Career Profile: Plasterers and Stucco Masons
Unfinished walls on a building look odd, but the issue is much bigger than appearance. Walls without the proper covering can also let in cold air, moisture, and ice. Plasterers and stucco masons help to keep buildings strong and safe by applying the right materials to construct or repair houses and other buildings, or sometimes structures like highways or city roads. If you like to work with your hands and to be involved in construction, the job of plasterer and stucco mason could be a good choice.
The job of plasterer and stucco mason has many names, including artisan plasterer, plasterer journeyman, plaster applicator, and plastering contractor. The job involves applying plaster or stucco to surfaces such as walls and ceilings, ensuring that it is evenly applied to all areas that need it. People in this trade should know the methods and tools of construction so that they understand what kinds of factors affect plaster and stucco. For example, they need to know how the weight of a wall or the cold of winter weather affects the durability of plaster and stucco.
Often, plaster and stucco masons need to understand current styles in building, because fashions tend to change. People in this field should also be able to see details close up and have steady hands. They should have the manual dexterity to handle tools well and the flexibility to bend and stretch enough to reach tight spots where they need to apply the material. Although arm strength is not necessarily important, people in this field should have strong muscles in their stomach and lower back to stand for long periods of time.
Besides these physical characteristics, people in this career should have other abilities. They should be able to speak with others, especially customers, and be able to explain their work. Time management and critical thinking skills are important for being able to complete projects as efficiently as possible. Understanding principles of quality control and being able to monitor their progress is also important. Plasterers and stucco masons may sometimes need to supervise other workers, and they should have a good idea of what needs to be done and how each part fits with the others.
Most plasterers and stucco masons learn their trade on the job from others in their field. Often, employers require a high school diploma, and they might also want these workers to have a trade certificate or other training in topics such as insulation. Plasterers and stucco masons can often find work in construction companies, but they can also set up their own businesses and work for people who are renovating or building their homes.
Working hours for people in this trade can be long and irregular, especially when a project is delayed. In large construction projects, the work might need to be done quickly if other parts of the job take longer than expected and the builders need to meet deadlines. These tradespeople often need to wait for other parts of the construction to be done before they can begin their work. Because stucco and plaster need to dry as one piece if possible, these tradespeople may need to work until late in the evening to finish a job.
Wages for plasterers and stucco masons start at about twenty dollars per hour and can rise to almost thirty-three dollars per hour. Although people can stay in this field for their entire careers, the effects of aging might make the work too difficult for many people. If this job sounds good to you, why not consider becoming a plasterer and stucco mason?
Canada Building Trades Union. “Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ Association of the United States and Canada (OPCIMA).” https://buildingtrades.ca/affiliates/operative-plasterers-and-cement-masons-international-association-of-the-united-states-and-canada-opcmia/.
Career One Stop. “Plasterers and Stucco Masons.” https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/careers/occupations/occupation-profile.aspx?keyword=Plasterers%20and%20Stucco%20Masons&onetcode=47216100&location=US&lang=en.
Owl Guru. “How to Become a Plasterer and Stucco Mason.” https://www.owlguru.com/career/plasterers-and-stucco-masons/requirements/.
Payscale Canada. “Plasterer and Stucco Mason Hourly Rate.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Plasterer_or_Stucco_Mason/Hourly_Rate.