Careers Finding a Job Painter Skills List and Examples Share PINTEREST Email Print Tetra Images / Getty Images Finding a Job Job Searching Skills & Keywords Resumes Salary & Benefits Letters & Emails Job Listings Job Interviews Cover Letters Career Advice Best Jobs Work-From-Home Jobs Internships Career Planning Table of Contents Expand Top Painter Skills Communication Skills Aesthetic Sense Detail-Oriented Familiarity With Required Tools Familiarity With Required Materials Physical Dexterity, Strength, and Balance Time Management Skills General Skills List for Painters How To Highlight Painting Skills By Alison Doyle Alison Doyle Alison Doyle is a job search expert and one of the industry's most highly-regarded job search and career experts. Alison brings extensive experience in corporate human resources, management, and career development, which she has adapted for her freelance work. She is also the founder of CareerToolBelt.com, which provides simple and straightforward advice for every step of your career. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 12/13/21 Paint might be literally superficial, but a good paint job or a bad one makes a huge difference in the look, and feel of a building, office space, or home. While many people paint their own interiors, most have to hire a professional if they want a professional-quality job. You do not need a degree, nor do you need to complete a specialized training program to paint. However, many states require painters to obtain a license and/or register as a contractor. You will also need to get insurance to protect you from liability should anything go wrong. In many ways, painting interiors and exteriors are very different jobs since the paint types and the required tools are different for each. You can choose to do one or both. Top Painter Skills If you are interviewing for a job, make sure you can demonstrate these skills. On the other hand, if you are still considering career paths, do a self-check to see if these skills are, or can be, among your strengths. Communication Skills To serve a client’s needs, you must understand what the client wants. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to explain what they want clearly, so you will have to be able to either draw out more exact instructions or use your judgment to fill in the details. Remember that good communication means hearing and respecting what the client wants, not what you think they should want. You can make suggestions, but the owner of the property always has the final say. Aesthetic Sense Most clients will need you to make at least some judgment calls in your work, and some will directly ask you for advice. You need a strong sense of what looks good. Think of the job site as a work of art. Detail-Oriented What makes a good, or even a great paint job is in the details, such as crisp, clean edges, even coats, and well-adhered layers. A small error can subtly but meaningfully alter the look of the room or building. Familiarity With Required Tools Painters use a variety of brushes, rollers, scrapers, wire brushes, sanders, and texturing tools in order to create different effects, and you must know which ones to use for each circumstance. You must also know how to use each efficiently and well. Tool choices differ between interior and exterior painting, and different tools might also be required for painting in different styles or textures. Special treatments and cleanup also require their own equipment and materials. Familiarity With Required Materials Paints vary not just by color, but also by texture, luster, viscosity, drying time, and other factors. Then there are primers, varnishes, sealers, and finishes, which also vary widely. Choose the wrong combination on the wrong surface, and the paint could peel, crack, wash away, or look bad. Physical Dexterity, Strength, and Balance Painters need good manual dexterity in order to achieve a good, clean coat. But you also need the strength and ergonomic skills to move equipment safely and efficiently, and a strong sense of balance in order not to fall off roofs and ladders. Time Management Skills Whether you are self-employed or an employee, you will likely spend most of your workday alone, or at least out of view of your supervisor. You must be able to work efficiently and well without direct oversight. Self-employed painters must also be able to give accurate estimates of how long a job will take to complete. General Skills List for Painters Review the general skills employers seek in the candidates they hire for painter jobs. Skills will vary based on the position for which you're applying, so also review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill. Also, if you are thinking of a career switch, think about all of the skills you have under your belt. Several of these skills are transferable to other fields. Capitalize on your greatest assets when looking for a new line of work. Actively listening to customer preferencesAdhering wallpaperAesthetic sensibilityAligning wallpaper patternsArm and hand strengthAssembling scaffoldsAssigning work to assistantsAttention to detailCalculating costsCalculating quantities of materials requiredCalculating quantities of wallpaperCleaning surfaces prior to paintingCleaning up workspace and equipment after jobsCollaborationCoordinating colors and patternsCovering spaces not targeted for paintingCustomer serviceEstablishing rapport with customersFilling cracks and holes with putty and caulkFollowing directions from designers/decoratorsHiring helpersInterviewing customers to ascertain preferencesMaintaining proper ventilationManeuvering laddersMathematicalMeasuring spaces to be covered with paintMixing paintsNeatnessNetworking for referralsOperating painting equipment to spray large surfacesOrganizationalPhysical staminaPlanning projectsPreparing estimates for customersPriming surfacesPrioritizingProblem-solvingPromoting servicesPurchasing suppliesRemoving wallpaperSafety-consciousScheduling multiple projects in coordination with other contractorsScraping and sanding to smooth surfacesSecuring referencesSelecting equipment for the projectSelecting or recommending appropriate paint for the jobTeamworkTime managementTraining helpersWorking independentlyWorking quickly with accuracy How To Highlight Painting Skills As a painter, you will either work for a contractor or you will work independently. If you choose to apply for a job with a contractor, you can use the skill lists below to choose keywords for your resume and cover letter and to prepare for your interview. You should always read job descriptions carefully, as requirements can vary between apparently similar positions. As an independent, self-employed painter, you will be searching for clients, not employers, and will seldom need a resume. However, you can still use the list to help determine whether a career in painting is right for you.