The painting industry is one of the fast-growing industries in the world. With demand from new construction and remodeling projects, painters are bound to get consistent jobs throughout the year.

The average base salary of a painter in the United States is $65,000, ranging between $33,000 to $97,000. Entry-level painters can make between $29,770 to $35,500. The actual painter’s salary depends on location, year of experience, and type of project. Painters also get overtime of $5,250 per year.

In this article, we will break down the numbers for you and touch on the factors affecting painters’ salaries in the U.S.

Note: These figures are just estimates based on data obtained from job sites like Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter.com, careerexplorer.com, and Zippia.com, among others. To know the exact painter’s salary in your location or state, use our free tool to connect with various local companies.

How Much Do Painters Make

Here is a table showing the average painter’s salary per year, month, week, day, and hour in the United States.

Description Average pay
Per year$65,000
Per month$4,600
Per week$1,190
Per day$195
Per hour$19.07

Average painter pay per month

On average, painters make about $4,600 per month, ranging between $3,400 to $6,900. Entry-level painters make between $2,400 to $3,300 per month.

Your exact salary depends on factors such as your location, your experience, and the type of project you get.

Painters living in metropolitan areas where the living standards are high will get higher pay than painters residing in remote areas.

Average painter salary per week

The average weekly salary for a painter in the United States is $1,190, ranging between $500 to $1,500. Top companies can pay up to $1,700 per week.

As a painter, what sells you is your experience and skills. If you have proper credentials and expertise, you can secure a job in top companies and earn yourself good pay.

However, this is not to discourage starting-level painters, as all good things take time. Typically, an entry-level painter makes between $570 and $700 per week.

Average painter pay per day

On average, painters make about $195 per day, with a typical range of $150 to $250. Top companies can pay up to $296 per day.

Average painter pay per hour

The hourly wage for a painter in the U.S ranges from $19 to $22.5. On the low-end, painters can make about $14 per hour, while top-earning painters can make up to $28.7 per hour.

As mentioned earlier, your average pay depends on the level of expertise you have, your location, and the company you work with.

Painter salary outlook over the years

The chart below shows the average painter’s salary since 2013. There has been a slight increase every year.

Painter salary outlook over the years

Painter salaries by years of experience

As mentioned earlier, how much painters make depends on several factors, one of the most important ones being years of experience.

Typically, a painter with more than 10 years of experience will get higher pay than a starting-level painter.

The table below shows how much painters make by years of experience.

Years of experience Average pay per yearAverage pay per monthAverage pay per hour
Less than 1 year$29,770$2,400$14.00
1 to 2 years$36,000$3,300$16.02
3 to 5 years$57,000$3,900$17.75
6 to 5 years$68,900$4,600$19.00
More than 10 years$76,890+$6,900$28.70

How much do entry-level painters make?

The average painter’s pay in the U.S. is between $29,770 – $35,500 per year, or $14.00 – $16.80 per hour. Top-level companies can pay painters up to $17 per hour.

The exact painter’s pay depends on the state you live in and the project time. Also, the company you work for may determine your salary. For instance, painting contractors working in a start-up company may earn less than those working in well-established companies.

Description Average pay
Per year$29,770 - $35,500
Per month$2,400 - $3,300
Per week$570 - $700
Per hour $14.00 - $16.80
How much do entry level painters make

Best paying cities for painters in the United States

While painters’ salary slightly differs from one state to another, there are definitely cities where painters earn the most.

Check out the table below to see the metropolitan areas where painters earn the most.

City Average painter salary per yearAverage painter salary per hour
Seattle, WA$81,100$23.76
Portland, OR$74,300$21.76
Phoenix, AZ$67,389$19.74
Houston, TX$63,234$18.52
Orlando, FL$62,781$18.39

Best paying states for painters in the U.S.

The best-paying states in the United States include Hawaii, New York, Washington, Illinois, Oregon, and Alaska.

Check out how much salary painters make in the states.

State Average painter salary per yearAverage painter salary per hour
Hawaii $81,170$23.76
New York$78,000$22.86
Washington$74,250$21.75
Illinois $72,600$21.28
Oregon $72,500$21.25
Alaska $71,650$20.99

Average painter salary vs. other best jobs in the U.S.

In reference to our data, painters earn about $65,000 on average in the U.S. Subcontractors are among the top earners, followed by cost estimators.

Here is a chart comparing painter salaries vs. other best jobs in the United States.

Average painter salary vs. other best jobs in the U.S

5 best paying related painter jobs

There are several painter-related jobs that also pay a good salary. Some even pay better salaries than an average painter’s salary.

Here are the 5 best painter-related jobs and the average salaries.

Job titleAnnual salary
Auto body painter$70,500
Director painter$68,300
Remote painter$64,800
Pipeline painter $63,100
Painter per Diem$60,600

What factors affect painters’ salaries in the U.S.

There are various factors that affect painters’ pay. These include location, project type, and years of experience, among others.

Type of project

There is a wide array of projects that painters can work on. These include interior and exterior painting for both residential and commercial projects.

Usually, the kind of project depends on your client’s needs and budget. For instance, a client with new construction may need both interior and exterior painting. Such a client will pay more than one that needs a touch-up.

In addition, commercial and industrial painters tend to earn more than residential painters. This is because the scope of work for bigger projects is higher, and so is the pay.

Years of experience

A painter with several years of experience will definitely earn more than a starting-level painter.

Typically, an experienced painter will possess a strong work portfolio and an excellent reputation because they have been in the industry for a longer time. Such a painter will be better placed to ask for more pay and get more projects.

On the other hand, entry-level painters do not have as much experience and do not know the tricks of the industry yet. Even if they may be excellent painters, they will still earn less than more experienced painters.

Location

Your location also greatly impacts how much money you can make as a painter. Some cities and states are hubs for new painters and construction jobs because of the high number of people moving in.

Therefore, painters will earn more in these regions because of the many painting jobs available. Also, if a city needs to upgrade its infrastructure, there will certainly be an influx of painter and construction jobs, and the pay will be higher compared to other areas. Also, in areas where the cost of living is high, painters tend to have higher incomes.

Typically, painter jobs depend on customers’ needs, which tend to vary from one city to another. Some cities and states will pay higher wages to painters and other contractors, but this may change over time when the demand decreases.

Top companies for painters in the U.S.

If you are an experienced painter and are looking for employment in top companies in the United States, here are some of the companies you should consider.

Company Average annual salary
Long Painting $97,985
Northrop Grumman$95,777
U.S. Army$90,150
SKIS Painting $90,350
Carstar$85,660
Painters Union$84,600
CarMax$79,295
BrandSafway$79,100

What are the most common benefits for painters in the U.S?

Painters get benefits that help them lead a better life and have a good working experience. Some of the benefits include:

  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Health savings account
  • Disability insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Employee assistance program
  • Flexible schedule
  • Vision insurance
  • Profit-sharing
  • Professional development assistance
  • 401(k)
  • 401(k) matching
What are the most common benefits for painters in the U.S

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FAQ’s

If you are not sure whether the salary you get is fair, you can use our free tool to get in touch with local employers. This will give you an idea of how much you can earn depending on your location, experience, and type of project.

The reason why painters charge a lot of money is because of the time they spend preparing the surface so that paint adheres better. Well-prepped surfaces provide a long-lasting and professional paint job. Prep work includes:

  • Cleaning
  • Patching
  • Sanding
  • Caulking
  • painting

How much time a painter spends on the prep work determines how much you will pay them.

Also, painters will charge more for complex projects. For instance, if the contractor has to use special equipment like scaffolding to reach high ceilings and areas, they will ask for more pay. Painters also charge more to paint multi-storeyed projects.

On average, painters charge about $300 to $1,000 per room. A 12 x 12 room will cost between $400 and $950 to paint. Labor costs are usually high because of the prep work. So, you will likely pay a painter between $180 to $650 to paint one room for labor alone.

Yes, you can. You do not have to worry about leaving painters alone in your house. This is because professional painters know what they are doing and will not tamper with your things or steal anything.

Besides, the painters have General Liability Insurance, so you will be compensated in case anything gets damaged.

That being said, it is paramount to check painters’ certification, experience license, and insurance before hiring them. The good thing with hiring a licensed painter is that you can file a claim against them if you do not get satisfactory services.

Yes, hiring a professional painter is worth it. While it may cost more to hire a painter, you are assured of a professional job. Besides, you will not need to reschedule your work to create time to foresee the painting project.

DIY painting may seem like a cheaper option, but it may only be suitable for small remodeling projects. More complex projects will require a professional painter.

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.