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

Specialisations: Sign Manufacturer.

You usually need to complete an apprenticeship in signwriter (sign manufacturer) to work as a Signwriter.

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

All Signwriters

  • $1,462 Weekly Pay
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 4,300 workers Employment Size
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • 82% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 44 hours Average full-time
  • 41 years Average age
  • 12% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Signwriters (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 4,300 in 2018 to 4,100 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 2,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 400 a year).

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
  • Location: Signwriters work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Manufacturing; and Construction.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,462 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (82%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 41 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 12% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
20085900
20099200
20106600
20114600
20125800
20136500
20146900
20157100
20166500
20176000
20184300
20234100

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings14621460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services65.1
Manufacturing26.7
Construction3.3
Public Administration and Safety1.6
Other Industries3.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateSignwritersAll Jobs Average
NSW28.731.6
VIC27.225.6
QLD23.120.0
SA6.67.0
WA10.410.8
TAS2.22.0
NT0.81.0
ACT0.91.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketSignwritersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-193.8-5.05.0
20-249.9-9.39.3
25-3421.8-22.922.9
35-4422.8-22.022.0
45-5421.3-21.621.6
55-599.5-9.09.0
60-646.3-6.06.0
65 and Over4.5-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationSignwritersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.7-10.110.1
Bachelor degree4.0-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma6.6-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV54.1-21.121.1
Year 1216.8-18.118.1
Year 115.5-4.84.8
Year 10 and below12.3-12.512.5

You usually need to complete an apprenticeship in signwriter (sign manufacturer) to work as a Signwriter.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • elevated platform ticket
  • forklift licence

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • 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.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Production and Processing

    46% Skill level

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  2. Mechanical

    43% Skill level

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  3. Customer and Personal Service

    37% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  4. English Language

    34% Skill level

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

  5. Mathematics

    33% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-9121.00 - Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders.

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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment

    96% Important

    How often do you wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

  2. Exposed to Contaminants

    92% Important

    How often are you exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours?

  3. Spend Time Standing

    90% Important

    How much time do you spend standing?

  4. Time Pressure

    87% Important

    How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?

  5. Sounds, Loud or Uncomfortable

    84% Important

    How often are you there sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-9121.00 - Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders.

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