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Economic Contributions

Facts about the Paint & Coatings Industry

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Paints and coatings provide real value and are necessary for protecting and preserving the objects to which they are applied. Coatings are applied to almost everything we own and use, prolonging usefulness and providing protection from scratches, rust, and corrosion.
The following facts highlight the significant contributions industry makes to the U.S. economy and the people employed in
the industry.
  • The U.S. paint and coatings industry employed 268,200 workers in 2013, adding 11,500 jobs from the previous year.
  • Product shipments by U.S. paint and coatings producers totaled an estimated $24 billion in 2014. 
  • The U.S. paint and coatings industry had more than 44,500 establishments in 2013.
  • The payroll for the U.S. paint and coatings industry totaled $11.9 billion in 2013. Industry payroll rose by 4% between 2012 and 2013, compared to an increase of less than 2% for the entire private sector, adjusted for inflation.
  • The U.S. paint and coatings industry workforce* earned an average annual wage of $44,300 in 2013. The highest average annual wage was paid by the paint and coating manufacturing sector at $65,500 in 2013. 
  • California ranked first in the nation for paint and coatings industry employment with 35,100 workers in 2012. 
  • Texas ranked second with 24,100 paint and coatings industry jobs in 2013. Florida followed Texas with over 18,700 paint and coatings industry jobs in 2013; New York and Ohio rounded out the top five leading states for paint and coatings industry employment in 2013, with 13,800 and 12,700 jobs respectively. 
  • The highest paid paint and coatings industry wages were those in Ohio, where the annual average wage for the state’s paint and coatings industry workforce was $58,000 in 2013; New Jersey’s 6,497 paint and coatings industry workers received the second highest annual average wages at $57,600 in 2013. 
  • Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois each had strong paint and coatings industry average annual wages of more than $54,000 in 2013. 
  • California was also the leading state for paint and coatings industry payroll, at $1.4 billion in 2013.
  • Texas, Ohio, Illinois, and New York completed the list of top five states in paint and coatings industry payroll in 2013.

Top 10 States with the Highest Number of Paint and Coatings Industry Employees


Top 30 States with the Highest Number of Paint and Coatings Establishments


U.S. Exports

  • The United States exported $2.3 billion in paint and coatings products in 2014, the highest level in a decade.
  • The U.S. paint and coatings industry posted a positive trade surplus of $1.5 billion in 2014. 
  • The U.S. paint and coatings industry exports to Canada (over $1 billion) and Mexico (nearly $500 million) in 2014 totaled $1.5 billion combined. These two NAFTA partners have consistently
    been the two largest export markets for the industry, accounting for two-thirds of all U.S. paint and coatings industry exports in 2014.
  • The third largest export market for U.S. paint and coatings products was China at $90 million in 2014. 
  • Japan and the United Kingdom rounded out the top five leading export markets for U.S. paint and coatings products in 2014, at $41 million and $39 million, respectively. 
  • Illinois led the states with the most paint and coatings exports, with $279 million in 2014; Texas was second with $250 million in paint and coatings exports in 2014.


Source: Labor market statistics are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Trade statistics were derived from U.S. Bureau of the Census data and are reported on a Census or Customs basis. State export statistics are drawn from the Origin of Movement (OM) series compiled by the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau.

*Note: The term "workforce" applies to the following NAICS codes: 238320 Painting and Wall Covering Contractors; 325510 Paint and Coating Manufacturing; 424950 Paint, Varnish, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers; and 444120 Paint and Wallpaper Stores. 



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ACA offers valued benefits to technical professionals, educators, sales and marketing professionals, and consultants working in the paint and coatings industry. We also offer memberships for students who may be interested in learning more about the industry and retired professionals who have served the industry during their careers.

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Did You Know?

The United States exported $1.8 billion in paint and coatings products in 2010, up by 24 percent, or $343 million, from 2009.

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