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

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for paperhangers in the St. Louis, Missouri area. There are currently 290 working paperhangers in Missouri; this should shrink 15% to about 240 working paperhangers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for paperhangers are expected to shrink by about 14.5%. 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.

The income of a paperhanger is about $14 per hour or $30,580 per year on average in Missouri. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 hourly or $34,860 yearly on average. Earnings for paperhangers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Painting and Finishing Work in Missouri and better than general Painting and Finishing Work category earnings 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 paperhanger. Paperhangers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn 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 St. Louis include:

  • 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.


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.


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.