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Career and Education Opportunities for Decorative Painters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

There are many career and education opportunities for decorative painters in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. About 300 people are currently employed as decorative painters in Iowa. By 2016, this is expected to grow 8% to 330 people employed. 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.

Decorative painters earn approximately $10 per hour or $21,350 per year on average in Iowa. Nationally they average about $11 per hour or $24,070 per year. Decorative painters earn less than people working in the category of Painting and Coating generally in Iowa and less than people in the Painting and Coating category nationally.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids 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. 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 Cedar Rapids include:

  • Auto Body Painter. Operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, and airplanes.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Decorative Painter Training

Mount Mercy College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Mount Mercy College, 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797. Mount Mercy College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,555 students and an admission rate of 80%. Mount Mercy College has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design.


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.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.