Signwriters design, fabricate and paint signs for displays, buildings, hoardings, boats and structures.
Specialisations: Sign Manufacturer.
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Signwriter. Although some workers have a certificate III in signs and graphics or another related course.
conferring with clients and responding to proposals, sketches and written instructions to determine composition of signs
designing and creating signs and graphics using computer software and signmaking machines
designing and creating signs by measuring and calculating letter size, preparing the surface, applying background paint using brushes, sprays and rollers, and creating the letters using brushes, stencils, enamel paint and decals
designing and creating wall murals, screen prints, gold leaf work and custom vehicle art
painting signs and lettering using lacquers, varnishes, paints and other materials
painting signs on brick, metal, timber, glass, plastic and other surfaces
making and erecting three dimensional signs
preparing cost estimates for labour and materials
may erect and work on scaffolding
may install signs on-site
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 82% of people employed as Signwriters work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 16 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.
Median hourly earnings are $30, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Signwriters||All Jobs Average|
Around 45% of Signwriters live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Queensland has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Signwriters is 41 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 12% of the workforce. This is 36 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Signwriters||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||4.5||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Signwriter. Although some workers have a certificate III in signs and graphics or another related course.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Construction, Plumbing and Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Signwriters||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.7||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||12.3||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Signwriters who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
50%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
50%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
43%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Fixing machines or systems.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
39%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Reading work related information.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
34%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Talking to others.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
46%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
37%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
32%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
31%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
30%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
21%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
19%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
15%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
12%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
9%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
See details that are far away.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
43%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Tell the difference between sounds.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
41%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
79%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
77%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
66%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
64%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
58%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
56%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
55%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
55%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
54%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
54%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
53%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
53%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
51%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
48%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
48%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
47%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
45%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
45%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
44%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
37%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
96%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
92%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
90%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
Work to strict deadlines.
84%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
Talk with people face-to-face.
82%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
81%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
80%Pace of work set by equipment
Pace of work depends on the speed of equipment or machinery.
80%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
75%Indoors, not heat controlled
Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).
Work with people in a group or team.
72%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.
71%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
70%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
69%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
68%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
67%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-9121.00 - Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders.