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Picture framer

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Summary of occupation

A Picture Framer cuts out and assembles mouldings to make picture frames and frames paintings, photographs, needlework and other artwork.

Tasks include:

  • Studying drawings, work orders and sample parts to determine specifications
  • Setting up woodworking machines and wood stock for correct cutting, planning, turning, shaping and sanding
  • Operating machines to cut, plane, turn, shape and sand work pieces
  • Removing old finishes by stripping with steel wool and glasspaper, and by applying solvents and paint strippers, and removing softened finishes by scraping
  • Applying varnish, shellac, lacquer, stains and paint to surfaces and polishing and waxing finished surfaces
  • Fitting and fastening frame pieces
  • Mounting backing materials and subjects for framing
ANZSCO description: Cuts out and assembles mouldings to make  picture frames, and frames paintings, photographs, needlework and  other artwork.
Alternative names: Framer
Specialisations: Art Restorer, Conservationist
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

As a Picture Framer you should:

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Possess good interpersonal skills
  • Have an interest in the history and value of artwork
  • Display and aptitude for design
  • Appreciate changing trends in colours and materials
  • Be able to work neatly and accurately
  • Have good hand-eye coordination
  • Be able to undertake fine work
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Working conditions

Picture Framers generally work in a small workshop with a small team of other framers. Self employed framers may work alone and specialists may work in art galleries or within an educational environment. The environment is usually light, clean and free of excessive dust and noise. The work area may be part of a retail outlet selling framed artwork and there may be a need to liaise directly with customers regarding their needs and to handle sales.

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Salary details

On average, picture framers can expect to earn at least $765 per week ($39 775 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience.

Once qualified, some picture framers run their own small business. Earnings will depend on the level of demand for their services, as well as their level of skill and experience.

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Tools and technologies

Picture framers use a variety of tools including power tools, saws and pneumatic staplers and nailers. Specialist framers use the crafts of wood machining, wood finishing, French-polishing, cabinet-making, wood carving and gilding. They also use a variety of card and papers for matting and mounting drawings, photographs and other works of art.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a picture framer without any formal qualifications and get training on the job.

You can complete a traineeship. The picture framer traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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