Painters and decorators


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Those working in this unit group apply paint, varnish, wallpaper and other protective and decorative materials to interior and exterior walls and surfaces, paint designs on wood, glass, metal, plastics and other materials, and stain, wax and french polish wood surfaces by hand.


There are no formal academic entry requirements, though GCSEs/S grades are advantageous. Entry is typically through an apprenticeship or traineeship approved by ConstructionSkills leading to an NVQ/SVQ in General Construction at Level 3.

Typical tasks

  • erects working platform or scaffolding up to five metres in height;
  • prepares surfaces by cleaning, sanding and filling cracks and holes with appropriate filler;
  • applies primer, undercoat and finishing coat(s) using brush, roller, or spray equipment;
  • mixes adhesive or removes self-adhesive backing and positions covering material on wall, matching up patterns where appropriate and removing wrinkles and air bubbles by hand or brush;
  • stains, waxes and french polishes wood surfaces by hand.

Common job titles

Stainer, wood
Painter, spray (painting, decorating)
Painter and glazier
Painter, bridge
Painter, marine (boat building and repairing)
Hanger, paper
Sprayer, bridge
Texturer, ceiling
Hand, brush
Decorator, house
Gilder (painting, decorating)
Stainer (furniture mfr)
Grainer (painting, decorating)
Polisher, french
Coater, prime
Polisher (furniture mfr)
Painter, scenic
Polisher, wood
Finisher (briar pipe mfr)
Decorator, interior (building construction)
Chipper and painter
Worker, artex
Grainer and marbler
Painter and decorator
Painter, house
Sprayer, ship
Letterer (signwriting)
Painter, ship
Painter, industrial
Specialist, ceiling
Painter, buildings
Leader, red
Contractor (painting, decorating)
Stainer (tobacco pipe mfr)
Polisher, furniture
Polisher, piano
Sprayer, buildings
Contractor, decorating
Contractor, painting