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 work for construction companies, painting contractors, and building maintenance contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 125 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 205 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4385 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. 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) may either be working full-time or part-time hours. 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 29% 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

$15.00

Minimum

$18.20

Median

$29.47

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,891

Minimum

$18,963

Median

$51,100

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.50

Minimum

$27.25

Median

$35.50

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 work for construction companies, painting contractors, and building maintenance contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Painters and decorators:

  • Read specifications to determine quantities of materials required.
  • Prepare and clean surfaces using methods like 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 like 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 build 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

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

  • High school is usually required.
  • 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

1,425

employed in 2016

66.0%

employed full-time

37.2%

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

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

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%

North Shore

10.9%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

76.2%

Construction

5.9%

Real estate and rental and leasing

3.5%

Public administration

3.0%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

2.5%

Transportation and warehousing

What is the age of Employment?

28.0%

55-64

23.0%

45-54

15.0%

35-44

13.0%

25-34

11.0%

15-24

10.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

35.8%

High school

$19,342 median annual income
30.5%

Less than high school

$15,694 median annual income
17.5%

Trade Certification

$29,296 median annual income
9.5%

College Diploma

$16,940 median annual income
5.3%

Bachelor

$17,340 median annual income

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Adult High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Painter and Wall Coverer

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students 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. They 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

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Painter and Decorator

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651

Contacts

Construction Association of Nova Scotia
Dartmouth, NS
BuildForce Canada
Ottawa, ON
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
Halifax, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.