Painter & Decorator


Painters and decorators use brushes spray equipment to apply paint, enamel, lacquer, and other non-metallic protective and decorative coatings to surfaces of various products. Painters and decorators are also mixologists – they are responsible for selecting the appropriate paints or mix paints and often tend to operate specialized equipment for the application of protective or decorative coatings.

Painters and decorators could also be considered industrial artists – not only are they responsible for large-scale items, but they also deal with smaller items, touch ups, finishes, and often use stencils, decals, and other paint-related finishings to complete the look of ship interiors and exteriors under construction or repair.

  • Select appropriate paint or mix paints using automated paint mixing equipment according to pre-determined formulas and specifications.
  • Operate equipment to clean, wash, strip, sand, fill dents or otherwise prepare items for painting, lacquering or other protective coatings.
  • Clean and maintain painting and coating, ventilation, compressed air and protective equipment.
  • Prepare and apply stencils, computer-generated decals or other decorative items and touches and finished products. 
  • Operate hand-held and automated spray guns and other painting tools to paint or coat stationary items with protective or decorative coatings.
  • You consider yourself a bit of a trades artist and enjoy approaching industrial products as giant unfinished canvasses.
  • You have an eye for detail and can envision the larger picture.
  • You are a master of manual dexterity.
  • You are passionate about applying technological innovations in painting and coating to large, industrial projects.
  • You enjoy working with stencils, computer-generated decals, and other print/press -based technologies.


Careers in the BC shipbuilding & ship repair industry usually begin with an apprenticeship in a Red Seal trade or with a job directly at a shipyard. Many get their start in shipbuilding as a shipyard labourer prior to being accepted into an apprenticeship program.

Discuss possible career steps with your school counsellor, career counsellor, or a union hall representative and consider highs chool trades programs and post-secondary pre-apprenticeship programs as a great place to start learning about the trades. 

ACE-IT High School Program  (Painter & Decorator)


Most apprenticeships require you to have a high school diploma and to complete a foundations certificate as a prerequisite prior to starting your apprenticeship. Check with available training providers to learn their specific eligibility requirements. 

There are different pathways you can take in order to become a painter. In order to be eligible for industry certification as a painter, you can complete a three to five-year apprenticeship program or you can apply a combination of over four years of practical work experience as a painter, plus some high school, college or other industry courses.


Red Seal trade certification allows for movement between provinces.

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program


Employer sponsored apprentices are selected and sponsored through an application process. Union sponsored apprentices are selected and sponsored through their trade union and can be recruited by employers based on the needs of a shipyard.


Apprentices can receive up to $4,000 in grants to pay tuition, travel, tools, or other expenses. If you are considering an apprenticeship, visit the Red Seal program for information on how to get started.