Discover your career path


Adorn canvases with colorful paint.

What does a Painter do?

Although the popular phrase has nothing to do with actual paint, there’s only one profession that allows you to literally “paint the town red” — or blue or yellow or hot pink, for that matter. And that profession is Painter. That’s because a Painter is an Artist or Craftsman who paints either pictures or structures.

While crayons typically come in boxes of eight, 16, 24, or 64, paint comes in hundreds of shades, hues, tints, and tones. When you’re a Painter, therefore, you have one of the country’s most colorful jobs.

What that job is, exactly, depends on what kind of Painter you are. If you’re an Artist, you use acrylic, oil, or watercolor paints to create compositions in the form of painted canvases, murals, and 3-D objects. Your work — which might include painted abstractions, landscapes, portraits, or still life scenes — is often displayed in museums and galleries, then sold to private citizens, some of whom commission their own custom paintings.

If you’re a Craftsman, on the other hand, you use oil- and water-based paints to paint the interiors and exteriors of buildings, including residential, commercial, and industrial structures. You use brushes, rollers, sprayers, and sponges, but your goal isn’t creativity; it’s utility. In addition to painting, therefore, you also do varnishing, staining, and drywall repair, not to mention wallpaper hanging and removal.

No matter what you paint, where you paint it, or why, your job requires an intimate knowledge of color and technique, as the best painting — artistic or utilitarian — is at once eye pleasing and precise. Kind of like a pair of handsome Painters’ pants.