Painter and decorator

Painters and decorators use a range of materials to keep walls and other surfaces smooth, protected and hygienic both inside buildings and outside.

This page has information on the role of painters and decorators in the NHS, including entry requirements and skills needed. 

Working life

It is important that NHS buildings are well-decorated and in good repair. Hospitals, clinics and headquarters buildings are expected to be safe and pleasant places for patients, staff and visitors.

As a painter/painter and decorator, you could be

You may work on existing buildings or on newly-constructed buildings. You could be redecorating small areas or working on large projects.

Who will I work with?

For small repairs, you may work alone. On larger projects you'll work in a team, alongside other estates team staff such as tilers, plumbers, bricklayers and carpenters. You may have to travel between sites in an NHS vehicle or your own van.

When painters are working in a building, there may be staff and patients there, but painters do not have direct contact with patients.

Painters may work for painting and decorating companies or building contarctors who provide services to the NHS.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements. Employers usually expect a qualification in painting and decorating, such as an NVQ, certificate or diploma. They may also expect some experience of construction work. Employers may ask for qualifications and/or experience in other related areas such as plastering or tiling.

Although painters often join the NHS fully qualified and experienced, it may be possible to train in painting and decorating. Employers usually ask for GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and maths.

Employers may ask for a driving licence.

Skills needed

Painters need to be

Training and development

When you start as a trainee painter and decorator, your training will include

You will be expected to study for qualifications such as NVQs and may be offered an apprenticeship. You may also be encouraged to become multi-skilled by training in, for example, painting and decorating or plumbing.

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