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Career and Education Opportunities for Plasterers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

For those living in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, there are many career and education opportunities for plasterers. The national trend for plasterers sees this job pool growing by about 6.6% over the next eight years. Plasterers generally apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, or similar materials.

Plasterers earn approximately $21 hourly or $45,380 annually on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally they average about $18 per hour or $37,470 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Carpentry and Masonry, people working as plasterers in Pennsylvania earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Carpentry and Masonry nationally.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree 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 Pittsburgh include:

  • Brick and Block Mason. Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls, partitions, and other structures.
  • Bricklayer Helper. Help brickmasons, blockmasons, or tile and marble setters by performing duties of lesser skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
  • Tile Setter. Apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, and roof decks.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Plasterer Training

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has an associate's degree program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.