Painting Contractor (Commercial)

License required by 22 states

31st most burdensome licensing requirements.

71st most widely and onerously licensed occupation.

Painting contractors contract with clients to paint walls, equipment, buildings, bridges and other structural surfaces using brushes, rollers and spray guns. They may also remove old paint to prepare a surface prior to painting or mix colors or oils to obtain desired color or consistency.

Typically, only contractors require licenses, not the painters who work for them. In some states, licensing requirements differ based on the setting. Those with a residential license may work only on residential properties, while those with a commercial license may work on commercial properties. Other states require the same license regardless of the setting, and this report records that license in both settings. Many states have contract minimums before the contractor’s license applies. See Appendix B for details.

Twenty-two states license painting contractors working on commercial properties. Nine states require between two and five years of experience working under a licensed contractor. Alabama and Mississippi require completion of three contracted jobs. Eleven states require no experience. On average, states require 488 days of education and experience, $382 in fees ($1,078 in Nevada), and one exam. These high barriers give commercial painting contractors the 31st most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied.

States With Licenses

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Arkansas 22 $180 1825 5 years 1 0 0
2 Nevada 22 $1,078 1460 4 years 2 0 18
3 California 22 $579 1460 4 years 3 0 18
4 Hawaii 22 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
5 Oregon 22 $385 1463 16 clock hours 4 years 1 0 18
6 Arizona 22 $956 730 2 years 2 0 18
7 Virginia 22 $320 731 8 clock hours 2 years 1 0 18
8 Utah 22 $549 733 20 clock hours 2 years 2 0 0
9 South Carolina 22 $250 730 2 years 1 0 0
10 Mississippi 22 $640 67 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
11 Alabama 22 $492 67 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
12 Louisiana 22 $460 0 2 0 0
13 Rhode Island 22 $200 1 5 clock hours 0 0 18
14 North Dakota 22 $125 0 0 0 18
15 D C 22 $655 0 0 0 0
16 Tennessee 22 $305 0 1 0 0
17 West Virginia 22 $132 0 1 0 0
18 Alaska 22 $300 0 0 0 0
19 Washington 22 $113 0 0 0 0
20 Iowa 22 $50 0 0 0 0
21 Idaho 22 $30 0 0 0 0
22 Nebraska 22 $0 0 0 0 0

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