,581
Northern13%$18,17516%$33,660
Cape Breton11%$20,54913%$32,974
Halifax45%$24,74547%$41,209
Annapolis Valley18%$17,68313%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgePainters and Decorators (Except Interior Decorators)Compared to: All Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
15-249%x
25-3412%13%
35-4418%33%
45-5430%34%
55-6427%19%
65+5%x
Median Age5147
GenderPainters and Decorators (Except Interior Decorators)Compared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
Female14%5%
Male86%95%
EducationPainters and Decorators (Except Interior Decorators)Compared to: All Trades and Transportation
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school28.0%$19,90118.2%$25,753
High school35.6%$37,80625.5%$28,089
Trades certificate18.8%$71,35929.4%$40,890
College certificate or diploma10.9%$48,65122.6%$39,023
University certificate or diploma0.8%x1.0%$35,969
Bachelor's degree5.4%x2.7%$36,972
University advanced certificate or diplomaxx0.2%$41,705
Master's degreexx0.3%x
Doctoratexx0.0%$36,029
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryxx0.0%$3,714
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
Painter and Decorator
Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary):This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
apprenticeship@novascotia.ca
Useful contacts:
Construction Association of Nova Scotia
260 Brownlow Avenue, Unit 3
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1V9
Tel: (902) 468-2267
Fax: (902) 468-2470
cans@cans.ns.ca
BuildForce Canada
220 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1150
Ottawa, ON K1P 5Z9
Tel: (613) 569-5552
Fax: (613) 569-1220
info@buildforce.ca
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
info@nscsc.ca
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
shelburne.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Painting/painter and wall coverer
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to finish exterior and interior structural surfaces by applying protective or decorative coating materials, such as paint, lacquer, and wallpaper. These programs include courses in surface preparation; selecting, preparing, and applying paints and other coatings; hanging wallpaper; equipment operation and maintenance; finish selection; safety and clean-up; environmental effects on finishes; adhesion properties; and applicable codes and standards.
See all institutions providing this program+
Apprenticeship Training
Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Carpenter Millwright Trades College (CMTC) Inc.
1000 Sackville Drive
Lower Sackville, NS B4E 0C2
(902) 252-3553
admissions@cmtctradescollege.ca
Additional resources: