Adorn canvases with colorful paint.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$19,000 – $90,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Painters do?

Although the popular phrase has nothing to do with actual paint, there’s only one profession that allows you to literally “paint the town red” — or blue or yellow or hot pink, for that matter. And that profession is Painter. That’s because a Painter is an Artist or Craftsman who paints either pictures or structures.

While crayons typically come in boxes of eight, 16, 24, or 64, paint comes in hundreds of shades, hues, tints, and tones. When you’re a Painter, therefore, you have one of the country’s most colorful jobs.

What that job is, exactly, depends on what kind of Painter you are. If you’re an Artist, you use acrylic, oil, or watercolor paints to create compositions in the form of painted canvases, murals, and 3-D objects. Your work — which might include painted abstractions, landscapes, portraits, or still life scenes — is often displayed in museums and galleries, then sold to private citizens, some of whom commission their own custom paintings.

If you’re a Craftsman, on the other hand, you use oil- and water-based paints to paint the interiors and exteriors of buildings, including residential, commercial, and industrial structures. You use brushes, rollers, sprayers, and sponges, but your goal isn’t creativity; it’s utility. In addition to painting, therefore, you also do varnishing, staining, and drywall repair, not to mention wallpaper hanging and removal.

No matter what you paint, where you paint it, or why, your job requires an intimate knowledge of color and technique, as the best painting — artistic or utilitarian — is at once eye pleasing and precise. Kind of like a pair of handsome Painters’ pants.

Should I be a Painter?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Apprentice, Painter, Neckties, Card Painter, Crayon Painter, Custom Motorcycle Painter, Landscape Painter See More

    How to become a Painter

    Painters often have an Associate's degree or higher. Chart?chd=s:9gooei&chl=no+college+%2838%25%29|certificate+%2820%25%29|associate%27s+%289%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2825%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29|doctorate+%285%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,38,38
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