Lathing, Acoustical, Drywall & Thermal Insulation

Expand/collapse Click here for a list of occupations to which this description applies.


The Work
Lathing is a trade that is performed on both interior and exterior surfaces. Complete buildings may be framed from structural steel studs, sheeting or metal lath and made ready for plaster by the lather. Also many fancy ornamental shapes such as gothic arches, ellipses and domes are formed and shaped by the lathers' skills. Drywallers and metal stud framers use metal studs instead of wood studs. Metal studs and drywall are used almost exclusively in commercial high-rise construction because of their superior fire rating. Acoustical suspended ceilings are common in most tenant areas of high-rise buildings. Computer room floors are also done by the acoustical worker. Insulators work with both thermal and sound insulation using many variations of rolled and rigid insulation systems.

Working Conditions
The apprentice must be able to work at great heights on scaffolding, sometimes several stories high. You must use power tools and power lifts. Work outdoors can be in all types of weather. Heavy lifting (sheets of drywall weigh up to 120 pounds) is required. Much of the work is overhead application. The apprentice must be physically strong and fit.

The Apprenticeship
This program, depending upon trade, requires 4,000-8,000 on-the-job training hours (two to four years) and an additional 144-465 of related classroom instruction.

Apprenticeship Entry Requirements

  • At least 18 years old (with proof of age).
  • High school diploma or GED.
  • Pass a basic math test.
  • Pass a basic reading test.

End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

  © Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.

Help us improve