What do Plasterers and Stucco Masons Do?
Plasterers and stucco masons are responsible for applying exterior materials to buildings. They may also set ornamental plaster. Their work is the first seen on any building, so besides having the basic physical skill sets, they are expected to be good at design. As a plasterer or stucco mason you can expect a position that will be physically demanding, mentally stimulating and fairly compensating. For the most part job growth is up, even explosive in regions, so now is a great time to apply.
Plasterers and Stucco Masons Skills and Abilities
Plaster and stucco masons are core to building construction and contracting. With such a position you will certainly need to understand the materials you use, the tools to apply them and general structural knowledge. You can also expect to interact directly with customers, so personal skills will go a long way. The job will require adequate levels of physical fitness, good dexterity and coordination and a good eye for details. Problem solving and critical thinking will also be tested on the regular.
Plasterers and Stucco Masons Duties
On a daily basis you can expect to handle heavy objects, inspect structures and equipment and make decisions to solve problems. You will need to be able to maintain a clean work site even though you will often work with messy materials. Some of your specific tasks will include:
- Mixing mortar or plastic to the right consistency
- Applying coats of materials
- Using creativity to satisfy design needs
- Assembling temporary tools or structures
- Cleaning equipment and facilities
- Placing orders for equipment and materials
- Directing peers or subordinates to complete tasks efficiently
Plasterers and Stucco Masons Tools and Technology
There are tools specific to this trade, and the ones you can expect to use include edgers, floats, ladders, paint sprayers and trowels. You are also likely to run into accounting and project management software, so computers are still a part of the job. You may need to erect temporary platforms or work spaces, so basic carpentry tools are also part of the trade.
Education and Training for Plasterers and Stucco Masons
You do not need a high school diploma or GED to get hired in these masonry fields. Most employers are willing to take on inexperienced workers and will train you on-the-job. Unlike most professions, training with plaster and stucco is long-term, much more like an apprenticeship. This means you can look forward to reasonable levels of job security.
Plasterers and Stucco Masons Salary
The low barrier of entry in plaster and stucco masonry does not lend the field to the highest salaries, but you can still expect to make a livable wage. The bottom earners will bring in around $24,900 annually, but the median national wage is $37.500. Top earners in the field bring in more than $70,000. There is fairly large wage disparity across the states with Illinois and New York standing far above the other states. They see median wages of $83,400 and $70,200 respectively. All other states see median incomes above $30,00 except for New Mexico, Guam, Idaho, Alabama, North Carolina and Oklahoma.
Plasterers and Stucco Masons Jobs by Geography
Nationally, job growth is sitting at a healthy 15 percent, with 450 new jobs every year. Nevada shows the highest growth rate at 56.4 percent, followed by Arizona and Utah at 49.5 percent and 47.9 percent respectively. The lowest growth rates are South Dakota, Mississippi and Puerto Rico at zero percent, negative 3.9 percent and negative 11.4 percent respectively. All other regions in the United States show positive growth.