Painter and Wall Coverer

Starting Wage


Journey-Level Wage


***The listed wages may vary by state and county.***

Rock-Solid Benefits

  • Retirement And Pension Funds

  • Wellness Program

  • Health Care

Career Requirements

  • Must Be 18 Years Old For Hire

  • High School Diploma or GED

  • Driver's License

  • Reliable Transportation

Painters use tools such as a professional spray gun and wear masks and gloves for protection.

Painters make our world aesthetically appealing while protecting surfaces from the environment. Painters apply decorative and protective finishes in residential, commercial, institutional and industrial settings. They prepare a variety of surfaces including wood, masonry, drywall, plaster, concrete, synthetics, stucco and metal, prior to the application of materials such as paint, high performance coatings, waterproofing, fireproofing, varnish, shellac, wall coverings and special decorative finishes. Painters will work on new and existing buildings.

In industrial settings, (Industrial Coating and Lining Applications Specialist ) or industrial painters make use of abrasive blasting equipment, high and ultra-high water jetting equipment and other types blasting equipment to strip paint from building, tanks, bridges, ships, and piping. Techniques may include removal of rust, mill scale and previously applied hazardous coatings using industry-specific tools. Industrial painters apply protective coatings and linings to steel and concrete structures. When working on tall buildings, painters erect scaffolding, including “swing stages,” scaffolds suspended by ropes, or cables.


Enroll in a painting and wall covering apprenticeship through the Upper Midwest Finishing Trades Institute with IUPAT82, here.


The recommended prerequisites for high school students include construction courses, shop courses, English and math courses. General building classes will familiarize students with blueprint reading, measuring and tools they may use or see on the job. Writing and reading fluently in English will help students succeed in following written instructions and safety warnings.

Completion of high school classes does not count for hours in the apprenticeship program, but the experience and classes taken are valuable in building students’ skill sets.


A two-year diploma is not required to qualify for a painter or wall covering apprenticeship. However, Council on Occupational Education (COE) has programs that align with FTIUM apprenticeship requirements. Contact Recruitment Coordinator, Greg Renne at 651-379-9600 or grenne@ftium.edu.


Candidates applying for a painter and wall coverer apprenticeship will begin by going to the union hall at 3205 Country Drive Suite 150, Little Canada, MN 55117 or by contacting Greg Renne at 651-379-9600 or grenne@ftium.edu to schedule an interview. FTIUM JATC Training Center offers a three-year paid training program for painters and wall coverers. A painter and wall coverer apprenticeship requires the completion of 6,000 hours of on-the-job practical training as well as 144 classroom-training hours. Apprentices learn how to read blueprints, prepare surfaces, pair colors, finish wood, use and care for state-of the art tools and equipment, spray paint, decorate finishing, cover walls, and abide by health and safety regulations.

When a painter and wall coverer apprentice can demonstrate competence in vital skills, the apprenticeship will be complete. Apprentices will graduate to journey-level status.


Being comfortable with heights and adjusting to small, often cramped, spaces is important for a painter or wall coverer’s success in the career. Agility and athleticism are important to members of this career because job demands involve climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching and crawling through or around different building spaces.

Occasionally, painters and wall coverers may be exposed to the weather and work frequently in the proximity of dust, fumes and moving mechanical parts. Good color vision and attention to detail are critical skills to executing work on the jobsite.

High school students preparing to become a painter or wall coverer should seek out part-time jobs that require being physically fit; working in teams and/or building and creating detailed projects. Construction painting jobs, team sports and landscaping work are great ways to build the skills needed for a painter or wall coverer apprenticeship.


Military members applying for a painter or wall coverer apprenticeship receive direct entry into the program by contacting Recruitment Coordinator, Greg Renne, at grenne@ftium.edu or at 651-379-9600. Military members can search job opportunities at www.helmetstohardhards.org.

Local Offices

Minneapolis / St Paul

Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest

3205 Country Dr., Ste. 150
Little Canada, MN 55117

Drug Testing

An employer/contractor/apprenticeship instructor may require drug and alcohol testing of employees and applicants for employment, including random testing.

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