Signwriters design, manufacture and paint signs for displays, buildings, boats and other structures. Sign manufacture consists of the design, manufacture and installation of all facets of internal and external advertising.

Signwriters work both indoors and outdoors and spend some time on ladders or scaffolding. They may be required to work in confined spaces in uncomfortable positions, and they may need to use toxic substances.

Signwriters may perform tasks including: 

  • selecting suitable materials for signs such as timber, plastic, metal or glass;
  • preparing surfaces by filling holes, sanding and cleaning, and then mixing the paint, poster colour or varnish;
  • sketching letters or drawing with a template (pattern), painting the background if required and then the sign;
  • designing and creating murals, screen prints, gold leaf work and custom vehicle art.

With the increasing use of computerised manufacture of signs, computing skills are becoming more important.

More information

Personal Requirements 

  • interest and ability in drawing and design
  • able to work at heights
  • good eyesight with normal colour vision

Education and Training 

Entry to this occupation may be by way of an apprenticeship.

  • Pre-Apprenticeship in Sign Industry
  • Apprenticeship in Sign Industry


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