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Painter and decorator

Alternative titles for this job include

Painters and decorators apply paint, wallpaper and other finishes to the inside and outside of buildings.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£32,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Painter and decorator

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You could take a college course like:

  • Level 2 or Level 3 Diploma in Painting and Decorating
  • T Level in On Site Construction

This will teach you some of the skills you'll need and help you to find a job as a trainee with a decorating company.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

More Information


You could do a painter and decorator intermediate apprenticeship.

This will usually take 2 to 3 years to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information


You could work as a painter and decorator's labourer or 'mate'. Your employer may give you the chance to take further training on the job to become a qualified painter and decorator.

More Information


Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Painting and Decorating Association for professional development and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out about careers in painting and decorating from Go Construct.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • business management skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this job, you will:

  • work out how much paint or wall covering is needed for a job
  • lay down dust sheets and prepare materials
  • strip off old wallpaper or layers of paint
  • fill holes and cracks and make sure surfaces are level
  • cover surfaces with primer and undercoat
  • mix paint to the right shade, often using computerised colour-matching equipment
  • apply coats of paint or hang wallpaper
  • add special finishes like stains, varnishes or marbling
  • tidy up after finishing, and clean your tools

Working environment

You could work at a client's business or at a client's home.

Your working environment may be at height.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a team supervisor or move into related areas like estimating, contract management, interior or set design.

You could work in heritage conservation, or set up your own business.

You could also move into apprentice training or teaching in a further education college.

Find out more about teaching in further education from Teach in further education.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Painter and Decorator

  • Wage: £13,312 a year Annually
  • Location: LUDLOW

Painter & Decorator Apprentice

  • Wage: £19,916 a year Annually
  • Location: Warrant Road, Stoke Heath

Courses In England

Painting & Decorating

  • Provider: HULL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Hull

L1 Painting and Decorating

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Filton

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