As of 2012, a painter in the United States earned about $18.55 per hour, for an annual total of approximately $38,590. The annual earnings for a painter ranged from $22,980 to $74,650.
Painters' wages vary greatly across the United States, with wages as of 2013 running from a low of $12.02 per hour in Hawaii to a high of $20.19 per hour in New York, Louisiana and Mississippi. The best-paying city for painters in 2012 was Kankakee, Ill., with an average salary of $74,650.
Painters in the motion picture and electric power industries had the highest compensation among painters as of 2012. Painters typically earn less than electricians, plumbers, carpenters and others in the construction trades.