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Career and Education Opportunities for Paperhangers in San Jose, California

San Jose, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for paperhangers. The national trend for paperhangers sees this job pool shrinking by about 14.5% over the next eight years. Paperhangers generally cover interior walls and ceilings of rooms with decorative wallpaper or fabric, or attach advertising posters on surfaces, such as walls and billboards.

Paperhangers earn about $22 per hour or $46,280 yearly on average in California and about $16 hourly or $34,860 annually on average nationally. Paperhangers earn more than people working in the category of Painting and Finishing Work generally in California and more than people in the 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 paperhanger. Paperhangers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a paperhanger if you already have a high school diploma.


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

In general, paperhangers cover interior walls and ceilings of rooms with decorative wallpaper or fabric, or attach advertising posters on surfaces, such as walls and billboards. They also duties include removing old materials from surface to be papered.

Paperhangers smooth strips or sections of paper with brushes or rollers to remove wrinkles and bubbles and to smooth joints. They also clear away old paper, using water, steam machines, or solvents and scrapers. Equally important, paperhangers have to position strips or sections of paper on surfaces, aligning section edges and patterns. They are often called upon to check finished wallcoverings for proper alignment and neatness of seams. They are expected to apply adhesives to the backs of paper strips, using brushes, or dunk strips of prepasted wallcovering in water; wiping off any excess adhesive. Finally, paperhangers assemble equipment such as pasteboards and scaffolds.

Every day, paperhangers are expected to be able to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for paperhangers to apply sizing to seal surfaces and maximize adhesion of coverings to surfaces. They are often called upon to trim excess material at ceilings or baseboards, using knives. They also trim rough edges from strips, using straightedges and trimming knives. They are sometimes expected to measure surfaces and/or review work orders to estimate the quantities of materials needed. Somewhat less frequently, paperhangers are also expected to smooth rough spots on walls and ceilings, using sandpaper.

And finally, they sometimes have to apply acetic acid to damp plaster to inhibit lime from bleeding through paper.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Jose include:

  • Insulation Installer. Line and cover structures with insulating materials. May work with batt, roll, or blown insulation materials.
  • Painter. Paint walls, equipment, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns. May remove old paint to prepare surface prior to painting. May mix colors or oils to obtain desired color or consistency.
  • 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.


Paperhanging Specialty Contractor

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Contractors State License Board, 9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95827

Phone: (916) 255-3900
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board


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.