How Painting Compares to Other Industries in Tackling Today’s Demand and Labor Challenges
Painting remains in high demand, making it a challenge for many painting contractors to keep up with demand — although it’s a profitable challenge to be sure. In APC’s 2018 Contractor Operations Survey, painting contractors cited employee hiring and retention as their leading challenge (35%), even as 40% of the painters cited admitted to taking on more work in 2018.
Our research indicates that painting contractors are finding success hiring, as the number of painters employed continues to grow annually. This growth simply hasn’t been enough to keep up with high remodeling demand. With mixed forecasts on what’s to come in the year ahead — the National Association of Homebuilders
predicts remodeling will continue to grow, while the Harvard Joint Center for Housing says owner spending in remodeling will shrink by year’s end — painting contractors may find their staff level to be right where it’s needed to weather an uncertain future.
Consistent Increases Keep Painter Pay Competitive: How Painting Wages Compare to Related Industries
Looking to recruit from industries outside of painting? Turns out painting contractors may be well situated to offer competitive pay compared to many other trades. While Bureau of Labor Statistics data for painters may include senior positions, compared with construction laborers data, which skews the data somewhat, it is worth noting that painting pay increases have risen more steadily compared to pay for auto technicians or flooring and drywall installers.
Should Painting Be a Certified Trade?
Many trades offer industry certification programs as a way to assess an individual’s possession of the skills and knowledge to perform their role. It can demonstrate a clear path to promotion and pay raise. It’s also a way of demonstrating to customers the industry’s professionalism and the seriousness with which your company takes its craftsmanship. However, certification can be costly for employers. For an industry struggling to recruit laborers, the expense of certification might be outweighed by the need to pull in as many able arms as can hold a brush.
Industrial painters might earn certifications from the NACE International Institute or the Society for Protective Coatings. But for residential and commercial painting,
no third-party options exist. Several paint manufacturers certify painters for demonstrated expertise with a specific product, but these certifications have their limits for companies that work with a range of products. That’s why APC asked its Facebook followers if it’s time for the industry to offercertification. The answer was overwhelmingly in favor.
APC's Facebook Poll