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Painter and Decorator2024-03-06T12:18:05-05:00


Residential & Commercial (Trade Code 404C)

Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act 2009 (Voluntary Trade)


  • Read specifications to determine quantities of materials required
  • Prepare and clean surfaces using methods such as scraping, sanding, sand-blasting, hydro-blasting and steam-cleaning; remove old wallpaper and loose paint; repair cracks and holes in walls, apply sealer
  • Mix and thin paint to obtain desired colour and texture
  • Apply paint or other materials, such as stains, lacquer, enamel, oil, varnish, fibreglass, metal coating or fire retardant using brushes, rollers or spray equipment
  • Measure, cut and apply wallpaper or fabric to walls
  • Assemble and erect scaffolding and swing gates
  • Advise customer on selection of colour schemes and choice of wall coverings
  • Provide cost estimates to clients


  • You are comfortable working on ladders most of the time
  • You may be required to work in cramped areas or at considerable heights
  • You may work outside at various times of the year and experience a considerable range of environmental conditions
  • You can work bending down, stretching from side to side and often with your arms over your head
  • You have the stamina to be on your feet for long periods of time
  • You work with attention to detail
  • You are in good physical condition
  • Review the Essential Skills Profile for additional qualities required


  • Journeypersons work for small, medium and large companies in the residential, commercial and institutional sectors or indirectly for those companies through contractors
  • Many painters own their own business
  • Painters work in union and non-union environments
  • Painter Decorator 404C is a Red Seal Trade


  • The minimum entry for a painter apprenticeship is Grade 10 and proof of a minimum of 16 credits
  • Completion of a 6,000 hour commercial painter and decorator apprenticeship program is required
  • Painter Decorator is a voluntary trade

NEW: Trade Summary Video for Commercial Residential Painter Decorator – 


How long is the Painter Decorator Apprenticeship Program?2021-12-22T20:53:43-05:00
  • 6,000 hour program; it takes 3-4 years to complete
    • 720 hours come from in-school training
    • 5,280 hours come from working in the trade as a painter apprentice
How much does a Painter Decorator Apprentice earn?2021-12-22T20:54:18-05:00

You will be paid a percentage of a full journeyman’s wages while you are working as an apprentice. The percentage is based on hours that are accumulated as you pass each level and work in the respective trade. For details on wage rates, please consult your employer or your local Union Business Agent.

How do I find a job as a Painter Decorator Apprentice?2021-12-22T20:54:44-05:00

FTI does not offer job placement. The apprentice must find a job on their own either through the local union or by contacting Painting Contractors directly. The Union or employment agencies may be able to provide assistance with job searching.

What schooling is required to complete the Painter Decorator Apprenticeship?2021-12-22T20:55:44-05:00
  • Basic Level – 8 week duration
  • Intermediate Level – 8 week duration
  • Advanced Level – 8 week duration

Schooling is 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday at our facilities at 130 Toro Road, Toronto (for Commercial and Residential Painter), or at 1430 Osprey Dr., Ancaster (for Industrial Painter). FTI is the Training Delivery Agent for the Painter Decorator apprenticeship programs for all of Ontario. Classes predominantly address painting theory and Health & Safety issues (e.g. CPR, First Aid, Fall Protection, and WHMIS). There are over 50 topics addressed in school. They cover everything painters do from blueprints, brush and roll, spray painting to faux finish, surface preparation, and coating application. The minimum passing grade for each level of apprenticeship training is 70%.

Apprentices are invited to school by FTI and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) approximately 6-8 weeks prior to the start date of a course. Invitation is by email predominately and apprentices are required to contact the FTI as soon as possible to reserve their seat as seating is limited and on a “first come, first served” basis.

What are the requirements to enter the apprenticeship program?2021-12-22T20:56:27-05:00
  • Minimum age is 16 years old.
  • A valid Social Insurance Number (if your SIN begins with “9” you must provide an expiry date).
  • Minimum grade 10 Canadian education or equivalent proven by a copy of your high school transcript showing credits in Math, English and Science. A copy of your Canadian high school diploma will give you 300 hours credit towards the 6,000 contract. If your documentation is in a language other than English, you will need to have this translated by a certified translator.
  • Membership in the Ontario College of Trades is mandatory for apprentices, and membership must be maintained annually. If membership lapses, apprentices will not be eligible to attend training, and may have their apprenticeship contracts cancelled by the Ministry.
  • Effective August 1, 2002, the Government introduced a $400 tuition fee. If you are non-union, you will have to pay this fee for each level of schooling.
  • If you have Work Experience in the trade, you could get some of those hours credited towards your apprenticeship. They must be proven by a letter on company letterhead stating the following:
    • Dates of employment
    • Total hours worked during these dates
    • Skills and tasks performed
    • Description of the types of painting jobs you were doing
Is there any financial assistance available for apprentices?2021-12-23T21:38:09-05:00

Yes, there is.

What do I do once I have completed my apprenticeship?2021-12-22T20:57:24-05:00

Upon successful completion of all 3 levels of schooling and accumulating a minimum total of 6,000 hours necessary under the terms of your Training Agreement, your sponsor/employer must report your completion to the MLTSD. Once the Ministry has recorded the results in their system, your membership with the Ontario College of Trades will change to that of a “Journeyperson Candidate” membership class (please note: after April 8, 2013, you must be a member of the OCOT in order to write the CofQ). Once you are a Journeyperson Candidate with the OCOT, you are eligible to write the Certificate of Qualification (CofQ) exam.

An examination fee of $150 +HST must be paid to the OCOT in advance for each attempt at writing. The exam is written at Ministry Apprenticeship exam centres, and a minimum grade of 70% is required to pass. This will give you your Interprovincial Red Seal License (for Red Seal trades).

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