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Career and Education Opportunities for Painters in San Jose, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for painters in the San Jose, California area. Currently, 73,700 people work as painters in California. This is expected to grow 14% to about 83,900 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for painters are expected to grow by about 7.0%. In general, painters paint walls, equipment, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns.

Painters earn approximately $18 per hour or $39,020 annually on average in California. Nationally they average about $15 hourly or $32,960 annually. Incomes for painters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Painting and Finishing Work in California, and not quite as good as the overall Painting and Finishing Work category nationally.

There are fifty-nine schools of higher education in the San Jose area, including one within twenty-five miles of San Jose where you can get a degree to start your career as a painter. Painters usually hold less than a high school diploma, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a painter if you already have a high school diploma.


Painter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, painters paint walls, equipment, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns. They also may remove old paint to prepare surface prior to painting.

Painters smooth surfaces, using sandpaper, scrapers, brushes, steel wool, and/or sanding machines. They also read work orders or receive instructions from supervisors or homeowners in order to establish work requirements. Equally important, painters have to apply primers or sealers to ready new surfaces. They are often called upon to clear away fixtures such as pictures and electric switch covers before painting. They are expected to apply paint and other finishes to equipment and/or other structures, using brushes or rollers. Finally, painters erect scaffolding and swing gates, or prepare ladders, to work above ground level.

Every day, painters are expected to be able to control objects and devices with precise control. They need to use lower back and abdominal strength.

It is important for painters to calculate amounts of required materials and estimate costs, on the basis of surface measurements and/or work orders. They are often called upon to mix and match colors of paint or varnish with oil and thinning and drying additives so as to obtain desired colors and consistencies. They also bake finishes on painted and enameled articles, using baking ovens. They are sometimes expected to decide on and purchase tools and finishes for surfaces to be covered, considering durability, ease of handling, methods of application, and customers' wishes. Somewhat less frequently, painters are also expected to trim stencils, and brush and spray lettering and decorations on surfaces.

They also have to be able to trim stencils, and brush and spray lettering and decorations on surfaces And finally, they sometimes have to smooth surfaces, using sandpaper, scrapers, brushes, steel wool, and/or sanding machines.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Jose include:

  • Paperhanger. Cover interior walls and ceilings of rooms with decorative wallpaper or fabric, or attach advertising posters on surfaces, such as walls and billboards. Duties include removing old materials from surface to be papered.
  • Plasterer. Apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, or similar materials. May also set ornamental plaster.


Chabot College - Hayward, CA

Chabot College, 25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94545. Chabot College is a large college located in Hayward, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,299 students. Chabot College has a two to four year program in Painting/Painter and Wall Coverer.


San Jose, California
San Jose, California photo by Leslie

San Jose is situated in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 948,279, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Jose, 163, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Jose are priced at $163,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred fourteen new homes were built in San Jose, down from three hundred twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Jose are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 31.6% of San Jose residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Jose is 13.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Jose residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Almaden Hill United Methodist Church, Almaden Valley United Methodist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in San Jose. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

San Jose is home to the Evergreen Ranch and the Rosegarden Branch San Jose Public Library as well as Almaden Winery Park and Albertson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Almaden Plaza Shopping Center, Almaden Via Valiente Plaza Shopping Center and Foxworthy Shopping Center. Visitors to San Jose can choose from Atrium Gardens, Best Western Airport Plaza and Best Western Inn Airport Plaza for temporary stays in the area.