Plasterers apply coats of plaster to interior walls and ceilings to form fire-resistant, scratch-resistant, and relatively soundproof surfaces. Not only do plasterers spread plaster on solid surfaces like concrete block and drywall to create a smooth surface, but they can also create decorative and ornamental designs with specialized training and innate creativity.
While no two jobs are exactly the same, in general, on a typical job, plasterers are responsible for completing a specific set of tasks to ensure long-lasting quality:
- Create the perfect consistency of each material that will be used.
- Prepare the surface by cleaning, removing old plaster and/or ensure that all plasterboards are level, and attaching a wire mesh to help the material stay in place.
- After roughing the surface, plasterers apply plaster to walls, Artex on both ceilings and walls, and cement to external walls, often repeating with additional coats. This step requires tools including trowels, brushes, and spray guns.
With these day-to-day tasks, these types of personality traits come in handy:
- Independent work ethic
- Many plasterers are independent contractors. To do well in this line of work, hopeful plasterers should be prepared to be intrinsically motivated to land jobs and complete them well.
- Strong communication skills
- While plasterers do often work independently, they must be prepared to work as a team. Many skilled laborers work together on every project, and working well with them ensures the best results for clients. Not only do plasterers need to be able to communicate with team members, they need to feel confident speaking to clients about the work being done, including setting clear expectations.
- Deadline driven
- Construction projects must adhere to strict timelines to keep each on schedule. Any delay on the plasterer’s part can throw off all following tasks and derail the project’s success.
- Physically fit
- Plasterers especially need to have the stamina to work on their feet for the majority of their shifts and, more than anything else, have great upper-body strength to perfectly apply the plaster. In addition to strength and stamina, a good amount of flexibility is helpful as plasterers frequently bend and squat throughout each shift.
- Great attention to detail
- From taking precise measurements of ceilings and walls to calculating the volume of materials needed, plasterers can’t let important details fall through the cracks.
- Excellent hand-eye coordination.
- This position requires a trained hand to apply each coat to all types of surfaces, especially for more decorative projects.
If this sounds like the right job for you, it’s time to start looking into a career as a plasterer. As with other positions we have shared in our earlier Featured Position posts, I Build America – Ohio recommends beginning with an apprenticeship. While no technical training is required, this is the guaranteed way of starting your career off on the right foot. You can be sure that your hard work in your apprenticeship will pay off. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of a Plasterer in Ohio is $43,450. Not only that, a specialization as a plasterer is a great foundation for higher-level construction positions. Visit our apprenticeship page to start your journey today.