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A career in the painting and decorating industry can be creative and satisfying as you contribute to beautifying and preserving buildings and structures. The painting and decorating trade includes:

  • Wall-papering - It's back in fashion and totally hip! You can earn big bucks creating custom murals and funky looks
  • Lead Paint Management - Protecting the health of children and pregnant women
  • Decorative Finishes - Natural lime washes, marbling and creative broken colour effects that will blow your mind!
  • Working at Heights - Adrenalin junkie? Get your fix by helping us reverse climate change using radical new heat-reflective nano-technology on Australia's roofs! These are the absolute coolest paints around! Learn the ropes and you can help cut carbon emissions across Australia
  • Sustainable Paints and Coatings - If you think painting stinks, then you'll be happy to use the new Zero-VOC paint technology; a breathe of fresh air! Get a natural high and learn how to use natural paints and stains.

If you think this is you, then maybe a painting apprenticeship is for you.

Who should consider entering the painting and decorating trade?

Painters and decorators apply paint, varnish, wallpaper and other finishes to protect, maintain and decorate interior and exterior surfaces of domestic, commercial and industrial buildings and other structures.

A Painter and Decorator may perform the following tasks:

  • work out the quantity of materials needed for the job by taking surface measurements or by looking at job specifications or drawings
  • erect scaffolding, cradles and ladders, and placing drop-sheets to protect areas from dripping paint
  • remove old paint or paper by sanding or scraping or by using blowtorches or liquid paint removers and, when removing old paper, by using steam strippers
  • prepare surfaces by fixing woodwork, filling or sealing holes, cracks and joins, and washing them down to remove dust and grease
  • select and prepare paints to match colours by the addition of tints
  • brush, roll or spray the paints, stains, varnishes and other finishes
  • when wallpapering, set out the area according to the pattern match and starting point in the room, cut the paper to the appropriate length, apply paste to the back of each strip, and hang the paper on the wall, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles
  • spray paint surfaces using a spray gun or specialised equipment
  • apply decorative paint finishes such as stencils, colour glaze, graining, marbling and lettering
  • wash equipment and clean work areas

Painters may concentrate on a specific area of work, such as the internal or external painting of domestic homes, commercial buildings or industrial structures and equipment. They may work alone or as members of a team. They often work from ladders and scaffolding and do a lot of bending and stretching.

Personal Requirements:

  • physically fit
  • able to work at heights
  • interested in practical work
  • normal colour vision
  • good sense of balance

How do I get a painting and decorating apprenticeship?

The best way is to simply contact employers in your area and ask them if they are looking to put a keen apprentice on. Contact your local Apprenticeship Centre and list yourself.

Check our forum for employers looking for apprentices.

Apprenticeship Duration: 4 years (full time) - formal training completed after 3 years

A painting and decorating apprenticeship is broken into a number of stages. While this is time-tabled over 3 years this is competency based training,and therefore students can progress faster through some parts of the apprenticeship if they are fast learners.

Call NIPD for advice and information on painting apprenticeships:

Tel: 1300 319 790