If you enjoy being creative and spending time painting structures or objects, then being a painter could be an ideal career path for you. As a painter, you can enjoy financial stability in your career and make a regular paycheck. Many painters choose to work as hired contractors for businesses, while few are self-employed as well.
To be a painter, you’ll need a wide variety of skills, such as knowing how to procure resources, mix color, and then paint walls effectively. You’ll also need to understand how to prepare walls for painting, such as rubbing and sanding. If you offer specialized skills as a painter, then you can expect to make more as well.
Who is a painter?
A painter is a professional who has gained the skills and knowledge needed to paint walls, doors, windows, cabinets, as well, as other objects. You don’t need a bachelor’s degree in order to be a painter. However, you will need a high school graduation diploma or a GED certificate.
Then, you’ll need to complete an apprenticeship under a master painter. You can also choose to enter a technical or vocational school, where you can learn more about the science of painting. Completing an apprenticeship can take up to four or five years. You will, however, start earning right from the time you’re an apprentice. During this time, you’ll learn all the essential skills of the trade. You can also choose to learn specialized skills to give yourself an advantage against your competition.
Depending on the state you live in, you may need a license to work as a painter. After completing your apprenticeship and getting licensed, you can begin your journey as a journeyman painter if necessary.
How much will you earn?
As a painter, you can expect to make an average median salary of $40,280. If you offer specialized services or fall in the category of high-earning painters, then you can expect to earn around $53,290. If you fall within the lower-earning section of painters, then you can expect to make about $33,120 per year.
As a painter, the city and the state you live in will have a role to play in how much you earn. Painters tend to make more when they live in certain states, as compared to others.
Cities where painters earn more
Some cities in the US offer high pays to painters. But it’s important to remember that the cost of living may also be higher in these cities. Similarly, in cities where painters earn less, the cost of living is less as well.
As a painter, you can expect to earn the most in San Francisco, in the state of California. Here, painters can make around $67,770 annually. The city of Duluth, in Minnesota, also pays painters well. In Duluth, you can expect to earn about $61,940. Cities in California tend to pay painters well, as two more cities from the state come next. The first of these is Salinas, where painters make $61,540 annually. The next city is Vallejo, where painters can expect to make around $58,150 every year.
The last city to enter this list is the city of Boston, in Massachusetts. Here, painters make around $57,180 annually.
Aside from the highest paying cities, it may also be worth considering the highest paying states. You can earn more, working in the following cities of the US, as a painter, than anywhere else.
States where painters earn more
Which state you live in can also affect how much you earn as a painter. Painters who live in Alaska have the highest median average salary out of all the states in the country. In Alaska, painters can expect to make around $57,560. Hawaii also pays states well, and painters in the state make an average salary of $56,030.
New Jersey is another state you can expect to earn well as a painter. Painters working in New Jersey make an average salary of $55,870. Up next is Massachusetts, where painters make an average salary of $54,810. The fifth state where painters earn the most in the US is the District of Columbia. Here, painters earn an average salary of $53,420.
How much do construction painters make at different levels?
As a painter who has just entered the industry, you can expect to make around $23,492 every year. This translates to around $11.29 per hour. At the junior level, you can expect to earn around $28,329 every year. Per hour, you’ll be making around $13.62. Mid-level painters earn around $38,479 annually. This translates to around $16.77 every hour.
When you become a senior-level painter, you’ll be making around $42,943 on average every year. Per hour, you’ll be making around $20.65. When you get to the top of the industry and are an established painter, then you can expect to make an average annual salary of $51,785. Per hour, this translates to $24.90.
How much do painters earn when compared to other trades?
Painters earn well in the United States. They make an average annual salary of $44,640. However, compared to painters, other trades provide a higher income. However, it takes a higher degree of specialization and a license to operate in many of these trades.
They are earning more than painters are insulation contractors. They make an average annual salary of $49,090. Carpenters also earn more than painters, despite often working next to each other on construction sites. Carpenters make an annual average wage of $52,850. Electricians earn even more than carpenters. To be an electrician, however, you’ll need to attend a technical school, as well as complete an apprenticeship. Then you’ll need to sit for a licensing exam, following which you can work as an electrician.
For all the effort they put into becoming an electrician, they earn well as well. Electricians make an average annual salary of $60,370. Cost estimators earn even more than electricians, making around $71,350. While these trades make more on average, how much you earn as a painter can also change, depending on how much work you get. Offering specialized painting skills, such as unique finishes and designs, will allow you to earn more as a painter.
The city and the state you live in can have a role to play in how much you earn as a painter. Generally, painters earn well, often making over $40,000 on average per year. Should you offer specialized services, then you’ll be able to charge more for your services. Keep in mind that you may need a license to work as a painter in some states. Check your local regulations to ensure that you can work as a painter or whether you need a license.
It would be best if you also considered insurance for painters. This is as, as a painter, you’re exposed to certain career risks. You can, for example, find yourself being sued by a disgruntled client. Then you may have to pay exorbitant sums to represent yourself legally. With the help of painters insurance, however, you can protect yourself against the most common career risks. With your finances secure, you can then focus on your career. If you want to learn more about insurance for painters, click here.