Apprenticeship involves both classroom studies and on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified Plasterer/Drywall Installer and Finisher/Lather, called a journeyperson.
As an apprentice, you earn while you learn and are paid by the hour while working on the job site. Wages start at about 45 per cent of a journeyperson’s hourly rate and increase during your apprenticeship until you reach the full rate.
Entering an apprenticeship program
Requirements for plasterer/drywall installer and finisher/lather apprenticeship programs vary across Canada. In most provinces and territories, you must be at least 16 years old and have a Grade 10 education or equivalent to enter the program.
Some provinces and territories offer secondary school apprenticeship programs that allow high school students to work towards a career as a Plasterer/Drywall Installer and Finisher/Lather.
Apprenticeship training programs for plasterers, drywall installers and finishers, and lathers vary across Canada. They generally last four years, and include both on-the-job training and in-class technical training.
Related work experience or completion of a plasterer/drywall installer and finisher/lather program at a college or technical institute can reduce the time required to complete your apprenticeship.
Certification is required in Quebec, and is available but voluntary in most other provinces. Where certification is not available, it may be possible to study as an apprentice through your local labour organization.
Even where certification is voluntary, it is still recommended as it tells employers and other workers that you are a skilled professional, and it also helps you get jobs.
To be certified as a Plasterer/Drywall Installer and Finisher/Lather, you usually need to complete a three- to four-year apprenticeship program. Once you successfully complete the required on-the-job training, technical training and exams, you are awarded a journeyperson certificate.
You may be eligible for certification in some provinces and territories if you have more than three years of on-the-job experience and some high school, college or industry courses for plasterers/drywall installers and finishers/lathers.
As a certified Plasterer/Drywall Installer and Finisher/Lather, you may write the Interprovincial Exam to qualify for the Interprovincial Standards’ Red Seal. With a Red Seal, you can work as a Plasterer/Drywall Installer and Finisher/Lather anywhere in Canada.
To keep their skills current, those in this profession must keep up with new technologies by reading and speaking with others in their field.