Plasterers apply finish and maintain and restore plaster or similar materials on interior and exterior walls, ceilings and building partitions to produce plain or decorative surfaces. Drywall installers and finishers install and finish drywall sheets and various types of ceiling systems. Lathers install support framework for ceiling systems, interior and exterior walls and building partitions.
People in these occupations:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 1,380
Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers are three closely related trades that build and finish walls in commercial and residential construction. These workers are involved in the application and finishing of such materials as fireproofing, thin wall, veneer plaster, rigid insulation and patent texturing materials.
Drywall installers and finishers:
The work of these two groups varies. For example, finishers do not install board, they finish it.
Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers typically work a standard 40-hour work week; however, some overtime may also be required to complete projects and meet deadlines.
Drywall installers and lathers usually work indoors, and may use ladders or scaffolding. Plasterers may work either indoors or outdoors, and may also work at heights using ladders or scaffolding. Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers may work in confined spaces and be exposed to dust and debris.
orkers take safety precautions when working on ladders or scaffolding to decrease risk of injury from falls. Workers are also required to lift heavy objects, which increases the risk of back injury.
Source: 2016 Census
Completion of secondary school is usually required. As well, completion of a three- or four-year apprenticeship program in plastering, drywalling or lathing or a combination of more than three years of work experience and some high school, college or industry courses in plastering, drywalling or lathing is usually required, depending on the occupation. Apprenticeship programs:
While trade certification is not mandatory in B.C., it may increase job opportunities. Trade certification requires:
Interprovincial trade certification (Red Seal certification) is also available to qualified lathers through the Industry Training Authority. Once individuals pass the interprovincial exam (the final exam for this trade), they will achieve certification and will automatically have a Red Seal endorsement. For more information please see the Industry Training Authority website at www.itabc.ca.
Drywall finishers who are certified for that occupation by a regulator elsewhere in Canada can apply for the same certification from the regulator in B.C. Under the terms of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), most applicants who are transferring their credentials from elsewhere in Canada will not be required to complete additional training or testing. However, the B.C. regulator may ask applicants to provide further information such as a letter of good standing, references, or criminal record check.
For those who trained outside of Canada and never received certification from any Canadian jurisdiction, a full assessment is likely needed. Most occupational regulators have a process for assessment and recognize internationally trained applicants.
Contact the Industry Training Authority of BC for details on how to apply for certification in B.C.
For information about labour mobility in Canada, visit www.workersmobility.ca.
View a list of B.C. occupational regulators.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Visit our trades training page at www.workbc.ca/trades to learn about apprenticeship and trades training in B.C.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
Check out the list and see if this career matches your skills—take that first step!
Due to the large size of this occupational group, there will be numerous opportunities for work in this profession.
Industry sources report that the recent economic downturn reduced the demand for these workers, although this is expected to change as the economy improves. Demand for workers in this occupational group will be driven primarily by construction activity and the need to replace workers who retire.
With education and experience, workers may progress to supervisory positions or they may start their own businesses. They may also become construction estimators, project managers or contractors.