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Picture framer

Picture framers mount items like photographs, artwork or other objects for display.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £13,500 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but employers will expect you to have a good standard of general education.

Gallery experience or skills in woodworking may be useful.

You could do a framing course at college, adult education centre, or with a private training provider.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

The Fine Art Trade Guild has more information on training.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • artistic ability
  • the ability to work accurately
  • concentration and a methodical approach
  • practical skills
  • maths skills 
  • customer care skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll make frames to protect and display items like photographs, posters and pictures, certificates, and 3D objects like medals or football shirts.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • talking to customers about what they want
  • advising on the best colours, styles and materials for the mount and frame
  • working out costs and providing quotes and timescales for jobs
  • cutting glass and materials to the correct size
  • mounting the object and assembling the frame
  • packing and delivering the finished framed items

A lot of the work is done by hand, but you may use computerised cutting machines for larger jobs.

If you own a shop, you might also sell other items like prints, cards and artists' materials. You’ll also carry out the administrative tasks needed to run a small business.

4. Salary

Starter: £13,500 to £17,000

Experienced: £18,000 to £22,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

As picture framer in a shop or gallery, or with a specialist manufacturer, you’ll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week. This could include weekends. 

As a self employed framer, you’ll work irregular hours, possibly from home.

You’ll use specialist equipment, like mounting and laminating machines, and glass cutting equipment. 

Workshops tend to be dusty, so you may need to use protective equipment like a face mask.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could start your own business or take a franchise.

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Last updated: 09 December 2016