Overall employment of painting and coating workers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will vary by specialty and industry.
Employment of coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders is projected to grow 6 percent, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by the overall growth of the economy. The many consumer, commercial, and industrial products that require painting or coating will require these workers. However, productivity gains are expected to moderate employment growth.
Employment of transportation equipment painters is projected to grow 9 percent, slower than the average for all occupations. Nearly all employment growth will be driven by the need for painters in auto repair shops.
Employment of painting, coating, and decorating workers is projected to grow 17 percent, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by the need to decorate made-to-order cakes in grocery stores.
As with many skilled manufacturing jobs, employers often report difficulty finding qualified workers. Therefore, job opportunities should be very good for those with painting experience.
Job openings also should result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation and from increased specialization in manufacturing. Although higher educational requirements would normally reduce competition for automotive painters in repair shops, the large number of people who enjoy working on cars should offset that reduction.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition