Painting supervisors oversee painting crews on residential and commercial job sites. They are responsible for tasks like scheduling employees, training new workers, and managing a painting project to its completion. To become a painting supervisor, candidates must first gain experience in the painting industry. It can also be helpful to pursue assistant supervisor jobs, or show leadership in your existing painting job, as this can eventually translate into a promotion to supervisory positions. A technical education and classes in business or the construction trades can also help you become a painting supervisor.
The first step in becoming a painting supervisor is to gain experience in the painting industry. Any type of experience can be helpful, but you can gain the most benefit out of a job that is relevant to your future goals. For example, if you want to work in automotive painting, you should look for jobs in that field. Spend some time at this job to learn how the painting process works, and to gain experience with the tools and equipment used in this trade. Stay abreast of new technologies and techniques, and be on the lookout for ways to get the job done faster, cheaper, or better.
Next, be ready to demonstrate your desire and ability to become a painting supervisor. These types of team leaders are often chosen out of existing crews, as companies promote the best and brightest workers. Take initiative and show off your leadership skills whenever possible. Look for things that need to be done, such as clean up or ordering more materials, and get them done before you are told. Once you've demonstrated your leadership potential, ask about the potential for promotion to assistant supervisor or supervisor.
While painting experience and leadership skills are important, education, and training can also help you become a painting supervisor. Consider construction technology programs offered by local trade schools or community colleges. Take classes in painting, construction, or related trades. Pursue courses in construction safety, blueprint reading, or even business, as all of these subjects can make you a better painting supervisor. If your computer skills are weak, brush up on computer programs and software, including email and word processing programs, as well as specialty software used in the construction industry.
To become a painting supervisor, you may have to be open to industries and companies you may not have considered before. Your experience and skill at painting houses, for example, may translate into a career as a supervisor in a ship or marine painting environment. Other painting supervisor jobs can be found in factories and automotive shops, schools, and even government agencies.