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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 7294 Occupation: Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Painters and decorators apply paint, wallpaper and other finishes to interior and exterior surfaces of buildings and other structures. They are employed by construction companies, painting contractors and building maintenance contractors, or they may be self-employed.  Painters and decorators apply paint, wallpaper and other finishes to interior and exterior surfaces of buildings and other structures. They are employed by construction companies, painting contractors and building maintenance contractors, or they may be self-employed. 

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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3 4
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3 4
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3

  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.

  • Read notes and memos from the company detailing such things as changes in company and safety policies. (1)
  • Read labels on equipment such as spray equipment. This is especially important when troubleshooting, setting up equipment, or operating equipment for the first time and may require background knowledge from technical training or company training. (2)
  • Read paint labels to determine the type of thinner to use, square footage per gallon and opacity. Compare one product to another to determine which one would be the best to use. For example, determine which primer has the best adhesion. (2)
  • Read permits on the worksite that specify the areas where workers can or cannot go because of general contractor policy and safety regulations. (2)
  • Read the instructions that come with equipment such as mask filters and products to ensure the correct filter or product is being used for the situation. These require information from MSDS sheets. (3)
  • Read Occupational Health & Safety Regulations to determine correct and safe procedures, for instance, fall protection and proper ladder use. This requires the ability to locate, skim, scan and synthesize information from several sections of the regulations. (3)
  • Read Hazard Assessments detailing all possible hazards that may be encountered and how they should be handled. This may require looking up specific MSDS information, equipment manuals, and pamphlets from WCB and then synthesizing the information. (3)
  • Read MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) in order to understand the safety and personal equipment requirements when using a particular material. (3)
  • Read Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and safety handbooks on topics such as confined space, latex allergies and chemical substances. (3)
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  • Sign for materials received. (1)
  • Write a list of tasks that need to be completed and sequence them. (1)
  • Sign and complete timesheet which may include a record of the tasks completed and the length of time spent on each task. (2)
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Document Use
  • Read lists of materials. (1)
  • Record lists of materials used on the job site for accurate recordkeeping and future reference, for example, maintenance work. (1)
  • Read tables to determine exposure limits to different chemicals and to choose filters for a respirator. (2)
  • Use graphics and illustrations included with instructions for mask filters and other products to ensure the product has been assembled correctly. (2)
  • Record batch numbers, temperatures, drying times, weather conditions, humidity levels and wind direction on industrial job sites because all of these factors affect how the coating dries. These records may be used to settle future problems. (2)
  • Complete timesheet on a weekly basis including job site, amount of time spent and this may include a record of the tasks completed and the time spent on each. (2)
  • Refer to colour codes on blueprints to determine what coating in what colour goes on specific walls, doors, trims, ceilings, etc. On a large job, there may be 21 different materials being used. (2)
  • Refer to blueprints to determine what colour and type of covering is going to be used. This requires knowledge of blueprint symbols and numbering systems. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use the Internet to look up product and safety information, for instance, MSDSs and to update knowledge. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Talk to co-workers to determine who will complete which task, in what order and how it will be done so that work is completed efficiently with little or no downtime and no repaints. For example, if several painters are painting a number of doors the same colour in the same hallway, decide whether to use a brush or a roller so that all the doors will look the same. (1)
  • Ask other painters and/or the foreman questions as well as respond to questions from apprentices and coworkers about materials, preparation methods and application procedures. This could mean explaining a new procedure or why one product was chosen over another (e.g. shorter drying time, application over an oil-based product). (2)
  • On rare occasions, talk to the architect and/or client to explain what has been completed, a process or to receive a directive, for example, "This is approved. It's a go". (3)
  • Present safety information to small or large groups, depending on the size of the group, to teach safety information, how to use a new product, or a new process. (3)
  • Talk to members of other subtrades (e.g. tilesetters, glaziers, floorlayers) to determine when a task will be completed so other tasks can be coordinated. This may require some negotiating depending on how smoothly the work is going and if tasks are being completed on schedule. Miscommunication means work has to be redone costing a great deal of time and money. (4)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure out quantities of paints, thinners, solvents and epoxies. (1)
  • Add up hours on a timesheet to ensure everything is correct. (1)
  • Convert within the metric or Imperial system to calculate area, taking into account doors and windows, number of coats, and/or type of repeat on the wallcovering, so that the amount of material needed can be calculated. (2)
  • Use ratios to calculate the weight that can safely be taken up on a swing stage or manlift. There is a formula, but many painters are able, with experience, to accurately estimate. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the amount of paint or stain needed to complete a job. (1)
  • Estimate how long it will take to complete a task or an entire job. Complexity increases with the size of the job and the size of the crew. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Painters and decorators (except interior decorators) are given finish schedules and tasks by supervisors. The size of the company and the size of the job determine the amount and level of planning/organizing. In some companies, the supervisor/foreman is responsible for all the planning and organizing. In other companies, workers are given a finish schedule and are then responsible for determining the best order to carry out the job tasks with as little downtime as possible. For example, ensuring there is enough of a colour to complete the area, or using the right surface preparation for the product being applied. Painters and decorators plan at least a day in advance. This includes preparing for the unexpected such as bringing your own rags and sandpaper as well as some of your own tools. Work days and schedules are often revised or interrupted and the worker may or may not be able to return to a prior task. In general, tasks are ordered as follows: surface preparation, priming, final coat, and touch-ups. However, the materials used may dictate the organization of the tasks. For example, alkyd products need a longer drying time, generally overnight while water-borne products do not. Planning and organizing access to a work area is of prime importance. What type of staging, planks and ladders or scaffolding must be considered and may have to be requested. Consideration must also be given to whether or not another trade is finishing up in an area, or is behind schedule. Planning includes both time and safety considerations. Industrial settings require even more planning depending on where the job site is. Detailed hazard assessments including MSDSs, information about materials and chemicals which may be encountered on site, type of hearing and respiratory protection required and company policies are part of the planning and carried out by the foreman and one or two painters. Planning may be done as far in advance as one month and schedules are constantly interrupted and changed due to problems with coatings, changes in weather conditions and what the crew is actually capable of once on site. Schedule changes could mean working a 10 hour shift or changing to three shifts. Problems with meeting the projected timetable effect everyone and cost the company a great deal of money. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide what to do next when a task has been completed so there is less downtime. (1)
  • Decide how to prepare the surface for painting. The decision is not easily changed and costs time and money. (2)
  • Decide whether to fix equipment. For example, decide whether to fix a spray machine yourself, even if it is temporary, in order to get the work done on time or decide to call someone in to fix it. Wasting time on repairs means deadlines aren't met but, at the same time, waiting for another machine to be sent over also increases downtime. Options have to be carefully weighed and good judgement used. (2)
  • Decide when a new drywall surface has been sanded and prepared properly and whether or not to notify the foreman. Once the decision has been made to begin applying the coating, any surface problems (e.g. repairs, repaints) become the painter's and not the drywaller's. (3)
  • Decide whether or not the colour is a good match, because making a wrong decision costs time and money. Depending on the type of job, the error may or may not be easily fixed. Complexity increases with the type of project, for example, a heritage project requires knowledge of how coatings age and how to make a coating look aged. (3)
  • Decide how to approach a job including surface preparation, application, and cleanup. Depending on the company and the size of the job, you may be responsible for all of or part of a job. Making the wrong decision, increases downtime and costs to the company. (4)
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Problem Solving
  • Learn to expect the unexpected, for instance, a member of the crew doesn't show up, or the paint doesn't match exactly. You need to be able to apply background knowledge, and knowledge gained from other painters to the situation at hand. Background knowledge includes such information as knowing how different materials perform, mixing glazes, and using the colour wheel to alter colours. It also includes jargon, for instance, knowing a "fiver" is five gallons. (2)
  • Troubleshoot problems with equipment. For example, if an air compressor "goes down" the procedure may be check the line, check the equipment, check the person using it. Often there is a list to follow and past experience helps as well. (2)
  • Figure what to do when the product doesn't perform as expected, for instance, doesn't cover properly, bubbles or cracks, or doesn't dry in the time stated. While past experience and background knowledge help to solve the problem, it is often difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for the failure because there are so many factors to consider: temperature, humidity, wind direction, application procedure, how the coating was mixed or thinned, how long the paint was stirred, and even how the coating was made. (3)
  • Figure out what to do if the respirator mask is leaking. This includes checking for a proper seal to the face, ensuring the correct filter is being used and determining if it is possible the chemical is being absorbed through exposed skin and causing the reaction. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Ask co-workers and the foreman and/or supervisor questions about products, application procedures and solutions to problems. (1)
  • Contact paint stores and salespersons for information about products including availability, proper selection of materials and new products on the market. Often the information is compared to the information received from another company. (2)
  • Use the Internet to research specific product information. (3)
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