What do you need to become a qualified painter?


Are you looking for more information on how to become a painter in Australia? Painters apply paint, special coatings and varnish to the surfaces of residential homes, schools, commercial buildings and other structures.

Tasks and duties of painters include

  • Reading instructions and blueprints to determine the job requirements, including the style and color preferences of clients and quantity of materials required.
  • Preparing surfaces and walls by removing old paint, washing the walls, scraping and filling up any cracks and holes.
  • Painting as per style preferences and applying decorative finishes such as lettering, stenciling and glazing.
  • Reviewing to ensure completion of the project as per the owner’s specifications.

Apart from the above, painters are also responsible for the safety of their clients at work sites. If a customer slips and falls or the client’s property gets damaged because of your services, they can file a claim for the damages sustained. One of the first things you should consider is Public Liability Insurance that covers the costs of attorney fees, court fees and settlements.

Check this article to know more about purchasing the best Public Liability Insurance for your painting business.

Here are the prerequisites for becoming a painter in Australia:

  • Take up the Certificate III in Painting and Decorating (CPC30611) course

To become a qualified painter in Australia, you need to take up and finish a Certificate III in Painting and Decorating (CPC30611) course. This course can be completed in any TAFE institution (Technical and Further Education) or a Registered Training Organisation. You can also complete the course as part of your apprenticeship. The duration of the course depends on the delivery method and the institution/provider of the course.

While a full time Certificate III in Painting and Decorating course takes one year to complete, it can take 3 years when taken part-time. The average course fee is $14,793 although with government subsidy, the course costs between $3000 to $4500.  There are also several blended, online, part-time day/evening and apprenticeship-based courses in TAFE institutions with varying fee structures.

  • Complete the White Card course

Suppose you wish to work in the construction and building industry. In that case, it is mandatory to complete a course in construction induction painting and obtain the Construction White Card or Work Safely in the Construction Industry Certificate. The White Card course is offered at Registered Training Organization and upon successful completion, you can obtain the White card.

As a safety training qualification, the Construction White Card course provides important safety and health education in the unit called “Work Safely in the Construction Industry” ( CPCCOHS1001A). All RTOs in Australia cover the same competency unit in the White Card course and meet the standards of construction induction cards.

If you choose in-person training, the course completion can take up to six hours while an online White Card course is more flexible and you can finish it within two to four hours. However, the actual time depends on the learner’s computer literacy, skill level, and experience in the industry.

Who can take up the course?

Anyone older than 14 years can enrol in the White Card course, provided they have adequate knowledge of English and provide documents to prove the age such as driver’s license, a Citizenship Certificate or birth certificate.


Seek Career Advice AU. (n.d.). How to become a Painter – Salary, Qualifications & Reviews – SEEK. [online] Available at: https://www.seek.com.au/career-advice/role/painter .

Anon, (n.d.). Need Your Construction White Card? | White Card Safety Training. [online] Available at: http://www.whitecardinfo.com.au/construction-white-card/ [Accessed 9 Sep. 2020].

www.tafensw.edu.au. (n.d.). Certificate III in Painting and Decorating – CPC30611-01V04-20GRV-065 – Granville College – TAFE NSW. [online] Available at: https://www.tafensw.edu.au/offering/-/o/o/CPC30611-01V04-20GRV-065/Certificate-III-in-Painting-and-Decorating [Accessed 9 Sep. 2020].

www.myskills.gov.au. (n.d.). Certificate III in Painting and Decorating – CPC30611 – MySkills. [online] Available at: https://www.myskills.gov.au/courses/details?Code=CPC30611 [Accessed 9 Sep. 2020].

Department of Education and Training, (n.d.). Certificate III in Painting and Decorating. [online] Victorian Skills Gateway. Available at: https://www.skills.vic.gov.au/victorianskillsgateway/Students/Pages/CourseSearchDescription.aspx?type=course&CourseId=1268&new=1 [Accessed 9 Sep. 2020].


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