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How Do I Become an Industrial Painting Contractor?

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Paint and a paint brush.
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  • Written By: T. Webster
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2014
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Training to become an industrial painting contractor often includes on-the-job learning and some educational courses. Some professional experience or formal training is desirable before deciding to branch out on your own. Also, be sure to investigate and understand all of the necessary requirements and regulations for running a painting business in your area.

Industrial painting contractors are simply individuals or companies hired by others to perform work. You might choose to be an independent contractor or start your own business after you have built up a good client base. As an industrial painting contractor, you can get involved a wide range of projects. Applying protective coatings to bridges and other steel structures or painting ships, storage tanks and plant buildings are just a few of the projects that you might perform or oversee.

A high school diploma is usually the minimum requirement to become an industrial painting contractor. Some painters also earn vocational training or a two-year degree. You might consider earning a four-year degree in business or a related topic if you want to own your own business.

For beginners, one of the best ways to become an industrial painting contractor is to land an apprenticeship position. As an apprentice, you will receive paid on-the-job training. After learning all the necessary skills, you can then set out to become an industrial painting contractor.

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During training, you will learn how to select the correct materials and operate various painting equipment. Automated mixers and spraying equipment are a couple of the tools commonly used by industrial painters. It also is important to understand how to properly choose and mix paint.

Also, make sure to learn and follow all safety procedures. You will need to know how to work safely in an industrial environment. You also will need to know how to properly handle paint, because it can be a potent chemical.

Of course, there is more involved than simply understanding the painting industry. Strong communication and people skills are required to market your business and land clients. Good time management skills also are important, because you will be overseeing both the actual work being performed and all of the functions of running a business.

When you are ready to become an industrial painting contractor, make sure that you have all of the commercial-grade supplies and materials needed to do the job. This can represent a significant financial investment. You also will likely need to have a business license and insurance in order to protect yourself and your business from injuries or lawsuits.

Professional business cards and, if possible, a website to inform potential clients about your business also can be helpful. After all of the groundwork has been laid, begin utilizing your professional contacts to tell them about your company. You also might want to schedule appointments with general contractors to tell them what services you offer.

To start, you might need only a few part-time employees rather than a full-time staff. Safeguard yourself and your business by making sure to follow any applicable labor laws when hiring and paying employees. That is the best way to avoid fines or penalties that could damage your business and your reputation.

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