Signwriter

Alternative titles for this job include

Signwriters produce signs by hand and with machines for display on shops, businesses and company vehicles.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a signwriter

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like graphic design.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

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College

You could do an A level in art and design or graphic design, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

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Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through an advanced signage technician apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

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Work

You may be able to start as a signwriter's assistant and learn on the job.

Direct Application

You could apply directly to work as a signwriter. There are no set requirements, but it'll help if you've got a qualification and experience in printing, reprographics, laser cutting or graphic design.

More Information

Career tips

It's important to keep a portfolio of your design work to show employers what you can do when you're looking for jobs.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You may:

  • discuss with your client what type of signs they want
  • prepare and lay out designs and lettering
  • measure and calculate letter sizes and graphics 
  • prepare surfaces
  • apply paint backgrounds by brush, spray or roller
  • trace designs onto wood, metal or glass surfaces
  • hand-paint designs and lettering using special brushes, enamel paint and gold leaf
  • repaint and retouch signs on site
  • use traditional techniques and modern materials like vinyl graphics

Working environment

You could work at a client's business, in a workshop or in a creative studio.

Your working environment may be noisy, outdoors some of the time, at height and physically demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could move into work for TV, film and theatre. 

You could also combine this job with signmaking.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Engineering Apprentice - Signage Technician

  • Wage: £225.00 Weekly
  • Location: Barnard Castle

Signage Technician Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £214.50 Weekly
  • Location: Preston

Courses In England

Graphic Design HNC Diploma

  • Provider: SOLIHULL COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY CENTRE
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: Solihull

Graphic Design - BA Hons Degree

  • Provider: BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 13 September 2021
  • Location: Blackpool

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