How to Become a Plasterer

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Plastering is one of the oldest traders in the building field. It is an essential part of construction that deals with applying plaster to a variety of structures such as interior walls and decorative moldings. Trained building professionals are required choose and apply plaster. This is the job of plasterers.


Hey, I'm Joshua T. Osborne

In 2015, I said goodbye to 16-hour days and hauling boxes up and down stairs for a living (I was a mover). I became a full-time entrepreneur, and I made my money by helping business owners make money.

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What does a plasterer do?

Plasterers apply plaster to surfaces such as walls and ceilings. Plaster is a very durable and cost-efficient material that creates a finished look and helps the surfaces become soundproof and fire-resistant. Plasterers also apply plaster veneer on drywall to create smooth or textured finishes that enhances the appearance of an area. They cast ornamental designs in plaster and install prefabricated exterior insulation. They work with solid and wire lathing surfaces. Plasters commonly use gypsum, lime-based plaster, and a specialized tool called a hawk to create smooth textures. They also use sculpting tools for decorative surfaces. Plasterers often work with new buildings or perform repairs on older structures.

What kind of training does a plasterer need?

Plasterers need at least a high school diploma and on the job training. Many plasterers complete formal training through community colleges or vocational and technical schools. Some plasterers complete formal apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeship programs combine classroom instruction and paid on the job training. Apprentices learn basic mathematics, blueprint reading, drafting, plaster principles and design, and cost estimation. New plasterers often start out as helpers to experienced workers and they perform simple tasks and move on to more complex tasks once they gain experience. Plasterers must stay up to date on advancements in the field and complete additional training as needed.

What are the prospects for a career as a plasterer?

Employment of plasterers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 8% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increased demand for attractive plaster finishes and the need to remodel older structures will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good especially for plasterers with advanced training and extensive experience. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace plasterers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do plasterers make?

As of November 2009, plasterers with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $13.83 and $16.17. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average hourly rates between $14.55 and $21.36 (2).

A career as a plasterer is a great choice for people with a strong interest in plastering. Plasterers must be in good general health and be able to use their knowledge of plastering on a variety of projects. Manual dexterity, creativity, patience, and determination are essential characteristics. Plasterers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they work with a variety of clients and professionals. They must be able to effectively work independently and as part of a team.

Joshua T Osborne

Founder/CEO – Mr. & Mrs. Leads

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