Plastering Job Description


Plasterers are skilled tradesmen who construct traditional walls and decorative surfaces. They work for construction companies, and commercial and residential building contractors. Plasterers create partitions, panels, walls and decorative arches. They use trowels, cutting and mixing tools. Hand-eye coordination, physical strength and the ability to work in diverse conditions are essential qualities in this construction profession.


  • Plasterers mix and apply the plastering composition, use tools such as trowels, planes and saws to construct, repair and restore walls and other surfaces. They apply an initial coat of brown gypsum plaster on wire mesh material to create a foundation. They apply a final process called the white coating.



  • Plasterers learn their craft through formal apprenticeship programs. Plastering apprenticeships Iast three to four years with approximately 2,000 hours of annual on-the-job training combined with 166 hours of annual classroom instruction.


  • The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers International Masonry Institute offers three credentials for plastering professionals: journey level plasterer, certified instructor and journeyworkers and apprentices in the trowel trades. Plastering certification candidates must complete a 12-week program and pass an examination to earn the journey level plasterer designation.

Key Traits

  • Successful plasterers must be able to work long hours standing, crouched or on their knees. Plasterers must have significant upper-body strength, good balance and manual dexterity to perform hundreds of daily trowel movements quickly and efficiently. Plasters need creative ability to design and execute decorative projects. They need flexibility to work in cramped positions indoors and outdoors on narrow scaffolds. Plastering managers must have the ability to estimate projects, hire, fire and supervise subordinates.

Anticipated Salary

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage for plasterers was $19.84 and the mean annual salary was $41,260, as of May 2009. Plasterers earned salaries ranging from $25,320 for the lowest 10 percent to $65,420 for the highest 10 percent.


  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth of 7 percent for plasterers and stucco masons between 2008 and 2018. This figure represents a slower-than-average rate compared to all other occupations. Increased use of drywall materials instead of plaster contributes to disappointing growth prospects, according to BLS.

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  • Photo Credit plasterer image by Cherry-Merry from Plasterer making good hole in studwork wall image by Bryan Clark from books 1 image by MLProject from mason,plastering, stucco image by Greg Pickens from gold medal image by eXodia from plastering,stucco image by Greg Pickens from currency image by peter Hires Images from binocular image by bright from
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