Education and Training Requirements

High School

To apply for an apprenticeship, you will need a high school diploma. While in high school, you should take mechanical drawing, drafting, woodwork, and other shop courses. Classes in mathematics will sharpen your skills in the applied mathematics of layout work.

Postsecondary Training

To qualify as a journeyman plasterer, you must complete either an apprenticeship or on-the-job training program. The apprenticeship program typically consists of two to three years of carefully planned activity combined with approximately 6,000 to 8,000 hours of work experience and an annual 144 hours of related classroom instruction. An apprenticeship is usually the best start, since it includes on-the-job training as well as formal instruction.

On-the-job training consists of working for two or more years under the supervision of experienced plasterers. The trainee usually begins as a helper or laborer and learns the trade informally by observing or being taught by other plasterers.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Voluntary certification is available from the International Masonry Institute, a subsidiary of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. Contact the institute for more information. 

Other Requirements

Most employers will require that the individual be able to regularly lift and move up to 100 pounds and occasionally lift and move up to 120 pounds. While performing the duties of this job the employee is regularly required to stand and use their hands to finger, handle, or feel in a repetitive motion. They must reach with their hands and arms, as well as climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl, including working on hands and knees for extended periods of time. Specific vision abilities required by this job include depth perception.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Plasterers gain experience through an apprenticeship. This is a field where the best experience comes from seeing and doing and therefore skill develops directly from mentoring and experience.

This field is very physically demanding and suits those who like to work outdoors and stay mobile. Work as a plasterer also brings a visible sense of accomplishment.

Interpersonal skills are necessary because plasterers will need to supervise trainees and work with other construction workers.