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Career and Education Opportunities for Painters in Chicago, Illinois

Painter career and educational opportunities abound in Chicago, Illinois. There are currently 15,040 jobs for painters in Illinois and this is projected to grow by 7% to 16,160 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for painters are expected to grow by about 7.0%. Painters generally paint walls, equipment, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns.

The income of a painter is about $20 per hour or $43,480 yearly on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,960 annually on average. Incomes for painters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Painting and Finishing Work in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Painting and Finishing Work category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a painter, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. 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 Chicago include:

  • Brick and Block Mason. Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls, partitions, and other structures.
  • 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.
  • Tile Setter. Apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, and roof decks.


City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College, 6301 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60621-2709. City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,873 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College has a less than one year program in Painting/Painter and Wall Coverer which graduated nine students in 2008.


Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.