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Career and Education Opportunities for Decorative Painters in Seattle, Washington

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for decorative painters in the Seattle, Washington area. Currently, 840 people work as decorative painters in Washington. This is expected to grow 10% to about 920 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%. Decorative painters generally paint, coat, or decorate articles, such as furniture, glass, or leather.

Income for decorative painters is about $15 per hour or $32,530 yearly on average in Washington. Nationally, their income is about $11 per hour or $24,070 per year. Incomes for decorative painters are better than in the overall category of Painting and Coating in Washington, and not quite as good as the overall Painting and Coating category nationally.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as a decorative painter. Decorative painters usually hold less than a high school diploma, so it will take only a short time to learn 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 Seattle include:

  • Auto Body Painter. Operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, and airplanes.
  • Photographic Processing Machine Operator. Operate photographic processing machines, such as photographic printing machines, film developing machines, and mounting presses.
  • 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

University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Seattle - Seattle, WA

The Art Institute of Seattle, 2323 Elliott Ave, Seattle, WA 98121-1622. The Art Institute of Seattle is a small school located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,250 students and an admission rate of 77%. The Art Institute of Seattle has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated twenty-three and fifty-three students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.