Those looking for a future as a plasterer face a potentially-lucrative career, as plastering is one of the most important aspects of any construction project.
A career as a plasterer is a great way to get into the construction business and a surefire way to leave your permanent mark on any building you work on.
If you have an artistic touch, yet want to get into the construction field, a career as a plasterer may be your best bet! Read on to learn more about plastering.
Table Of Contents
- Plasterer: The Basics
- Work Opportunities in the Plasterer Industry
- What It’s Like to be a Plasterer
- Plasterer Salary & Income
- Overview of the Plasterer Industry
- Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Plasterers
- Plasterer Education & Schooling
- Become a Plasterer
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Plasterer: The Basics
When you become a plasterer, you may immediately become one of the most crucial people on a construction site.
Plastering allows you to decide much of a building’s interior appearance, including its pattern and texture.
As a plasterer, you may also help patch up previous errors in a building, allowing you to contribute to construction as much as possible.
If you want an artistic career in construction that also helps contribute to a team-like work atmosphere, plastering may be the career for you!
However, you can’t just jump straight into being a plastering contractor- there are some things you will want to know first.
What is a Plasterer?
A plasterer is someone in the construction field who is trained and qualified to apply plaster or stucco to a building’s surface functionally or decoratively.
What is a Plasterer Called?
Plasterers are known by several names, including ‘plasterer journeyman’ and ‘plastering contractor.’
A novice member of the trade working under experienced plasterers may be known as a ‘plaster apprentice.’
What Does a Plasterer Do?
A plasterer is responsible for applying a smooth or decorative layer of plaster, stucco, or similar materials to a building’s walls or ceiling.
Plasterers are often used in home renovation jobs, where they may apply a new layer of ornamental plaster to give a room or a home a new look and feel.
Plastering can also patch up damaged walls, making plasterers a veritable Swiss army knife in the world of contractors.
Work Opportunities in the Plasterer Industry
With a recent population boom resulting in high rates of homes being constructed, sold, and rented, plasterers are in high demand.
As the construction industry booms, the demand for plasterers grows with it.
After all, all of these new homes and offices need plastering!
Plasterers have many employment opportunities, from apartment maintenance to construction in major theme parks, such as Disneyland or Universal Studios.
Many opportunities also exist in the home market.
Many people have holes in their walls that need to be patched up and painted!
Plasterer Job Description
Plasterers apply plaster or stucco to a building’s interior or exterior walls and ceiling.
Experienced plasterers may also start apprenticeship programs and take on apprentice plasterers so that others may learn about these jobs.
Plasterers need to be quick yet precise, as they are contributing to a building’s functionality and appearance.
A sloppy plastering job can leave a building looking ugly or with flimsy walls, and a slow plastering job can delay the construction’s completion.
Plasterers must know these obstacles and overcome them!
Plasterers are often familiar with other aspects of construction, such as insulation and masonry, which they will use to enhance their trade- or even offer many different services to their clients.
Plasterers need to be able to motivate and encourage their students.
Top Plasterer Jobs and Careers
- Stucco laborer
- Plasterer contractor
- Plasterer journeyman
- Stucco mason
- Cement mason
- Commercial painting
A plasterer’s skillset is available in many different contexts, so plasterers have plenty of room for growth in their field.
Where Can a Plasterer Work?
Plasterers are welcome in a wide number of construction industries, such as:
- Home renovations
- Home constructions
- Office renovations
- Commercial constructions
- Commercial residence maintenance
- Home maintenance
- Theme park maintenance
While plasterers may be restricted to the construction industry, there are many different markets for their talents.
As a plasterer, you may choose to work in any or all of these markets!
What It’s Like to be a Plasterer
Plasterers, much like painters, have the opportunity to work in the construction field while also exercising their artistic ability.
Plasterers are not likely to put a mural in a home like the Sistine Chapel, but by using visually-engaging patterns and textures, a plasterer can express their art!
Is Being a Plasterer Hard?
In terms of physical ability, plastering can be demanding.
Plasterers are laborers, much like masons or construction workers; much of their work is physical and can be taxing.
While plastering can be lucrative and rewarding, any potential plasterer must be able to cope with the working conditions.
Depending on your location, you may have to work in extreme heat or freezing temperatures.
Is a Plasterer’s Job Stressful?
A plasterer’s main stressors are speed and quality. Their work must be completed quickly, thoroughly, and efficiently, or else they risk slowing down the job- or damaging the house!
A rookie or apprentice plasterer will have more of an issue handling this stress, but as you gain more experience, you will find it natural.
Ultimately, plastering may be stressful at first, but you will quickly overcome it.
Common Plasterer Work Day
As laborers, a plasterer will often have a repetitive and intense work day.
Plasterers will often undergo the same tasks every day at different jobs, with minor variations such as making different patterns in the stucco.
Plasterer Tasks & Duties
A plasterer’s tasks and duties are often very specific, directly relating to their profession.
- Mixing plaster or stucco
- Apply plaster and stucco to building surfaces
- Apply ornamental plaster in interesting and eye-catching plaster designs
- Apply decorative plaster cast when needed
- Apply finish coat
- Senior plasterers may have to instruct their apprentice plasterers
If a plasterer is an independent plastering contractor, they may also be responsible for administrative work, tracking company finances, and advertising.
Plasterer Work Hours & Schedule
As laborers, a plasterer’s hours may depend on their employers.
If you are an independent contractor, you will be able to decide your hours.
However, if you work for a contracting company, you may work a standard 9-5 work day with overtime as needed to complete a project.
Plasterer Dress Code
Plasterers often do not have a dedicated dress code, but they need to wear clothes that make their work easier and more comfortable.
Often, this outfit will consist of blue jeans, work boots, and preferably a long-sleeved t-shirt.
This t-shirt may bare company branding, depending on who the plasterer works for.
Personal protective equipment is often required, especially for mixing plaster.
This equipment consists of goggles, gloves, and a respirator.
While this equipment is mostly to keep plaster dust out of your lungs, it is vital when mixing stucco and cement, as the materials can be toxic.
Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?
A plasterer’s schedule often depends on the crew working on their construction jobs.
If their crew falls behind, the plasterer will face a series of long and tiring work days.
Ideally, a plasterer works an average 9-5 workday and faces the same work-life balance as an office worker.
Plastering is not a job you can do from home unless you are repairing your own house.
Therefore, once you leave work, you enter the ‘life’ portion of work/life balance.
Plasterer Salary & Income
Do Plasterers Make Good Money?
As employees, plasterers will make good money- enough to support themselves and their families with a working partner, at the very least.
Plasterers who own their business stand to make far more than plasterers who work for other companies.
How Much Do Plasterers Make?
In the United States, plasterers make an average of $48,000 per year, with an average hourly rate ranging from $22 to 23.50 per hour.
Overview of the Plasterer Industry
Plasterer Field: Career Progression
If you are interested in being a plasterer, you will need to know the traditional method of progressing in this field!
As with most construction fields, you will first need to get an apprenticeship.
Many unions, guilds, and organizations offer apprenticeship programs for aspiring plasterers.
Apprentices will be partnered with a senior plasterer who will show them the ropes of the trade, and after several years under their tutelage, apprentices will be ready to become plasterers.
Once free of apprenticeship, the former apprentices may choose to start their own plastering business or work for another company.
Is a Plasterer a Good Career?
Plastering is an exceptional career for anybody who can handle the demanding physical aspect.
It is a lucrative career with many options for growth.
Plasterer Job Outlook
Plastering has a mixed job outlook.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, plasterer employment is holding strong in some locations, while others show almost non-existent rates of engagement.
People who live in a heavily-developed state such as Florida, Texas, California, or New York have a strongly-held career outlook.
However, states such as Louisiana, South Carolina, and West Virginia do not share this bright outlook.
Demand for Plasterers
With such a large population and the constant need for construction, plasterers will always be in demand in the western world.
As plasterers must do their job on-site, there will always be employment opportunities for plasterers, as it is not a career to be pursued by people who want to work from home.
Plasterers will be most in-demand in populated areas with many construction jobs going on, such as New York City or Los Angeles.
Plastering is an ancient profession, with ancient Egyptians using plaster in the great pyramids of Giza.
Plaster ingredients have remained mostly the same since then, using plenty of limestones.
Plaster is an ancient, insulating, environment-friendly, and potentially waterproof material, which is a significant reason that it remains so popular in construction.
Jobs Related to Plasterer
Related jobs include:
Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Plasterers
Plasterers are skilled laborers, and you cannot simply hop directly into the field.
There are certain things you must consider first!
Who Should Consider a Plasterer Career Path?
While plastering is a lucrative field, some people are better equipped for it than others.
People who consider a career in plastering should be skilled in and actively enjoy physical labor.
They should also have a steady hand and a good sense of time and must be able to work in a team-oriented environment.
Who Should NOT Consider a Plasterer Career Path?
As physical labor, plastering is not a good career choice for people with severe physical ailments.
The nature of plaster makes it harmful to people with lung issues, such as asthma.
If somebody does not have an eye for detail or takes too long to complete jobs, they are not a good candidate for a plasterer.
Is It Hard to Become a Plasterer?
If you wish to become a plasterer, your most significant issue is dedication.
You may find it challenging to enter this career without time and commitment.
However, if you have the time and the construction background, becoming a plasterer can be easier than you expected.
What Do I Need to Become a Plasterer?
Requirements for Becoming a Plasterer
There are not many requirements for becoming a plasterer.
While companies will make individual requirements, the most common base-level need is a background in general construction.
In most cases, you will also need either a qualification from a trade school or a completed apprenticeship.
What Skills Does a Plasterer Need?
Plasterers must have a steady hand, a strong sense of attention to detail, and the ability to work as part of a team.
General knowledge of construction is also a must.
What Education Does a Plasterer Need?
Plasterers will only need a high school diploma or GED.
They will gain education on the job, especially if taking an apprenticeship.
Can You Become a Plasterer Without a Degree?
Yes, you can become a plasterer without a degree.
Over half of all plasterers operate with nothing higher than a high school diploma.
What Experience Does a Plasterer Need?
Experience in general construction is a must, as it shows that you have knowledge of the industry and how the field works.
Plasterer Education & Schooling
What is Taught in a Plasterer Course?
In a plastering apprenticeship, you will learn everything you need to complete your job.
Most apprenticeships focus on giving apprentices the skills necessary to exceed in their careers, such as being comfortable with heights and cramped spaces.
Apprenticeship programs will also focus on teambuilding exercises, attention to detail, and hand-eye coordination.
How Long Does a Plasterer Course Take?
Plastering apprenticeships will usually take around two to four years to complete, depending on the program and location.
Plasterer Education Options and Degree Programs
A bachelor’s degree is not necessary for a career as a plasterer, though studies in math and engineering may help you appear as a more viable candidate.
A master’s degree is not necessary for a career as a plasterer.
Schools for Plasterers
Organizations that offer plasterer apprenticeship programs include:
- Construction Career Pathways
- Operative Plasterers’ And Cement Mason’s International Association
- Florida West Coast Trowel Trades JAC
Become a Plasterer
Steps to Become a Plasterer
The steps to becoming a plasterer are varied depending on what you wish to pursue.
One method is to get a job in general construction and apply for a plasterer job when you feel that you have gained enough knowledge and skills.
The other method, which is preferred by employers, is to complete an apprenticeship program.
Once you have completed this program, you are welcome to apply for any plastering position!
Current Career Job Openings
Plasterers are in demand in most of the populated and developed states, such as New York, California, Texas, and Florida.
With New York and parts of Florida under constant construction, these are your best bets for a job opening.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do plasterers remove wallpaper?
A plasterer can remove wallpaper, but in most cases, a homeowner will do it themselves.
If a plasterer does it, they can charge an hourly rate on top of their plastering work.
Is skimming cheaper than plastering?
If your interior walls are in good condition, then yes, skimming will be cheaper than plastering a room from scratch.
If your walls are severely damaged, you will need to do far more than skimming, and it will be inherently more expensive.
If you want to become a plasterer, you have to keep some things in mind.
Remember the necessary skills; plastering can be an art, so you need a good sense of attention to detail and a steady hand!
Try to find an apprenticeship program so that you enter your field with the most knowledge possible.
When you consider all of this information and factor it into your career decisions, you’ll find yourself a master plasterer in no time!