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Painters and decorators

£12,480 Average salary at age 20
£27,560 Average Salary
44 Average hours per week


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.

Main 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.


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.

UK Prospects

113600 Workforce Size
2.00% Predicted decline 2021 - 2027
24219 Predicted Replacement 2021 - 2027

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