Job type


£18k - £25k

Typical salary

38 – 44

Hours per week

Signwriters produce signs by hand and with machines for display on shops, businesses and company vehicles.

More info

  • Produce hand-painted signs for places like historic buildings & fairgrounds
  • You'll need excellent drawing skills, creative skills, accuracy and attention to detail
  • You could move into work for TV, film and theatre


  • Discussing with your client what type of signs they want
  • Preparing and laying out designs and lettering
  • Measuring and calculating letter sizes and graphics
  • Preparing surfaces,
  • Applying paint backgrounds by brush, spray or roller
  • Tracing designs onto wood, metal or glass surfaces
  • Hand-painting designs and lettering using special brushes, enamel paint and gold leaf
  • Repainting and retouching signs on site
  • Using traditional techniques and modern materials like vinyl graphics


You may work evenings and weekends in some jobs. You'll be based in a workshop or studio, but may also do installation and repainting outdoors. You may need to work at height and do some manual lifting. Your working environment may be noisy, outdoors some of the time, at height and physically demanding.

You'll need

This role would be ideal for someone with excellent drawing skills, creative skills, accuracy and attention to detail, excellent spelling and grammar, IT skills, and excellent practical skills.

You could apply directly to work as a signwriter. There are no set requirements, but it'll help if you've got a qualification and experience in printing, reprographics, laser cutting or graphic design.

You may be able to start as a signwriter's assistant and learn on the job.

You could also get into this job through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in design.

It's important to keep a portfolio of your design work to show employers what you can do when you're looking for jobs.

You could do an A level in art and design or graphic design, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job or you could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like graphic design.


You could move into work for TV, film and theatre. You could also combine this job with signmaking.