Painters and Decorators
Learn about Painters and Decorators building trade, job information, & how to start your new career.
Painters and Decorators Job Overview
Painters and Decorators apply decorative and protective finishes in residential, commercial, and institutional settings. They prepare a variety of surfaces (wood, masonry, drywall, plaster, concrete, synthetics, stucco, and metal) prior to the application of materials such as paint, high performance coatings, waterproofing, fireproofing, stains, varnish, shellac, wall coverings, and special decorative finishes. Painters also mix paints and match colors, relying on knowledge of paint composition and color harmony. Decorators (Paperhangers) cover walls and ceilings with decorative wall coverings made of paper, vinyl, or fabric. Painters and Decorators work on projects such as home interiors and exteriors, residential high rises, wall covering work, airports, institutions, and other commercial projects.
Drywall finishers may work as an installer or a taper. Installers fasten drywall panels to the inside framework of residential houses and other buildings and tapers prepare the panels for painting by taping and finishing the joints and imperfections in the drywall surface. Drywall finishers may also apply a decorative finish or a textured surface to walls and ceilings using various finishing techniques and drywall tools such as trowels, brushes, or spray guns. On large projects, Tapers may use automatic taping tools that apply the joint compound and tape in one step. Drywall finishers should expect to perform the following tasks: measure, cut, and install materials; tape joints and touch up nail holes, scrapes, and other imperfections; install corner guards, conceal openings around pipes; perform mathematical calculations and read blueprints; estimate the cost of installing and finishing drywall; and provide decorative wall coverings to finished drywall panels.
The North Central Illinois Finishing Trades Institute is an accredited institution with the Council on Occupational Education. The NCIFTI occupies a 48,000 square foot training center located in Aurora.
Must be 17 or older; must have a high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate (or be able to successfully complete an aptitude test); must have access to reliable transportation; must be physically capable of performing the essential functions of the trade.
The NCIFTI apprenticeship program runs for three years. Apprentices receive on-the-job training while working for a signatory contractor and attend one full day of training at the training facility once every two weeks. The curriculum covers all learning styles, from classroom lectures to hands-on applications to virtual reality training.
Basic math and/or geometry.
Painters/Decorators work both indoors and outside. Their jobs also require a considerable amount of climbing, lifting, and bending. Painters/Decorators must adhere to safe work practices and follow OSHA guidelines for preventing injury, especially when working with ladders and scaffolding. Painters/Decorators sometimes work with materials that are hazardous or toxic. Personal protective equipment may be required on specific jobs to prevent inhalation of or contact with hazardous materials.
Must demonstrate an ability to work at heights and must be able to lift 50 pounds.
Apprentices start at 40 percent of the full journey worker scale, with increases scheduled every six months:
- $37.67/hr Base Wage, plus
- $14.38/hr Health and Welfare, Plus
- $7.20 /hr Annuity and Pension.
(subject to change)
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