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

  • $1,015 Weekly Pay
  • 5,200 workers Employment Size
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 92.4% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 43.7 hours Average full-time
  • 41 years Average age
  • 7.3% female Gender Share

The number of Signwriters fell over the past 5 years and is expected to stay fairly stable over the next 5 years:
from 5,200 in 2017 to 5,200 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 3,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Signwriters work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Victoria.
  • Industries: They work in many industries such as Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Manufacturing; and Construction.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (92.4%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43.7 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 41 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 7.3% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
20077400
20086000
20099400
20106800
20114700
20125900
20136600
20147100
20157600
20166700
20175200
20225200

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Services72.4
Manufacturing23.4
Construction2.2
Retail Trade2.0

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 2017, 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
NSW21.531.6
VIC39.826.2
QLD23.619.7
SA9.86.7
WA1.610.8
TAS3.82.0
NT0.01.1
ACT0.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-192.1-5.25.2
20-2411.0-9.99.9
25-3425.3-23.623.6
35-4412.4-21.721.7
45-5426.4-20.820.8
55-5910.1-8.88.8
60-6411.4-6.06.0
65 and Over1.3-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Construction, Plumbing and Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-1026.00 - Merchandise Displayers and Window Trimmers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-1026.00 - Merchandise Displayers and Window Trimmers.

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