Signwriters design, fabricate and paint signs for displays, buildings, hoardings, boats and structures.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Around half of workers have a Certificate III/IV. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

Tasks

  • conferring with clients and responding to proposals, sketches and written instructions to determine composition of signs
  • designing and creating signs and graphics using computer software and signmaking machines
  • designing and creating signs by measuring and calculating letter size, preparing the surface, applying background paint using brushes, sprays and rollers, and creating the letters using brushes, stencils, enamel paint and decals
  • designing and creating wall murals, screen prints, gold leaf work and custom vehicle art
  • painting signs and lettering using lacquers, varnishes, paints and other materials
  • painting signs on brick, metal, timber, glass, plastic and other surfaces
  • making and erecting three dimensional signs
  • preparing cost estimates for labour and materials
  • may erect and work on scaffolding
  • may install signs on-site

Job Titles

  • Signwriter
  • Signwriter

    Specialisations: Sign Manufacturer

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,015 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    stable
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    6,100
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    85.3%
  • Female Share

    14.7%
  • Full-Time Share

    80.5%

Find Vacancies

This is a very small occupation employing 6100 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown.
Little change in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Signwriters work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Manufacturing; and Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 44.1 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,015 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly young. The average age is 35 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20057000
20065700
20077600
20088900
20096500
20105700
20115600
20126200
20137300
20147700
20156100
20206200

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsSignwritersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10151230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategorySignwritersAll Jobs Average
Full-time80.568.4
Part-time19.531.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)44.140.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services76.3
Manufacturing16.3
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services3.1
Administrative and Support Services2.2
Other Industries2.1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateSignwritersAll Jobs Average
NSW22.331.8
VIC35.125.5
QLD26.219.8
SA6.96.8
WA4.611.2
TAS2.12.0
NT0.61.1
ACT2.21.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketSignwritersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.5-5.45.4
20-2412.1-9.99.9
25-3439.7-23.423.4
35-4416.0-21.721.7
45-547.0-21.121.1
55-5916.3-8.78.7
60-644.2-5.95.9
65 and Over4.3-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategorySignwritersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males85.3Males53.6
Females14.7Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed.
Around half of workers have a Certificate III/IV. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Signwriters who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    77% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Sales and Marketing

    76% Important

    Showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  3. English Language

    66% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Administration and Management

    63% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  5. Design

    57% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Getting Information

    86% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Thinking Creatively

    86% Important

    Using your own ideas to developing, designing, or creating something new.

  3. Performing General Physical Activities

    85% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  4. Handling and Moving Objects

    84% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  5. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    83% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Occupational Information Network Merchandise Displayers and Window Trimmers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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