Painters and Decorators (except Interior Decorators)

(NOC 7294)

in All Trades and Transportation

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 Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate decline employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 35 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

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)

Hourly Pay

$12.50

Minimum

$18.25

Median

$25.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,891

Minimum

$18,963

Median

$51,100

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

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 high 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.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,010

employed in 2016

70.5%

employed full-time

36.1%

self employed

14.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
85.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
50.8

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

44.9%

Halifax

17.9%

Annapolis Valley

13.7%

Southern

12.6%

Northern

10.9%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

75.9%

Construction

5.9%

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Leasing

3.4%

Public Administration

3.0%

Management, Admin & Other Support

2.5%

Transportation and Warehousing

What is the age of Employment?

30.2%

45-54

27.1%

55-64

17.8%

35-44

11.6%

25-34

8.5%

15-24

5.4%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

35.6%

High school

$37,806 median annual income
28.0%

Less than high school

$19,901 median annual income
18.8%

Trades certificate

$71,359 median annual income
10.9%

College certificate or diploma

$48,651 median annual income
5.4%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Painting/painter and wall coverer

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

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.

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

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

Contacts

Construction Association of Nova Scotia
260 Brownlow Avenue, Unit 3
Dartmouth, NS B3B 1V9
Tel: (902) 468-2267
Fax: (902) 468-2470
BuildForce Canada
220 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 1150
Ottawa, ON K1P 5Z9
Tel: (613) 569-5552
Fax: (613) 569-1220
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.