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Career and Education Opportunities for Decorative Painters in Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for decorative painters. There are currently 510 working decorative painters in Alabama; this should grow 13% to about 570 working decorative painters in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for decorative painters are expected to grow by about 10.2%. In general, decorative painters paint, coat, or decorate articles, such as furniture, glass, or leather.

Income for decorative painters is about $10 hourly or $22,630 per year on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $11 per hour or $24,070 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Painting and Coating, people working as decorative painters in Alabama earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Painting and Coating nationally.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as a decorative painter. The most common level of education for decorative painters is less than a high school diploma. It will take only a short time to learn to be a decorative painter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Decorative Painter

In general, decorative painters paint, coat, or decorate articles, such as furniture, glass, or leather.

Decorative painters clean and maintain tools and equipment, using solvents, brushes, and rags. Finally, decorative painters apply coatings, such as paint or lacquer, to safeguard or decorate workpiece surfaces, using spray guns or brushes.

Every day, decorative painters are expected to be able to control objects and devices with precise control. They need to distinguish between colors. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for decorative painters to read job orders and inspect workpieces to establish work procedures and materials required. They are often called upon to examine finished surfaces of workpieces to confirm conformance to given requirements; then retouch any faulty areas. They also clean surfaces of workpieces in preparation for coating, using cleaning fluids or cloth. They are sometimes expected to rinse or wipe coated workpieces to remove excess coating material or to enable setting of finish coats on workpieces. Somewhat less frequently, decorative painters are also expected to decide on and mix ingredients to ready coating substances according to given requirements, using paddles or mechanical mixers.

Decorative painters sometimes are asked to position and glue decorative pieces in cutout sections of workpieces, following patterns. They also have to be able to apply coatings, such as paint or lacquer, to safeguard or decorate workpiece surfaces, using spray guns or brushes and melt or heat coating materials to specified temperatures. And finally, they sometimes have to clean and maintain tools and equipment, using solvents, brushes, and rags.

Like many other jobs, decorative painters must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Auto Body Painter. Operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, and airplanes.
  • Printing Press Machine Operator. Set up or operate various types of printing machines, such as offset, letterset, or gravure presses or screen printers to produce print on paper or other materials.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Decorative Painter Training

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated seven students in 2008.

Virginia College-Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

Virginia College-Birmingham, 65 Bagby Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209-3703. Virginia College-Birmingham is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,090 students and an admission rate of 64%. Virginia College-Birmingham has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated thirty-eight students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Decorator: A decorator at this level and for this designation prepares and finishes sweet baked goods for a commercial bakery.

For more information, see the Retail Bakers of America website.

Certified Decorative Artist: The Certified Decorative Artist applicant must pay the required fees and submit one piece of work for judging.

For more information, see the Society of Decorative Painters website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.