What Is a Plasterer? Role, Responsibilities and Job Options

A plasterer is a craftsman who works on building interiors with plaster coating during the finishing process. The plaster is used to strengthen and insulate the wall to keep heat from escaping, soundproof the walls and provide further protection from fire. Plasterers are trained during their various projects, acting as apprentices to experienced plasterers who teach them the important aspects of the job. Apprenticeships last about three to four years and require 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid training. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, plasterers require a high school diploma in order to complete their apprenticeship.

After the carpenter frames the building and installs a lath material, the plaster is needed. Plasterers apply about three levels of plastering to the required areas. Initially, they use a coat applied directly to the lath, which is a wire mesh board that helps adhere the plaster to the walls. This is called the “scratch” coat because it is applied in a motion similar to scratching to ensure the second coat sticks.

The second application is known as the brown coat. This coat is applied in a smooth manner to prepare for the final coat. Plasterers use what is known as a “hawk” to apply the brown coat. The hawk is a plate that the plasterer holds in his spare hand. From it he scoops the plaster and applies it to the walls using a trowel, a flat metal blade that evenly spreads the plaster.

Plasterers usually use a white lime mixture for the last coat of interior walls. This coat is applied quickly and smoothed with a brush and water. A mixture of sand and cement is used for exterior walls. This mixture is used to protect against weather damage. Power machines are sometimes use to help apply the last coat.

Some plasterers specialize in decorative molds and ornamental plasterers. A plasterer specializing in decorative work may apply marble chunks to the last coat to create a more polished and ornate finish. They also create intricate patterns using the trowel and tailor work to the customers specifications. Plasterers sometimes install prefabricated exterior insulation systems over existing walls, both for good insulation and design.

Plasterer – What is it and how do you become one?

What does a plasterer do?

A plasterer mixes ingredients together to make plaster and applies it to walls and ceilings. When applying the plaster, plasterers try to create a smooth or decorative finish on internal walls and ceilings of homes and buildings. They also use plaster to repair damaged walls and ceilings. They may also apply renders and finishes on floors, ceilings and walls, which are other types of protective or shiny layers that make the place applied to have a new look.

What is a plasterer?

A plasterer is a tradesperson in the field of construction who works with plaster. Applying plaster can give walls a protective layer that helps protect against effects from the atmosphere, like moisture. It can also provide decorative designs to walls and ceilings. Plasterers may work as part of a private practice or through contracting companies. They may also take jobs as part of a contract with construction teams or businesses who want plastering work completed in a temporary position.

Plasterer work environment

Plasterers can spend most of their workday on their feet, plastering with one hand and troweling with the other. If plastering ceilings or tops of walls, they may also spend time on a ladder or stretching to reach certain areas. Their work areas may have large amounts of dust, dirt or flaked materials coming off walls and ceilings. Because these environments may irritate skin, eyes or lungs, plasters typically wear protective gear, including goggles, masks and gloves.

Who might be a good fit for a job as a plasterer?

There are a variety of people who may be a good fit for plastering jobs, including people who like to work with their hands, physical labor and like home repair work. Plasterers typically have good hand-eye coordination, since their work requires paying close attention to detail when applying plaster to walls and ceilings. They may have a passion for arts and design, with some projects requiring creating designs on walls and ceilings rather than fixing repairs. They also may interact with a variety of people and work with others who handle other responsibilities with home maintenance and repairs, like painters or electricians.

Plasterer salary and job outlook

Here are six other jobs related to the plasterer profession. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

Primary duties: A skilled laborer handles general labor tasks that require a broad knowledge of skills. They complete a variety of building and construction-related responsibilities. This can include plastering, painting, plumbing, electrical tasks, floor installations and broad repair work. They may work as part of construction teams, at a private practice or as part of a union position.

Primary duties: A construction laborer cleans up construction sites. This includes removing debris and hazardous materials. They can load and unload construction materials during projects and typically handle heavy lifting and manual labor work, such as digging trenches filling holes, making repairs on sites and scaffolding.

Primary duties: A tradesperson is a professional who may work in construction or craft professions. They are typically skilled in a type of manual labor, working with their hands and problem-solving through repair work. They may possess a well-rounded skill set and have stronger expertise in a particular area, like plastering. For example, they may work with plaster and learn how to apply a specific type of design on ceilings as their master trade.

Primary duties: A painter applies paint and other coating materials like stain and primer, onto walls, ceilings and outdoor areas of structures. They may prepare surfaces for paint jobs, meet with clients to learn about what type of painting they want to be completed and work alongside other people in a maintenance profession. Painters can work across industries, including living complexes, as part of a union, private practice, at universities and government agencies.

Primary duties: A handyperson is someone who possesses a wide range of skills. These professionals handle fixing and repairing duties across maintenance areas. They may have skills in indoor and outdoor care, painting, plastering, plumbing, electrical work, fixing floors, appliance maintenance and cleaning outdoor areas of living structures. They typically work in large living complexes, hotels, health care spaces and private practices.

Primary duties: A maintenance worker handles general maintenance duties, including fixing and maintaining areas of building spaces, machines and mechanical equipment. They may sand and shine floors, paint and plaster walls and ceilings and repair and replace pipes and electrical content in spaces. They have a broad range of skills and typically work across industries, including in business offices, government agencies, hotels, living complexes, health services and universities.


What is a plasterer do?

Plasterers apply plaster and cement mixtures to walls and ceilings, fix fibrous sheets and cast and fix ornamental plasterwork to the interior or exterior of buildings.

What is a plasterer in construction?

Plasterers smooth or create a decorative finish on internal walls and ceilings. They also apply render and finishes to external walls. Most new builds and many renovation projects require a plasterer, to give a room a fresh feel, repair damage or bring a space back to life.

What is a plaster worker called?

A plasterer is someone who applies coats of plaster or stucco to walls, ceilings, or partitions for functional and decorative purposes.

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