Painters held about 360,500 jobs in 2014, of which 36 percent were employed in the painting and wall covering contractors industry. About 4 in 10 were self-employed in 2014.
Because painters apply finishes to a wide variety of structures—from bridges to the interiors and exteriors of buildings—they typically work both indoors and outdoors.
Painting requires a lot of climbing, bending, kneeling, and reaching. Those who paint bridges or buildings may be exposed to extreme heights and uncomfortable positions; some painters are suspended by ropes or cables as they work.
Injuries and Illnesses
Painters have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. Falls from ladders, muscle strains from lifting, and exposure to irritants such as drywall dust are common risks. Maintenance painters who apply industrial coatings may have to go through additional safety training because of concerns related to falls.
Most painters work full time. About 4 in 10 were self-employed in 2014. Self-employed workers may be able to set their own schedule.