Painting & Decorating

Painters and decorators add the final finish to the interior and exterior of residential, commercial and industrial structures – their work serves as both decoration and protection.

No Fees

BCITO's painting & decorating qualification is free until 2023. Find out more.

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Job Prospects

Very good

Total Fees

FREE until 2023 (previously $4,000–5,000)

Time to qualify

2-3 years

Career opportunities

Painter and decorator, self-employed painting contractor, business owner, paint manufacturing, interior design consultant, paint retail store manager, specialised coatings applicator


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See it for real

Play online nowExplore the BCITO My Virtual Construction Site to see if this is the right trade for you.

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What painters and decorators do

Painters and decorators have to know how to prepare surfaces, what products to use, and how to apply the finishes. They also provide advice on colour selection and interior design.

This is an industry that is constantly evolving, with new paint products and techniques being released all the time.

Watch this and see what it's like to be a Painter & Decorator.

Painting and decorating qualifications

The BCITO manages painting and decorating apprenticeships. In your apprenticeship you will be working towards the New Zealand Certificate in Painting and Decorating Level 4.

You’ll work under an experienced painter and decorator who'll provide on-job coaching and support throughout your apprenticeship. You'll also receive the guidance of a BCITO training advisor. Painting and decorating qualifications require you to attend off-job training for assessment of your learning.

There are no strict entry requirements, although it will help if you have good maths and English skills – you need to be able to understand instructions, and work out measurements, quantities and angles.

Your apprenticeship is the start of a professional career

Painting and decorating isn't just a job – it's a professional career. By doing an apprenticeship and getting qualified, you're setting yourself up for ongoing employment as a well-paid tradesperson. You’ll also open up opportunities to do further study in supervision or site management, go to university, or start a business and train your own apprentices.