Painting Trades Workers
Painting Trades Workers apply paint, varnish, wallpaper and other finishes to protect, maintain and decorate surfaces of buildings and structures.
A certificate III in painting and decorating is usually needed to work as a Painting Trades Worker. This course is often completed as part of an apprenticeship.
erecting scaffolding and ladders, and placing drop sheets to protect adjacent areas from paint splattering
preparing surfaces by removing old paint and wallpaper, fixing woodwork, filling holes and cracks, and smoothing and sealing surfaces
selecting and preparing paints to required colours by mixing portions of pigment, oil, and thinning and drying additives
applying paints, varnishes and stains to surfaces using brushes, rollers and sprays
hanging wallpaper, matching patterns and trimming edges
cleaning equipment and work areas
may repair windows and replace glass in wooden and metal frames
may lay and repair wall and floor tiles
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 76% of people employed as Painting Trades Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 10 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $1,237 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,170
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,392
Median hourly earnings are $32, 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.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Painting Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Most Painting Trades Workers work in the Construction industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Painting Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
Around 43% of Painting Trades Workers 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 Painting Trades Workers is 42 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers fall into the 25 to 34 years and 45 to 54 years age ranges.
Females make up 4% of the workforce. This is 44 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||Painting Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.4||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
A certificate III in painting and decorating is usually needed to work as a Painting Trades Worker. This course is often completed as part of an apprenticeship.
- 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||Painting Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.7||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||16.7||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 Painting Trades Workers who are reliable, work well in a team and are hard working.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Reading work related information.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
37%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
34%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
34%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Talking to others.
30%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
30%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Looking for ways to help people.
29%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Using maths to solve problems.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
58%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
54%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
53%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
51%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
49%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
43%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
41%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
34%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
34%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
33%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
30%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Listen to and understand what people say.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
See details that are far away.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Keep your balance or stay upright.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Communicate by speaking.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
41%Whole body coordination
Move your arms, legs, and body together.
Read and understand written information.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Exercise for a long time without getting winded or out of breath.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
67%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
65%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
61%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
55%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
54%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
53%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
52%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
51%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
48%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
47%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
47%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
47%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
46%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
45%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
44%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
42%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
40%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
38%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
33%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
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.
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.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
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.
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.
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.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
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.
97%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
96%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Talk with people face-to-face.
88%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
87%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work with people in a group or team.
82%Bending or twisting your body
Spend time bending or twisting your body.
78%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
78%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
Work to strict deadlines.
77%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
76%Climbing ladders, scaffolds, or poles
Spend time climbing ladders, scaffolds, or poles.
76%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
75%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
75%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
73%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
73%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
71%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
70%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
70%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
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, 47-2141.00 - Painters, Construction and Maintenance.