Have you ever decided to paint a room in your house, purchased the paint and supplies, only to come home and look at the room and think to yourself, “Wow, I’m way in over my head”. The idea of doing the paint job yourself might seem nice and cheap, but realistically it can be way more difficult and tedious than professionals make it look. It requires fixing the walls, prepping the walls, very careful taping, and a lot of awkward positions to get those annoying spots on the wall that you did not consider. It can be pretty demanding physically, especially if you have tall ceilings or awkward walls.
That’s why so many people go straight to the professionals and hire painting contractors. They can get what would probably be a few days worth of work for an amateur done in a couple hours or a day. They also often come with their own supplies that make it look even better than what you would have done. They are called the professionals for a reason!
Maybe you’re looking into hiring a painting contractor yourself, or are finally getting around to fixing up those walls that have been through it all. You might be wondering, how many painting contractors are available to me and how do I pick the right one? Or maybe you’re looking to get into the industry yourself and are wondering how the job market for painting contractors is looking right now, and how many people are already in the industry.
Number of painting contractors in the US
So then — How many painting contractors in the US are there? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 there were just under 380,000 painting contractors working. In the next ten years, this number is expected to stay about the same, with new painters replacing retired ones. Fortunately, there is almost always a demand for contract painters as people are always renovating their homes, building new ones, or updating a few room colors.
Additionally, the average salary for these contractors was just over $40,000 a year. These numbers can vary, however, because many contractors charge an hourly rate that’s dependent on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include the size of the paint job, the tools required, the type of paint needed, and if it’s just the walls or also includes things like painting trim and molding. Based on all of this, the hourly rate can be anywhere from $20 an hour to $100 an hour.
How to become a painting contractor
Becoming a contract painter generally does not require prior schooling or experience, especially if you’re going to freelance. It would be smart to practice before you start making people pay you to paint their houses so that you’re sure you can offer them a quality paint job, but few painters actually go to school. It’s a trade that can be perfected through practice and time.
If you’re looking to hire a paint contractor, be sure to take into consideration all of the contributing factors for the hourly wage listed above to get a better idea of how much your paint job is going to cost you. Going with the cheapest guy may not result in the most beautiful and careful painting. As mentioned earlier, it can require a lot of supplies as well as physically demanding work that you do not want to be doing yourself — so be ready to pay for that.
There are tons of paint contractors out there to choose from, so be sure to read reviews if they have them and choose carefully. The job market is predicted to stay fairly steady for paint contractors, so if you are looking to get into the painting business, now is the time!