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Career and Education Opportunities for Plasterers in San Jose, California

If you want to be a plasterer, the San Jose, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 21,000 working plasterers in California; this should grow by 9% to about 22,900 working plasterers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for plasterers are expected to grow by about 6.6%. Plasterers generally apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, or similar materials.

A person working as a plasterer can expect to earn about $20 per hour or $41,870 yearly on average in California and about $18 hourly or $37,470 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Carpentry and Masonry, people working as plasterers in California earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Carpentry and Masonry nationally.

There are fifty-nine schools of higher education in the San Jose area, including one within twenty-five miles of San Jose where you can get a degree to start your career as a plasterer. Given that the most common education level for plasterers is less than a high school diploma, it will take only a short time to learn to be a plasterer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Plasterer

Plasterer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, plasterers apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, or similar materials. They also may also set ornamental plaster.

Plasterers clean and ready surfaces for applications of plaster or similar materials, such as by drywall taping. They also develop decorative textures in finish coat, using brushes or trowels or stones. Equally important, plasterers have to mix mortar and plaster to desired consistency or direct staff who perform mixing. They are often called upon to apply coats of plaster or stucco to walls or partitions of buildings, using trowels, brushes, or spray guns. They are expected to apply weatherproof, decorative coverings to exterior surfaces of buildings. Finally, plasterers set up guide wires on exterior surfaces of buildings to indicate thickness of plaster or stucco and nail wire mesh or similar materials to the outside surface to hold stucco in position.

Every day, plasterers are expected to be able to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done. They need to move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices. It is also important that they lift, push and move large and heavy objects.

It is important for plasterers to rough the undercoat surface with a scratcher so the finish coat will adhere. They are often called upon to mold and install ornamental plaster pieces and trim. They also cure freshly plastered surfaces. They are sometimes expected to spray acoustic materials or texture finish over walls and ceilings. Somewhat less frequently, plasterers are also expected to apply insulation to building exteriors by installing prefabricated insulation systems over existing walls or by covering the outer wall with insulation board and a base coat.

And finally, they sometimes have to clean and ready surfaces for applications of plaster or similar materials, such as by drywall taping.

Like many other jobs, plasterers must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Jose include:

  • Painter. Paint walls, equipment, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns. May remove old paint to prepare surface prior to painting. May mix colors or oils to obtain desired color or consistency.
  • Paperhanger. Cover interior walls and ceilings of rooms with decorative wallpaper or fabric, or attach advertising posters on surfaces, such as walls and billboards. Duties include removing old materials from surface to be papered.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Plasterer Training

CET-Watsonville - Watsonville, CA

CET-Watsonville, 10 Blanca Lane, Watsonville, CA 95076. CET-Watsonville is a small school located in Watsonville, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 151 students. CET-Watsonville has a less than one year program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Jose, California

San Jose, California
San Jose, California photo by Leslie

San Jose is situated in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 948,279, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Jose, 163, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Jose are priced at $163,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred fourteen new homes were built in San Jose, down from three hundred twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Jose are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 31.6% of San Jose residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Jose is 13.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Jose residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Almaden Hill United Methodist Church, Almaden Valley United Methodist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in San Jose. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

San Jose is home to the Evergreen Ranch and the Rosegarden Branch San Jose Public Library as well as Almaden Winery Park and Albertson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Almaden Plaza Shopping Center, Almaden Via Valiente Plaza Shopping Center and Foxworthy Shopping Center. Visitors to San Jose can choose from Atrium Gardens, Best Western Airport Plaza and Best Western Inn Airport Plaza for temporary stays in the area.