The average hourly rate for painters in 2012 was $16.92, which averages around $35,190 per year, according to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Most painters have less than a high school education, and they receive moderate-term on-the-job training with no experience needed to begin work.
The job outlook for painters in the U.S. is quite good, with an expected surge in the number of jobs anticipated by 2022. There is a 20 percent faster-than-average growth experienced in the sector, and the BLS expects that there will be 62,600 more jobs added to the already 316,200 jobs existing. The outlook for jobs is especially good in the Gulf Coast region, with overall job prospects being excellent.
Although painters can work independently and be self-employed, others may work for a general painting company or general contractor. Painters generally work in jobs that require them to stretch, kneel, bend and climb. They may work inside or outside, but usually work outside in dry, warm weather when employed as industrial painters. Bridge or building painters may be exposed to uncomfortable positions and heights. Most painters learn on the job, although there are some that are apprenticed into the profession.