There are no general qualifications that are necessary to get painting subcontractor jobs. However, some painting contractors require subcontractors to provide materials for the job, such as paint.
Each painting subcontractor assignment is different, as are painting contractors. Depending on the painting contractor, he may pay a certain percentage for materials and labor. If the subcontractor has no materials at the start of a job, the contractor purchases the materials and subtracts the cost from the overall percentage of payment for services rendered.
Payments are typically a set fee and are agreed upon before the job commences. In theory, a painting subcontractor requires nothing but a willingness to work and a basic knowledge of painting. An article on AngiesList.com about hiring an interior painting contractor disparages the use of painting subcontractors specifically because they are occasionally unskilled and inexperienced.
Painting contractors subcontract jobs to other painting contractors as well. In these cases, even painting contractors who become painting subcontractors must fulfill any associated state licensing requirements for painting contractors. Painting contractors require licenses to paint and subcontract work in roughly 28 states, as of 2016.
The actual license is a general contractor license or a commercial contractor license. Requirements to obtain a general or commercial contractor license vary between states and potentially entail sitting for exams, a minimum age of 18 and paying a license fee that ranges from roughly $30 to $1,000.