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Career and Education Opportunities for Plasterers in Arlington, Virginia

There are many career and education opportunities for plasterers in the Arlington, Virginia area. The national trend for plasterers sees this job pool growing by about 6.6% over the next eight years. In general, plasterers apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, or similar materials.

The average wage in the general category of Carpentry and Masonry jobs is $16 per hour or $33,792 per year in Virginia, and an average of $17 per hour or $35,836 per year nationwide.

The Arlington area is home to eighty-seven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Arlington where you can get a degree as a plasterer. Plasterers usually hold less than a high school diploma, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Plasterer Training

CET-Alexandria - Alexandria, VA

CET-Alexandria, 6295 Edsall Rd, Plaza 500, Ste. 220, Alexandria, VA 22312. CET-Alexandria is a small school located in Alexandria, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 169 students. CET-Alexandria has a less than one year program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated twelve students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Arlington, Virginia

Arlington, Virginia
Arlington, Virginia photo by Postdlf

Arlington is located in Arlington County, Virginia. It has a population of over 209,969, which has grown by 10.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Arlington, 126, is far greater than the national average.

The top three industries for women in Arlington are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 60.2% of Arlington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 30.6%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Arlington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 29.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Convenant Presbyterian, Abundant Life United Holy Church and Advent Lutheran Church are among the churches located in Arlington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church.

Arlington is home to the Clarendon Metro Station and the Virginia Square-GMU Metro Station as well as Arlington House-Robert E Lee Memorial and Doctors Branch Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lee-Harrison Shopping Center, Ballston Common Shopping Center and Lucas Market Shopping Center. Visitors to Arlington can choose from Econo Lodge National Airport, Crystal Gateway Marriott and Hilton Arlington & Towers for temporary stays in the area.