Painting Contractor (Residential)

License required by 28 states

55th most burdensome licensing requirements.

52nd 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-eight states license painting contractors working on residential properties. On average, states require 277 days of education and experience, $312 in fees, and about one exam. All in all, 13 states require at least one exam (California requires three). These requirements rank as the 55th most burdensome.

States With Licenses

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Nevada 28 $1,078 1460 4 years 2 0 18
2 California 28 $579 1460 4 years 3 0 18
3 Hawaii 28 $615 1460 4 years 2 0 18
4 Arizona 28 $956 730 2 years 2 0 18
5 Maryland 28 $433 730 2 years 1 0 18
6 Virginia 28 $320 731 8 clock hours 2 years 1 0 18
7 Utah 28 $549 733 20 clock hours 2 years 2 0 0
8 South Carolina 28 $50 365 1 years 0 0 0
9 Mississippi 28 $290 67 3 jobs, contractors 2 0 0
10 Michigan 28 $286 14 60 clock hours 2 0 18
11 Oregon 28 $385 3 16 clock hours 1 0 18
12 Rhode Island 28 $200 1 5 clock hours 0 0 18
13 Louisiana 28 $460 0 1 0 0
14 North Dakota 28 $125 0 0 0 18
15 Tennessee 28 $305 0 1 0 0
16 D C 28 $442 0 0 0 0
17 West Virginia 28 $132 0 1 0 0
18 Alabama 28 $350 0 0 0 0
19 Alaska 28 $300 0 0 0 0
20 Massachusetts 28 $250 0 0 0 0
21 Connecticut 28 $220 0 0 0 0
22 Washington 28 $113 0 0 0 0
23 New Jersey 28 $110 0 0 0 0
24 Arkansas 28 $50 0 0 0 0
24 Iowa 28 $50 0 0 0 0
24 Pennsylvania 28 $50 0 0 0 0
27 Idaho 28 $30 0 0 0 0
28 Nebraska 28 $0 0 0 0 0

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