It’s a seller’s market in the real estate world. And with a seller’s market comes an influx of people trying to fix up their homes to sell. That means for those who specialize in home remodeling—contractors, plumbers, electricians, and designers—there is money to make.

But many of these careers involve spending years and thousands of dollars in trade school. For those who want a job in the housing market without schooling, painting is a valuable option, and our tips for becoming a professional home painter are here to help.

Licensing Requirements

Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but you don’t need a license to start painting professionally here in Wisconsin. If you plan on starting your own painting business, you will need to get a license as an independent contractor and liability insurance. This is especially important considering all the time you spend climbing up and down ladders.

Protip: Optional Classes

You may not need to go to trade school to become a painter, but continuing education classes may help you as a painter: for example, courses on reading blueprints. Some companies also have apprenticeship programs to teach you the ins and outs of painting.

Skills To Acquire

Every career has skills and attributes that will equip you to do the job well, and painting is no exception. You’ll likely learn painting skills on the job, like cutting in when you paint trim. Still, it’s good to have these in your pocket before you start:

  • Detail-oriented
  • Physical stamina for lifting cans and climbing ladders
  • The ability to be on your feet for extended periods
  • Understanding of measurements and basic mathematics
  • Communication
  • Scheduling and time management

Routes To Becoming a Professional Painter

There are a few ways to become a professional painter. The most common is to join a company that does house painting. This is either a painting company or a construction company that offers painting services. Otherwise, you can become an independent contractor or form your own business.

Compared to other businesses, there is relatively little you need to start up. Beyond the proper licensing and insurance, you’ll need:

  • Roller, sprayers, and brushes
  • Quality paints
  • Ladders and scaffolding
  • Vans and trucks
  • Drop cloths and protective painting

Along with this, you’ll need to identify what kind of market you want to cater to, commercial buildings or residential. From here, it is relatively simple to develop a customer base to get your building off the ground.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.