What does a Painter/Decorator (404 C/D) do?

A Residential & Commercial Painter/Decorator (404C) applies decorative and protective finishes to various surfaces in residential and commercial settings. An Industrial Painter/Decorator (404D) works in commercial and industrial settings to prepare a variety of surfaces prior to applying protective finishes, including paint, high performance coatings, waterproofing, fireproofing, and specialty finishes.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • Measuring surfaces and reviewing work orders to estimate quantity of materials needed
  • Cleaning surfaces using solvents, heat, sanding, wire brushing water or sand blasting; preparing surfaces by filling nail holes and cracks and sanding rough spots
  • Using brushes, rollers, or spray guns to apply coatings and finishes to various surfaces
  • Safely assembling scaffolding and other access equipment, when required
  • Communicating effectively with customers, co-workers, and supervisors
  • Working independently or as part of a team, or supervising the work of others
  • Keeping up with trends and learning new techniques in painting and decorating

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

  • Grade 10 is the legal minimum, though a high school diploma is generally required; credits in math and English recommended
  • Completion of 6,000-hour apprenticeship, including on-the-job and in-school training
  • Branch 1 (commercial and residential) is a Red Seal trade
  • Exam to obtain Certificate of Qualification 

What's Your Future as a Painter/Decorator (404 C/D)?

  • Some employed by companies but many self-employed
  • Indoor and outdoor work, often with long summer hours
  • Physically demanding (standing on ladder with arms over head)
  • Risks include falling and chemical exposure

Wage Rate

Apprentice wage increases with skill and experience. Fully qualified workers earn an average of $25.00-$39.00 per hour.

Self-Rating

Painter/Decorator (404C)

Ask Yourself: Yes No
Do you have good manual dexterity?
Are you comfortable working at heights?
Are you able to follow Health & Safety guidelines?
Can you lift 50lbs comfortably?
Can you spot the differences in appearance and texture?
Do you have excellent eye site? Do you have artistic abilities? Are you good working with colors?
Are you reliable, a self-starter and able to work with minimal supervision


If you checked YES to the majority of these questions, a career as a Painter/Decorator may be for you!

You might want to look at these similar trades as well;

  • Auto Body Painter
  • Industrial Woodworker
  • Patternmaker

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