Painting Jobs – Summer Jobs for Teens and Students

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Painting Jobs – Summer Jobs for Teens and Students

Almost all of us have been asked to help out with painting at one point or another; painting a room, a house, or even a wooden fence is a right of passage for most teenagers (See “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”).  Just like the protagonist of one of Mark Twain’s most popular novels, many teens baulk at the idea of having to paint all day.  But if the sound of covering walls both inside and out with lustrous enamels, stains and lacquers sounds like fun to you, then why not start your own business as a residential painter.

Getting a painting business started is a fairly simple task.  First, you’ll need some basic tools before you begin.  These include:

1)     Paint brushes

2)     Rollers

3)     Ladders

4)     Drop clothes

5)     Painter’s clothing

6)     Masks

7)     Cleaning supplies


Once you’ve got the appropriate tools, then it’s time to sell yourself around the neighborhood.  Don’t be afraid to knock on doors and ask your neighbors if there are any painting jobs that you can help them with.  It’s also a great idea to have a flyer made that you can distribute throughout the neighborhood that has all of your contact information and services provided listed on one page.  Don’t be afraid to take on a wide variety of jobs, but don’t over promise anything, either (like taking on a job painting a three-story house with only a 6’ ladder; it’s just not going to work out).

There are several other issues to consider before getting started, too.  Check with your local city or county to make sure that you don’t need a business license to take on small painting jobs.  If you do need one, then get one; you don’t want to get your painting business off to a bad start with your local authorities.  Also see about getting the proper insurance for yourself as well as your business should an accident happen on the job.  Many homeowners won’t even hire contractors that do not carry the appropriate insurance.

Residential painting is a job that can easily turn into a career.  Many people start painting on the side (summer job for kids, teens and students), and then grow their businesses into successful companies that provide an income for years down the road.  If you love working hard, taking on different projects on a weekly basis, and providing customers with quality service while improving the look of their homes, then a career in painting may be the clear choice for you.


Job Summary: Painting

  • Suitable for age range: 14+ years old, although older individuals may be needed to pull permits, apply for a business license, and sign up for insurance for the business.  However, if you’re just painting your uncle’s house, then you probably don’t need to worry about these issues.
  • Safety and security: Safety risks include working with corrosive chemicals at times (paint thinners, lacquers, etc.), working off of steep ladders and around roof eves, exposure to the outside elements, bugs, and pests.
  • Can improve your: Physical stamina, work ethic, business management skills, and customer service skills.
  • Can continue as a career? Many painters start off painting part time before growing their small businesses into careers that can last a lifetime.
  • Required soft skills: Working with customers, providing quality customer service, communicating clearly when discussing the job, prices, etc.
  • Required hard skills: Ability to work long hours both indoors and out, sometimes in the hot sun, ability to paint in a multitude of different settings without a fear of heights (may have to work off of a ladder at times), ability to manage time efficiently and give appropriate time and cost estimates when scheduling several painting jobs at once.
  • Resources and network:

o – Professional Painter Costs

o – 13 Painting Secrets the Pros Won’t Tell You

o – Painter Jobs in your area

o – Build a profile under HandyMan category

  • Where & how to find one? Don’t limit yourself to looking online for a job painting; if you’re looking to kick off your painting career by working for someone else, then try searching local help wanted ads.  A lot of painters around today are still pretty old school, and may not prefer to look for help by using an online job search forum.  You can also try asking around local supply shops and paint depots where local painters purchase supplies throughout the week.
  • Estimated pay: Working for another painter is probably going to land you a basic starting hourly wage of around $8, with increases in pay based on your improving skills as a residential painter.  If you prefer to work for yourself and start your own business, then you’ll be setting your own prices.  The average cost to have a 10’ x 10’ room painted is $100, or $1 per square foot, so there’s definitely money to be made when you’re willing to do as much work by yourself as you possibly can.

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