Skilled Trade

Drywall Finisher

 Average Hourly Wage


What You Need

  • 18 years old
  • 144 classroom hours per year
  • 6,000 hours on-the-job training

Job description

Drywall finishers seal joints between plasterboard or other wallboards, mix sealing compound, press paper tape over joints to embed tape into compound and seal joints, or tape joints using mechanical applicators that spread compound and embed tape in one operation. They sand rough spots after compound dries, fill cracks and holes in walls, and may apply texturing compound and primer to walls and ceilings preparatory to final finishing, using brushes, roller, or spray gun. They may countersink nails or screws below the surface of walls prior to applying sealing compound, using a hammer or a screwdriver.

Working conditions

The work is done on residential, industrial, and commercial properties, both new and existing construction, inside as well as outside.

Length of apprenticeship

The apprenticeship lasts three years. Apprentices must complete a minimum of 144 hours per year of related classroom training and a total of 6,000 hours on-the-job training.

Minimum qualifications

Apprenticeship applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Local apprenticeship committees may require additional qualifications such as a high school diploma or GED.


Beginning apprentices start at 50 percent of the journey-level wage. Upon successful completion of the required related class work and on-the-job hours, wages increase periodically, usually every six months, until reaching the journey-level rate.

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