How to Become a House Painter

House Painter Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $37,340
Avg. Pay / hour $17.95
Education 0-6 Months
Job Outlook 6%

House Painters are professionals who are responsible for providing maintenance to the exterior or interior of a client’s home.

The majority of House Painters work for a company, but a large amount (approximately 41 percent) are self-employed.

This gives individuals plenty of opportunities when deciding on their career options.

Individuals who want to become a House Painter will have a combination of innate skills, industry knowledge and work history in order to succeed in this field.

Individuals interested in this profession can read below for more information on how to enter this profession.

Education Requirements to Become a House Painter

Individuals who want to become a House Painter do not need to fulfill specific educational requirements in order to join this profession.

However, there are some helpful skills that can be gained by attaining a high school diploma.

In addition, individuals have the option to gain industry skills by enrolling in a technical school.

Attaining a high school diploma can help individuals become a House Painter by providing skills in mathematics, English and shop.

Experience in these areas can give individuals the necessary skills to learn how to read blueprints.

Entering a technical school or college can give individuals the opportunity to take courses and classes associated with organizations that provide apprenticeship participants to contractors and unions needing entry level apprentices; unions and contractors typically promote apprenticeship programs.

Going this route can lead to an apprenticeship itself, or class credits counting towards an associate’s degree.

In addition, individuals who want to become a House Painter also have the option to pursue an apprenticeship in order to join this profession.

Common requirements include the following

  • Age minimum of 18 years old
  • Physical stamina and ability to perform this work
  • Minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent

These apprenticeships typically last 3 to 4 years, although some local unions might require individuals to apprentice for a longer period of time.

Apprentices will learn a variety of technical skills during their apprenticeship including the following skills:

  • Learn to care for and use tools and equipment
  • Preparation of surfaces to be painted
  • Reading Blueprints
  • Mixing and matching paint
  • Characteristics of different paint finishes
  • Characteristics of wood finishes and
  • Safety precautions and procedures

House Painter Job Description

House Painters are responsible for providing maintenance to the exterior or interior of a homeowner’s house.

The main duties that these professionals are experienced in include applying paint, stain and coatings to the interior or exterior walls of a home.

House Painters are first and foremost responsible for following safety precautions to reduce injuries or falls.

House Painters may begin a job by covering the interior of a home with drop cloths or tarps to assure the owner’s possessions are not permanently damaged with paint.

The next step would be to apply putty or plaster to cracks or any holes in the walls.

House painters will then remove fixture, light switches, doorknobs are any other attached fixtures not needing paint.

House painters will apply primers to assure the paint will stay.

House painters will then apply one or two coats of paints according to a client’s specifications and colors.

Applying paint will require the use of rollers, hand brushes or spray machines.

House Painter Salary and Career Path

In 2012, the median salary for Construction and Maintenance Painters, which includes House Painters, was approximately $35,190 per year.

Exact wages will depend on several things including whether an individual works full time, is self-employed or their level of experience.

For example, individuals who are at the entry level typically make between 40 to 70 percent less than experienced house painters.

The job outlook for House Painters, including those in construction and maintenance is expected to grow by 20 percent through 2022.

This growth is considered faster than average when compared to other professions and is attributed to the increased demand for house painting services.

In addition, house paint has a relatively short life which requires homeowners to make improvements or to update their homes because of changing trends.

House Painters have several things to look forward to when first entering this profession.

Along with a fast job growth, individuals also have salary incentives and the opportunity to become entrepreneurs and seek self-employment as a House Painter.

Self-employment offers individuals to have more flexibility and control over their schedule and jobs they accept and client load they wish to have.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$50,830
New Hampshire$43,980
New Jersey$56,600
New Mexico$38,500
New York$60,840
North Carolina$37,840
North Dakota$41,440
Rhode Island$45,900
South Carolina$39,900
South Dakota$40,100
West Virginia$40,630
Puerto Rico$21,420
Virgin Islands$40,840

The top earning state in the field is New York, where the average salary is $60,840.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New York - $60,840
Hawaii - $59,070
Illinois - $58,430
New Jersey - $56,600
Alaska - $54,360
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Painters, Construction and Maintenance, OCC Code 47-2141, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a house painter do?

House painters apply paint to walls, buildings, ceilings, and other structures.

Their job duties include raising ladders, filling holes and cracks, smoothing walls by scraping or sanding and preparing surfaces for paint, applying primers or sealers to make the paint stick to the surface.

They usually use a roller, a brush or a power sprayer to apply paint.

Depending on the situation and the substances that they use, house painters may wear protective equipment such as self-contained suits, protective eyewear or additional clothing.

Most painters work full-time and some are self-employed.

Self-employed painters may be able to set their own schedules.

House painters must be detail-oriented persons and they need precision when applying paint because minor flaws can be very easily observed.

As a painter, you will also need physical strength, attention to detail, and color vision.

Customer-service skills are also important, especially if you’re self-employed.

How much does a house painter make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for painters, construction and maintenance workers was $38,940, as of May 2018.

Salaries vary depending on many factors and some painters make less than $30,000 while others earn more than $60,000 a year.

Entry-level employees and apprentices earn less than fully-trained experienced painters.

How much does it cost to become a house painter?

There are no formal educational requirements for house painters; most of them learn this trade through on-the-job training.

However, some technical schools offer certificate programs for painters and apprenticeships are also available.

Apprentices are paid for the hours of on-the-job training and they are also required to attend around 144 hours of technical instruction classes.

Entry-level training in this field is offered by the Home Builders Institute; a Certified Painter class costs $8,000.

What is the demand for house painters?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of painters is projected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2028.

The demand for painters depends on the local economy and varies region by region and year by year.

Painter’s services will be required by investors who sell or lease properties.

Painters may be in high demand during periods when many new buildings are built and they may experience periods of unemployment when the level of construction falls.

How long does it take to become a house painter?

There are no formal educational requirements for painters but there are courses and certification programs that can teach you the skills needed for entry-level employment.

Most painters learn this trade through on-the-job training; during this period, they receive safety training classes and learn how to prepare surfaces, match colors and how to apply paint.

You may also learn the skills needed for this job through an apprenticeship that usually lasts 3-4 years.

Apprenticeships include technical instruction and around 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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