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Painting, Coating, and Decorating Workers
SOC Code: 51-9123.00

Paint, coat, or decorate articles such as furniture, glass, plateware, pottery, jewelry, toys, books, or leather.

Sample of reported job titles: Artist, Decaler, Decorator, Glass Decorator, Glazer, In Mold Coater, Painter, Pottery Decorator, Silk-Screen Operator, Spray Painter


  • Apply coatings, such as paint, ink, or lacquer, to protect or decorate workpiece surfaces, using spray guns, pens, or brushes.
  • Examine finished surfaces of workpieces to verify conformance to specifications and retouch any defective areas.
  • Clean and maintain tools and equipment, using solvents, brushes, and rags.
  • Read job orders and inspect workpieces to determine work procedures and materials required.
  • Clean surfaces of workpieces in preparation for coating, using cleaning fluids, solvents, brushes, scrapers, steam, sandpaper, or cloth.
  • Rinse, drain, or wipe coated workpieces to remove excess coating material or to facilitate setting of finish coats on workpieces.
  • Place coated workpieces in ovens or dryers for specified times to dry or harden finishes.
  • Select and mix ingredients to prepare coating substances according to specifications, using paddles or mechanical mixers.
  • Melt or heat coating materials to specified temperatures.
  • Conceal blemishes in workpieces, such as nicks and dents, using fillers such as putty.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe FreeHand; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Office suite software - Corel WordPerfect Office Suite

Tools Used

  • Air dryers - Belt dryers
  • Blowers or dryers - Finishing ovens; Workpiece dryers
  • Calipers - Dial calipers
  • Cleaning brushes - Scrub brushes
  • Cleaning scrapers
  • Drying cabinets or ovens - Flash cure units
  • Enameling Kilns - Enamel setting kilns
  • Etching needles - Underglaze applicators
  • Hand sprayers - Spot cleaning guns
  • Heat guns - Hot air guns
  • Hydrometers - Digital hydrometers
  • Inkjet printers - Computer inkjet printers
  • Laser printers - Computer laser printers
  • Micrometers - Digital micrometers
  • Paint brushes - Glaze brushes; Soft bristled brushes; Specialty paint brushes
  • Paint mixers - Glaze mixers; Mechanical mixers; Mixing paddles
  • Paint rollers - Mini foam rollers
  • Paint sprayers - Paint spray guns
  • Palette knives - Palette knife sets
  • Personal computers
  • Potters wheels for hand made ceramics - Banding wheels; Decorating wheels
  • Power sanders - Cordless power sanders
  • Pressure or steam cleaners - Pressure washers
  • Remote reading thermometers - Temperature meters
  • Rulers - Precision rulers
  • Sifters - Enameling sifters; Metal sieves; Plastic sieves
  • Silk screen arc lamps - Exposure units
  • Silk screen printing machines - Four-color screen printing machines; Screen printing press; Spot process screen printing machines
  • Silk screen screens - Silkscreen screens
  • Silk screen squeegees - Silkscreen squeegees
  • Silkscreen accessories - Ink scoops; Scoop coaters
  • Stained glass tools or accessories - Painting bridges
  • T squares - Layout T-squares
  • Ultraviolet UV lamps - Ultraviolet UV curing units
  • Vacuum cleaners - Vacuum brushes


  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.


  • Interest code: R
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Context

  • Exposed to Contaminants - 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 71% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 72% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 76% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure - 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 48% responded “Very important.”
  • Contact With Others - 56% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 43% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 34% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Physical Proximity - 52% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 34% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 68% responded “40 hours.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 48% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 34% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 30% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 31% responded “Moderate results.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 29% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 27% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 37% responded “Limited freedom.”

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $14.82 hourly, $30,820 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 16,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Little or no change (-1% to 1%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 1,700

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