Sign Painter (Commercial) apprenticeship

Description of an apprenticeship as a Sign Painter (Commercial)

Sign Painter (Commercial) apprenticeship

DOT code: 970.381-026, O*NET code: 27-1013.01

Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook for a detailed description of this trade. Type the trade name in the search box and hit enter.


  • Applies select solvents and cleaning agents to clean surface of painting and remove accretions, discolorations, and deteriorated varnish.
  • Assembles, leads, and solders finished glass to fabricate stained glass article.
  • Brushes or sprays protective or decorative finish on completed background panels, informational legends, exhibit accessories, or finished painting.
  • Confers with professional personnel or client to discuss objectives of artwork, develop illustration ideas, and theme to be portrayed.
  • Develops drawings, paintings, diagrams, and models of medical or biological subjects for use in publications, exhibits, consultations, research, and teaching.
  • Etches, carves, paints, or draws artwork on material, such as stone, glass, canvas, wood, and linoleum.
  • Examines surfaces of paintings and proofs of artwork, using magnifying device, to determine method of restoration or needed corrections.
  • Installs finished stained glass in window or door frame.
  • Integrates and develops visual elements, such as line, space, mass, color, and perspective to produce desired effect.
  • Paints scenic backgrounds, murals, and portraiture for motion picture and television production sets, glass artworks, and exhibits.
  • Performs tests to determine factors, such as age, structure, pigment stability, and probable reaction to various cleaning agents and solvents.
  • Removes painting from frame or paint layer from canvas to restore artwork, following specified technique and equipment.
  • Renders drawings, illustrations, and sketches of buildings, manufactured products, or models, working from sketches, blueprints, memory, or reference materials.
  • Studies style, techniques, colors, textures, and materials used by artist to maintain consistency in reconstruction or retouching procedures.

Work process schedule

Task Hours
A. Maintenance of equipment 200
B. Learn use of materials, equipment and tools 300
C. Building and construction of signs 300
D. Preparation and treatment of surfaces 400
E. Preparation of applications (mixing and matching) 700
F. Layout 1800
G. Actual application 1400
H. Lettering and cutting In 900
I. Pattern procedure 1000
J. Designing 1000
(Every 2,000 hours = one year) total hours: 8000

Related technical instruction

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires 150 hours each year of related technical instruction which must be mastered by the apprentice in order to successfully complete the program. For further information, please call the Division of Apprentice Standards at (617) 626-5409.