Painters, Construction and Maintenance: Job Description, Examples, Education, and Progression

Painters, Construction and Maintenance: Job Description, Examples, Education, and Progression

Painters, construction and maintenance professionals are responsible for enhancing the appearance and longevity of buildings, machines, and equipment. They use a variety of tools and techniques to prepare surfaces, apply paint or coatings, and repair or replace damaged parts to ensure smooth operation and safety.

Job Description and Examples

Some of the common tasks and responsibilities of painters, construction and maintenance professionals include:

  • Reading blueprints or instructions to determine specifications and materials
  • Preparing surfaces by cleaning, sanding, and filling gaps or cracks
  • Masking and covering areas not to be painted or coated
  • Applying paint, varnish, or coatings using brushes, rollers, or spraying equipment
  • Mixing and matching colors to ensure consistency and accuracy
  • Repairing or replacing damaged parts or surfaces
  • Cleaning and maintaining tools and equipment
  • Adhering to safety regulations and guidelines
  • Communicating with clients, supervisors, and colleagues

Examples of positions within this field include:

  • Painters – responsible for applying paint, coatings, or wallpaper to interior or exterior surfaces of buildings, structures, or equipment;
  • Drywall installers and finishers – responsible for installing and finishing drywall panels on walls and ceilings;
  • Carpenters – responsible for building, installing, and repairing structures made of wood, such as walls, floors, roofs, and decks;
  • Mason workers – responsible for constructing and repairing structures made with bricks, stones, or concrete blocks;
  • Roofers – responsible for installing, repairing, or maintaining roofing systems;
  • Plumbers – responsible for installing, repairing, or maintaining plumbing systems, such as pipes, fixtures, and drains;
  • Electricians – responsible for installing, repairing, or maintaining electrical systems, such as wiring, outlets, and switches.

Education and Training

Most painters, construction, and maintenance jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as on-the-job training or apprenticeships. Some positions, such as electricians and plumbers, may require additional education or certification, such as completing a trade school program or passing a licensing exam.

Soft skills, such as attention to detail, dexterity, physical stamina, and communication skills, are also important in this field.

Progression and Advancement

People who start in entry-level positions in this field, such as painter helpers or laborers, can progress to higher-level roles, such as project managers or supervisors, by gaining experience, developing new skills, and taking on additional responsibilities.

Advancement opportunities may also come from completing additional training or certification programs, obtaining higher education, or pursuing specialized skills or knowledge.

How to Get into the Field

If you’re new to the field and looking to get started, there are several steps you can take:

  • Research the different positions available and identify your interests and strengths;
  • Consider enrolling in a trade school or vocational program to gain the necessary skills and knowledge;
  • Look for apprenticeship or trainee programs offered by local unions, contractors, or companies;
  • Gain experience by working as a helper or laborer on job sites, or by volunteering for community or charity projects;
  • Build your network by attending industry events, joining professional organizations, or connecting with experienced professionals in the field.

With the right skills, education, and experience, you can enjoy a rewarding and stable career in this field.

Salary data for Painters, Construction and Maintenance
Level Union National Average Salary (per year)
03 Nonunion $47,236.80
04 Nonunion $43,555.20
05 Nonunion $54,433.60
06 Nonunion $72,945.60
Not able to be leveled Nonunion $49,628.80
Entry Nonunion $42,369.60
Experienced Nonunion $59,675.20
All levels Union $71,032.00
All levels Nonunion $46,425.60
All levels (full-time) Nonunion $50,502.40
All levels (part-time) Nonunion $41,870.40
Entry (full-time) Nonunion $43,908.80
Experienced (full-time) Nonunion $59,675.20
All levels (time-based pay) Nonunion $49,171.20
All levels (union, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA) Union $80,371.20
All levels (part-time, North Carolina) Nonunion $32,926.40

Painters, construction, and maintenance workers perform a variety of tasks, including preparing surfaces, applying coatings, and maintaining buildings’ appearance. According to the salary data, the national average salary for this occupation is $47,236.80 per year (level 03), rising to $72,945.60 per year (level 06) for experienced workers. Union workers earn significantly more than non-union workers at all levels, making around $71,032 per year on average versus $46,425.60 for non-union workers.

The effects of unions on this occupation can be seen in the significant difference in wages between union and non-union workers. Union workers have bargaining power and can negotiate better wages and benefits than non-union workers. In areas where unions are strong, such as San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, unionized painters, construction, and maintenance workers earn an average of $80,371.20 per year.

According to the data, North Carolina is one of the areas where painters, construction, and maintenance workers earn the least, with an average salary of $32,926.40 per year for part-time workers. On the other hand, unionized workers in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, earn the highest on average, with an average salary of $80,371.20 per year.