As a painter and decorator, you would work on a variety of domestic and industrial projects ranging from re-decorating homes to applying heavy-duty finishes to large structures like bridges.
On a domestic job, you would use paint, varnishes and wallpaper to decorate rooms. You would follow the householder's instructions about choice of colour, finishing texture and wallpaper patterns. Your main tasks would include:
measuring surface areas to work out how much paint or wall covering you need
stripping off old wallpaper or paint
filling holes and cracks and making sure surfaces are level
preparing surfaces with primer and undercoat
mixing paint to the right shade, either by hand or using computerised colour-matching equipment
applying layers of paint and hanging wallpaper
tidying up after finishing a job
On some jobs you might apply specialist finishes such as rag rolling, graining and marbling. You would often work from ladders or raised platforms to reach ceilings.
For industrial projects, such as bridges or ships, you would remove old paintwork with abrasive blasting methods before applying new coatings using industrial paint spraying equipment. You would use a cradle or safety harness when working.
Paints and solvents give off fumes, so you may have to wear a protective mask or use fume extraction equipment on some jobs, if in enclosed spaces.
Working hours and conditions
You would work around 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Extra hours may be necessary to meet deadlines.
You would be expected to travel from site to site and some jobs may require overnight stays away from home.
Starting salaries can be between £14,500 and £17,000 a year.
Average salaries for qualified painters and decorators are between £17,500 and £23,000 a year. Decorators with supervisor duties or specialist skills can earn over £23,000 a year.
Overtime and shift allowances can increase income. Self-employed painters and decorators set their own pay rates.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
Employers often prefer people with some relevant experience, so you could start by looking for work as a painter and decorator's labourer or 'mate'. Once you are working, your employer may give you the chance to take further training in painting and decorating. See the Training and development section below for more details.
Another option is to take a college course, which would give you some of the skills needed to start in this job. Courses include:
Level 1 Award/Certificate in Basic Construction Skills (Painting and Decorating)
Level 1 Certificate in Construction Crafts - Painting and Decorating
Level 1/2/3 Diploma in Painting and Decorating
- See more at: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/planning/jobprofiles/Pages/painteranddecorator.aspx#sthash.OxacJSYy.dpuf