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Career and Education Opportunities for Decorative Painters in Rockford, Illinois

There are many career and education opportunities for decorative painters in the Rockford, Illinois area. Currently, 1,950 people work as decorative painters in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 1% to 1,960 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

A person working as a decorative painter can expect to earn about $11 hourly or $24,030 per year on average in Illinois and about $11 hourly or $24,070 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Painting and Coating, people working as decorative painters in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Painting and Coating nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Rockford where you can study to be a decorative painter, among twelve schools of higher education total in the Rockford area. Decorative painters usually hold less than a high school diploma, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 Rockford 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

Highland Community College - Freeport, IL

Highland Community College, 2998 W Pearl City Rd, Freeport, IL 61032-9341. Highland Community College is a small college located in Freeport, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,876 students. Highland Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.


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.


Rockford, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois photo by Kranar_drogin

Rockford is situated in Winnebago County, Illinois. It has a population of over 157,272, which has grown by 4.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rockford, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rockford are valued at $125,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were built in Rockford, down from one hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Rockford are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and machinery. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.8% of Rockford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rockford is 17.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Rockford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, South Park Covenant Church and Souls Harbor Church are among the churches located in Rockford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Rockford is home to the McPhail Hall and the Mary McGaw Hall as well as Ken-Rock Park and Jamestown Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alpine Village Shopping Center, Eleventh Street Plaza Shopping Center and Fairview Shopping Center. Visitors to Rockford can choose from Extended Stay America - Rockford East, Courtyard Rockford and Hampton Inn Rockford for temporary stays in the area.