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Career and Education Opportunities for Paperhangers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Paperhangers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. About 140 people are currently employed as paperhangers in Wisconsin. By 2016, this is expected to shrink 13% to 120 people employed. This is better than the national trend for paperhangers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 14.5% over the next eight years. 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.

Paperhangers earn approximately $17 hourly or $36,520 annually on average in Wisconsin. Nationally they average about $16 hourly or $34,860 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Painting and Finishing Work, people working as paperhangers in Wisconsin earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Painting and Finishing Work nationally.

The Milwaukee area is home to thirty-nine schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Milwaukee where you can get a degree as a paperhanger. The most common level of education for paperhangers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a paperhanger if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Paperhanger

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 Milwaukee 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Paperhanger Training

Milwaukee Area Technical College - Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53233-1443. Milwaukee Area Technical College is a large college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 18,780 students and an admission rate of 54%. Milwaukee Area Technical College has a less than one year program in Painting/Painter and Wall Coverer which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Gateway Technical College - Kenosha, WI

Gateway Technical College, 3520 30th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53144-1690. Gateway Technical College is a medium sized college located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,587 students. Gateway Technical College has a one to two year program in Painting/Painter and Wall Coverer which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin photo by Towpilot

Milwaukee is located in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 604,477, which has grown by 1.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Milwaukee, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Milwaukee cost $167,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-six new homes were built in Milwaukee, down from one hundred sixty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Milwaukee are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 18.3% of Milwaukee residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Milwaukee is 10.6%, which is greater than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Milwaukee residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Epiphany, Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church and German Full Gospel Church are among the churches located in Milwaukee. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Milwaukee is home to the Caroline Hall and the Wood as well as Cannon Park and Fifth Ward Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Juneau Village Shopping Center, Times Square Shopping Center and Grand Avenue Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Milwaukee can choose from Edge-O-Town Motel, Manor House Hotel and Days Inn West Allis for temporary stays in the area.