The median annual wage of construction and maintenance painters was $34,280 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,450, and the top 10 percent earned more than $58,480.
The starting pay for apprentices is usually between 30 percent and 50 percent of what fully trained painters make. They get pay increases as they gain more skill.
Most painters work full time. About 53 percent of painters were self-employed in 2010. Self-employed workers may be able to set their own schedule. Those who paint bridges, buildings, and other structures outside are not able to work when it rains.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition