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It is a well-known fact that many young people today, and parents alike, have incorrect assumptions about what it means to work in a trade. In the past few decades, society has collectively decided that getting a college education and working your way up the corporate ladder is what’s necessary for a stable career.
Trades have no doubt taken a back seat when it comes to choosing a solid career path. A trade generally refers to any job that requires advanced training and skills gained through means other than a bachelor’s degree. Many jobs in the construction industry, such as a plumber or electrician, require significant experience and formal training before they can even begin working in their trade of choice.
The truth is that the modern painter enjoys an incredibly varied and rewarding career with ample growth opportunity. Get in with a great company like Zoe’s ProEdge Painting and you’ll see that the opportunites are endless!
What Does a Painter Do?
Painters prepare surfaces and apply coatings mostly for protective and decorative purposes.
These surfaces can be wood, drywall, plaster, concrete, steel etc. Interior surfaces are inside commercial or residential buildings such as homes, offices, factories, institutions and other facilities. Exteriors of homes, buildings and other structures are mainly painted to protect them from the weather elements. Coatings come in many colors and can also be used to decorate and beautify.
There are other trades and skills that painters can learn to diversify their expertise and skill level. There is demand for wallcovering specialists, decorative and faux finishers, epoxy floor installers. Since our services extend into tile setting and flooring installation, we identify painters who have an interest in learning these trade specialties and promote from within.
How To Become a Painter
Some painters learn their skills working for companies mostly under the wing of more experienced painters. It takes a painter at least 2 or 3 years to acquire most of the relevant and useful skills a company uses. It’s a good idea to ask a contractor you want to work for if they have a training program.
At Zoe’s ProEdge Painting, we often hire men and women with very little experience and start them in our Painter Apprenticeship Program. It’s not unusual for a trainee of Zoe’s ProEdge Painting to be running our job sites as a Crew Leader in less than three years. We use our own training systems that focus on training mostly for the things we do every day. Safety training and the required certification is a part of our Apprenticeship Program.
Career options within the trade include becoming a prepper, painter, crew leader, safety manager, operations manager, even a project estimator.
Starting a painting business. After learning the different facets of the trade, some painters decide to become independent contractors. Starting your own business is always better when you are familiar with the inner workings of the industry. A field painter will learn customer relations, production systems, and master the efficient application of coatings.
Running a successful and profitable business can be a good career choice, but keep in mind that a good technician is not necessarily a good business operator. Running a business requires financial knowledge, marketing and many other business skills. A great painter with sufficient business education has a good chance of running a successful business.
Benefits of a Career in the Painting Trade
1. You Gain Experience Immediately
Some people don’t perform best in a classroom environment. They’re not great test takers and prefer learning on the job. They’d rather get into the “real world” and build their resume with experience instead of education.
In skilled trade careers, apprentices immediately work on projects and earn viable certifications. They don’t compete for unpaid internships. They’re already on the floor learning from skilled professionals.
2. The Price Tag is More Reasonable
A lot of people don’t consider higher education because of its hefty price tag. According to The College Board, the average cost of tuition at a public college for an in-state student is about $10,000 per year. If you’re an out-of-state student or at a private school, college is more expensive.
While many college graduates leave school with little “real world” experience and a mountain of student loan debt, those that pursue skilled trade careers carry less debt burden. They also accumulate “real world” experience and applicable skills while learning on the job.
3. Skilled Trade Experts Make a Good Living
Painters share a spot with electricians as some of the highest paid tradespeople in the industry. The earning potential of trades rivals and often exceeds the earnings of most other occupations. In addition to regular pay, some in the industry receive commissions, bonuses and incentives tied to production. This is the norm for crew leaders, operation managers and estimators.
An experienced painter working for a good company will get paid well. At Zoe’s ProEdge Painting we offer a competitive base pay for employees and regular performance bonuses. Full time estimators and project managers are in demand and can make a great living. The sky is the limit for the painter that masters their trade, educates others and pursues a leadership role within the company.
4. A Huge Need for Master Tradespeople Exists
With the baby boomer generation retiring, a huge opportunity awaits millennials and Generation Z to earn positions in trade careers. Aside from mass job openings, there’s always a need for painters, metal fabricators, welders, plumbers, carpenters, and more. Because trades are always in demand, there is ample opportunity and strong job security.
While other trades are only called upon during construction jobs or renovations, painters are needed routinely on all kinds of sites. Every structure and every home will be painted at some point, then painted over and over again. No new building project is complete without the final contribution from the finish trades.
The fact that painting issues are so common in the average home means that there’s almost always painting work to be done wherever you might be. It’s one of the most universally useful trades in the business and guarantees that there will always be a steady cash flow.
5. You Get to Enjoy Your Job
Not to say you can’t enjoy a job outside of a trade, but it is more likely that you’ll actually get to do what you’re good at. Many college graduates leave with a degree in one field but end up working in a different field. Why earn a degree and settle for any job that’s hiring? With a trade skill, you obtain the necessary education and training while working on the job. This opens up careers to start your own business or apply for a highly specific job — and likely get it.
Many painters also enjoy the constant change of scenery. Because painters move around from job to job very frequently, there are always new sights and sounds to see. Even if the differences are small, it’s still better than facing the same 4 walls every day or working on the same construction site for months.
Becoming a professional painter is an excellent career choice with many unique rewards. Our company often hires and trains new employees with little to no painting experience. We encourage you to approach us with any questions you may have about becoming a painter.