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Painters, Construction and Maintenance Job Outlook

Employment of painters is expected to grow 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The relatively short life of paint on homes as well as changing trends in color and application will continue to support demand for painters. Investors who sell properties or rent them out will also require painters’ services. Nonetheless, the ability of many homeowners to do the work themselves will somewhat temper employment growth.

Growing demand for industrial painting will be driven by the need to prevent corrosion and deterioration of the many industrial structures by painting or coating them. Applying a protective coating to the inside of a steel tank, for example, can add years to its life expectancy.

Job Prospects

Overall job prospects should be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. There are no formal training requirements for entry into these jobs, so many people with limited skills work as painters for a relatively short time and then move on to other types of work with higher pay or better working conditions.

Job opportunities for industrial painters should be excellent as the positions available should be greater than the pool of qualified individuals to fill them. Although industrial structures that require painting are located throughout the nation, the best employment opportunities should be in the Gulf Coast region, where strong demand and the largest concentration of workers exist.

New painters and those with little experience should expect some periods of unemployment. In addition, many construction painting projects last only a short time. Employment of painters, like that of many other construction workers, is also sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. On the one hand, painters may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, peak periods of building activity may produce shortages of painters.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition