So, you want to be a Plasterer

Luis Moreno

Plasterers are skilled tradespersons that create walls and ceilings by applying coats of plaster to foundation materials. They work on new construction sites or renovations jobs that are physically demanding.

There are two community colleges in the state of Illinois that offer an associate’s degree for construction management/tradesperson(plasterers). Joliet junior college located in Joliet, IL, and Waubonsee community college located in Sugar Grove, IL. The most economically affordable option would be Waubonsee at $7,002 a year in contrast to Joliet junior at $10,508 a year. Another option is doing an apprenticeship program, which typically takes 3 to 4 years to finish. You learn the proper techniques to efficiently get the job done safely and efficiently. One common apprenticeship program in Illinois is the Plasterers and Cement Masons on 820 Lions Drive Troy, IL. Nevertheless, you don’t simply have to resort to the average 2-year education or technical apprenticeship program; if you want to earn more accreditation and make more money being the best of the best, then you can go to a 4-year university such as Illinois State University or Bradley University. These schools offer a degree in civil engineering and a college diploma in construction management, so if you were to desire to manage your own business, you’d be much more knowledgeable and self-dependent. Now, your best bet economically affordable from the two universities would be the public-school Illinois State University which stands at $13,666 a year in comparison to the private school Bradley University which would cost $31,480 a year. But, most importantly stay away from the proprietary schools, that only serve to make profits from their students instead of providing quality education. Thankfully, any of the proprietary schools in the state of Illinois don’t offer a program such a construction management or tradesperson laborer(plasterer).

Jose Roberto Moreno has been a plasterer in the Chicagoland area for over 30 years plus. He has also gone to bordering states because of his work with the union, Total Construction Company. He has contributed to the construction of many modern buildings and homes executing his craft on a daily basis. The best part about his job is knowing the contractors are satisfied with the job and the people are in a secure and well-constructed building.

Q: Tell me about your job. What do you do differently in any way from what others in your occupation do?
A: We are plastered and we prepare the walls with plaster so they can be ready when needed to be painted
Q: Can you tell me about your background and how you got into this field?
A: I got into this job because my cousins already had an occupation in this job and they taught me.
Q: What personal characteristics are required for someone to be successful in your job?
A: You need to have technical abilities with the knives and it’s very physically demanding so you must be precautious and clean. You must also be very conscientious of the security and safety of others working.
Q: How much job security is there for people in your field?
A: There is a lot of demand currently for plasterers, especially young people and women as well, but the job is very technical so this job isn’t for everyone and you must actually like doing the job for a long duration of the day.
Q: What other jobs could you do with the skills you have gained in this field?
A: I could be a painter, apply drywall, install insulation and do flooring.
Q: What do you think the future holds for people in your occupation?
A: It’s very well played and you are very active as well, so many people stay in shape and healthy and can do this for a pretty late age as I do. I’m in my mid 50’s and can do this job for a few more years.
Q: What are the biggest challenges in your job?
A: Detailing the job, walking on steelers and working on the ceiling to give the job finishing touches and executing the job well.
Q: Are there many opportunities in your field?
A: There are many opportunities in this job, good benefits and health insurance, also the pay is very good so you are good for retirement.
Q: What should people do to get started?
A: Go to a union and ask to enter under an apprenticeship to learn the techniques and gain the abilities to execute the job.