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Career and Education Opportunities for Painters in St. Louis, Missouri

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for painters in the St. Louis, Missouri area. About 9,470 people are currently employed as painters in Missouri. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 10% to about 10,440 people employed. 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.

A person working as a painter can expect to earn about $17 hourly or $37,360 yearly on average in Missouri and about $15 hourly or $32,960 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Painters earn more than people working in the category of Painting and Finishing Work generally in Missouri and less than people in the Painting and Finishing Work category nationally.

There are seventy-one schools of higher education in the St. Louis area, including one within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can get a degree to start your career as a painter. Given that the most common education level for painters is less than a high school diploma, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a painter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Painter

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 St. Louis 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.
  • Tile Setter. Apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, and roof decks.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Painter Training

Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville, IL

Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, IL 62221-5899. Southwestern Illinois College is a large college located in Belleville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,308 students. Southwestern Illinois College has a less than one year program in Painting/Painter and Wall Coverer which graduated three students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.