Painters take care of the outside of buildings, city infrastructure and any kind of new architecture development. The handiwork of painters surrounds us at every turn. Ron Yarbrough, founder and president of Pro-Spec Painting Inc., says the painting profession's focus areas are endless – there's something for everyone. "I think there are tremendous opportunities for those that want to enter the painting trade. And I think that [the field] has so many different segments to it – all the way from infrastructure to new construction of commercial buildings and many types of decorative art and restoration." The will and patience to do the work is all it takes to succeed, he adds. "People who are really committed to learning the trade can do well at it. If they set their goals high, they can make a really good living at it." Painters commonly work for building finishing contractors or in the residential building construction industry. Unlike carpenters, painters typically don't build frameworks and structures; they apply paint, stain and coatings to them.
More recently, professional painters are responsible for all preparation prior to painting. All scraping, sanding, wallpaper removal, caulking, drywall or wood repair, patching, stain removal, filling nail holes or any defects with plaster or putty, cleaning, taping, preparation and priming are considered to be done by the professional contracted painter.
If working inside a person’s home, special attention will need to be paid to the different problems that can be encountered, such as those presented by pets and furniture. It is also essential to respect the private space of the client, and to work appropriately within it. If working for a construction firm, dangerous situations can be encountered, such as working at heights and employing the use of safety harnesses and ropes. Working outside brings with it its own hazards and difficulties, and the worker will need to plan for these accordingly through the types of clothing worn and the equipment used. The days can be long, and the hours can vary significantly. If self-employed, planning is essential to fit in as many jobs as is appropriate for the week, in order to avoid long spells of little work, or booking too many jobs into a short period of time. It is also possible that some jobs will require unsociable hours of work, such as working at the weekend. Although the profession is traditionally male dominated, more women are now being encouraged into the trade.