Education and Training Requirements

High School

Most employers prefer to hire workers with a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma (GED). Lathers are responsible for taking many measurements and calculating equations to fit materials properly. As a result, your high school preparation should include courses in geometry and applied mathematics in addition to shop classes.

Postsecondary Training

The most common way to become a professional lather is through an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships combine on-the-job work experience with formal classroom instruction, generally lasting two to four years. Classes cover all aspects of the trade, including characteristics of the materials and tools used, mathematics as applied to calculating and estimating measurements, and blueprint reading. During their program, apprentices work as assistants to professional lathers, carrying materials, lifting and holding lath panels, and cleaning up the site. As they gain experience, their work becomes more demanding, such as measuring and cutting materials and installing furring and lath.

It is also possible to become a lather by entering the field directly as a helper and learning the trade entirely on the job. Workers who pursue this route normally become professional lathers after four or five years.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There is no certification or licensing available for lathers.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

To obtain experience, participate in an apprenticeship or try to work as a helper to a lather.

Lathers must have a high degree of manual dexterity so that they can use their tools effectively. Patience, accuracy, and attention to detail are also essential. In addition to the technical demands of the job, lathers' work is also strenuous. Lathers must be in good physical condition to be able to lift and maneuver materials, as well as squat, stand, and reach to work on overhead surfaces for long periods of time.