Drywall Taper: Job Description and Information About Becoming a Drywall Taper
Drywall tapers help make buildings beautiful, safe and environmentally sound. If you go into drywall finishing, you might want to take your career to a higher level with a 1-year certificate in construction or a 2-year associate degree.
Career Definition: Drywall Taper
Drywall or gypsum board, as it is sometimes called, is made of gypsum pressed between two outer layers of paper; fireproof and less costly than plaster, it is often made of recycled material, according to the Gypsum Association. Drywall tapers, also called drywall finishers, prepare a wet compound; press it into joints, nail or screw holes in the drywall; cover the wet material with tape and, when a high level of finish is required, apply two more coats of compound, each of which is sanded to make it smooth. They may use automatic tools to apply tape and compound in one step and spray guns to apply decorative, textured surfaces.
How to Become a Drywall Taper
Required Education for a Career in Drywall Finishing
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov drywall tapers become fully skilled after three to four years of on-the-job training and experience. While most workers are hired as helpers, employers may favor applicants trained in 1-year certificate programs or 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree programs in construction, offered by technical schools and community and junior colleges. Admission may require registering as an apprentice with a construction trade union.
Skills Required for a Career as a Drywall Taper
Drywall tapers need good vision, manual dexterity and attention to detail. According to the Occupational Information Network (ONET), www.onetcenter.org they also need specific physical attributes such as a tolerance for prolonged standing, bending and stretching.
Economic and Career Outlook: Drywall Finishing
The BLS notes that as of May, 2008 the mean hourly wage of tapers was $22.07. While construction jobs are affected by economic downturn, prospects for skilled and experienced workers will be more or less equal to the number of job openings during the decade ending in 2016.
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