There are currently an estimated 381,500 painters in the United States. The painter job market is expected to grow by 5.7% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are painters?

CareerExplorer rates painters with a B- employability rating, meaning this career should provide good employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 26,900 painters. That number is based on 21,900 additional painters, and the retirement of 5,000 existing painters.

Are painters in demand?

The growth in jobs for construction painters is projected to be significant. One reason for this is that painting is labor-intensive and minimally susceptible to technological advances that make workers more productive and slow employment growth. Demand is expected to rise as many workers retire from the occupation and as homeowners and business owners continue to change their paint colors to keep up with décor trends. The short lifespan of paint on home exteriors will further contribute to demand for painters. Additional openings are projected as aging structures and historical buildings undergo renovation. The need to prevent corrosion and deterioration of industrial structures, such as bridges, will also necessitate painters. The petrochemical industry in the Gulf Coast region should present considerable opportunities in the field. Should mortgage interest rates remain low the real estate market may also generate more work for these tradesmen, from both new homeowners and investors needing to prepare their properties for sale or rental. Work from this sector may be somewhat tempered should property owners choose to do their own painting. Painters with limited experience should be prepared for some periods of unemployment since many construction painting projects last only a short time. Economic downturns will generally result in fewer opportunities, especially on large commercial jobs and for new painters facing competition from their more knowledgeable counterparts. Construction painters interested in industrial painting can earn the Protective Coating Specialist certification from the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE). Opportunities for advancement in this occupation are limited; however, experienced painters may qualify for positions as supervisors, superintendents, and job estimators.

What’s the supply of painters?

The painter industry is concentrated in California, Texas, Florida

Painter job market by state

State Name Employed Painters
California 35,070
Texas 19,890
Florida 18,280
New York 13,660
Washington 9,670
Illinois 8,520
Pennsylvania 5,890
Virginia 5,780
Ohio 5,470
Louisiana 5,330
Arizona 4,740
Massachusetts 4,620
Maryland 4,540
Oregon 4,480
New Jersey 4,350
Michigan 4,300
Missouri 4,270
North Carolina 4,090
Colorado 4,090
Indiana 3,950
Minnesota 3,930
Georgia 3,410
Nevada 3,410
Wisconsin 3,180
Tennessee 2,630
Utah 2,580
South Carolina 2,420
Oklahoma 2,240
Alabama 2,080
Kansas 2,020
Hawaii 2,010
Kentucky 1,950
Connecticut 1,910
Iowa 1,790
Idaho 1,680
Nebraska 1,470
Maine 1,370
Arkansas 1,280
Mississippi 1,200
New Mexico 1,060
Montana 900
West Virginia 880
New Hampshire 820
Vermont 680
Rhode Island 620
Wyoming 540
Puerto Rico 530
South Dakota 500
Alaska 470
North Dakota 470
Delaware 440
District of Columbia 440
Guam 190
Virgin Islands, U.S. 50