Careers In Construction

Painter / Decorator (Updated September 2009)

Painters/Decorators apply coats of paint, varnish, staining, enamel or lacquer to decorate and protect interior or exterior surfaces, trimmings, and fixtures of buildings and other structures. Additionally, they may also prepare and cover room interior walls and ceilings with wallpaper, fabrics, vinyls and other materials.

Length of Apprenticeship:

Three (3) years.

  • Apprentices spend 960 hours in the classroom during the three years of the program.
  • Apprentices receive on-the-job training for four days per week and attend school one day per week.

  • Wage Information:

    1st day of employment to end of Probation (Permit) Probation 90 Days
    40% of journeyman wage
    End of Probation–40 days of completed classroom
    50% of journeyman wage
    41 days–60 days of completed classroom
    65% of journeyman wage
    61 days–80 days of completed classroom
    70% of journeyman wage
    81 days–100 days of completed classroom
    75% of journeyman wage
    101 days–120 days of completed classroom
    80% of journeyman wage
    After 120th day–Date of contract expiration
    90% of journeyman wage
    Journeyman Level: 100% of journeyman wage


    Welfare, Pension

    Basic Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Must have a high school diploma or a G.E.D. Certificate.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or have filed for citizenship.

  • Must have a letter of “intent to hire” from a prospective employer.

  • Must have reliable transportation.

  • Must be physically fit to perform the job.

  • Must have valid Social Security card.

  • Working Conditions:

    Painters work both inside and out.

    Recommended Preparatory Classes:

    Mathematics, art, and drafting classes.


  • Must be able to work at high levels with ladders and scaffolds.

  • Must be able to lift at least 80 pounds.

  • Work Experience:

    (Helpful, but not necessary for acceptance.)
    Previous experience with painting/decorating is beneficial.

    Entry Process:

  • STEP 1: All Applicants should telephone the CHICAGO AREA PAINTING AND DECORATING JOINT APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING COMMITTEE OFFICE AT (708) 449-5282 and arrange for an appointment between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM Monday through Friday, excluding school holidays.

  • STEP 2: Proceed to the CHICAGO AREA PAINTING AND DECORATING JATC office at 1101 Taft Avenue, Berkley, IL 60123, to complete the application. There will be a non-refundable twenty-five dollar ($25.00) application fee required, in the form of a money order payable to the Chicago Area Painting & Decorating JATC. MUST MEET BASIC REQUIREMENTS (ABOVE)! For your own safety and education, you must be able to communicate in English. Ability to read, write and speak the English language well enough so as not to need an interpreter. If an applicant is not able to speak English, Conversational English Classes will be paid for provided the applicant passes the course.

  • STEP 3: With the above steps completed, the applicant is issued a list of UNION PAINTING CONTRACTORS, who follow fair employment practices.

  • STEP 4: When the applicant is hired, he/she must return to the JATC office, PRIOR TO WORKING, with the letter of INTENT TO HIRE from the Contractor, stating NAME, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND STARTING DATE OF EMPLOYMENT PENDING DRUG TEST.

  • STEP 5: The Applicant must pay a $40.00 Drug Test Fee (Money Order Only, Payable to the Chicago Area Painting and Decorating JATC) and take a Drug Test prior to recieving a work permit. Upon passing the Drug Test, the Application will be reinbursed for the amount of the Drug Test. The Applicant must take the drug test within forty-eight (48) hours or two (2) working days after presenting the letter of intent. If an Applicant fails the drug test, the Applicant will be able to re-apply in six (6) months.

  • STEP 6: A FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTY FIVE DOLLAR ($485.00) PERMIT FEE, MONEY ORDER ONLY, made payable to PAINTERS DISTRICT COUNCIL #14, is required. THIS FEE IS NOT REFUNDABLE. A UNION WORK PERMIT is then issued by PAINTERS DISTRICT COUNCIL #14, 1456 WEST ADAMS STREET, CHCIAGO, ILLINOIS 60607, phone (312) 421-0046. The permit will cover the Apprentice during the 90 DAY PROBATIONARY PERIOD.

  • There will be no written test.

  • The eligible Applicant will be interviewed by the JATC.

  • Contact:

    Chicago Area Painting and Decorating Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee
    1101 Taft Avenue
    Berkley, Illinois 60163
    Phone: (708) 449-5282

    Director of Apprenticeship and Training:

    Edward J. Bogdan

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