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Lather-Interior Systems Mechanic

Lather - Interior Systems Mechanics install a wide variety of wall and ceiling systems and exterior finishes, bringing various buildings to a completed state.

  • Avg. Salary $58,806.00
  • Avg. Wage $27.55
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 6,500
  • In Demand High
Also Known As

Drywaller, Interior Systems Mechanic, Plasterer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Lathers (7284.3) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Plasterers, Drywall Installers and Finishers and Lathers (H134) 
  • 2011 NOC: Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers (7284) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Lather-Interior Systems Mechanic is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Interest in copying information to attach metal and gypsum lath to studs and furring using nails, screws, clips and wire ties


Interest in precision working to cut openings in lath for heating and ventilation piping, ducts and electrical outlets; may install acoustic tile, hangers for suspended ceilings and metal studs for composition wallboards and laths


Interest in installing corner beads and wire mesh around beams for plastering

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Dec 15, 2016

On a typical job, lather-interior systems mechanics (lathers):

  • read blueprints and work as a team with architects, engineers and associated trades to bring a project to completion;
  • install metal or wood frameworks for walls, partitions, ceiling systems and ornamental shapes
  • apply base materials for stucco finishes including styrofoam, stucco wire and metal lath, and apply various stucco finishes;
  • work with other trades to accommodate the installation of heating, plumbing, electrical and millwork;
  • install metal doors, window frames, access doors and insulation;
  • erect demountable partitions and various suspended ceilings as used in commercial office space;
  • install and finish drywall on commercial, residential and industrial projects; and
  • install load-bearing steel wall and floor systems used in the construction of non-combustible buildings.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Most lathers are employed in major centres where there is a sufficient amount of work to maintain full time employment. Lathers may work indoors or outdoors year round. Some of the various construction sites lathers work at include industrial plants, commercial buildings, offices and residential homes. Lathers are required to work on aerial platforms, scaffolding and ladders.  Lathers generally work 40 hours per week however overtime may be required to meet construction deadlines.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

The type of work is very rewarding for those who:

·        enjoy using skills that require a high degree of accuracy;

·        are capable of problem solving and creative thinking; and

·        enjoy working at a variety of tasks.

To be successful in their trade, lathers need:

·        good hand-eye coordination;

·        to be physically fit;

·        the ability to lift in excess of 25 kilograms (55 pounds);

·        the ability to pay careful attention to detail; and

·        the ability to work well with others, and independently.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

To work in Alberta, a lather must be ONE of the following:

  • a registered apprentice
  • an Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate  
  • someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • self-employed.

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2 and Math 10-3, or equivalent, or a pass mark in all 5 GED tests, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.   

The term of apprenticeship is 3 years (three 12 month periods) including 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training each year.

High school students can become apprentices and gain credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for credit or certification.

Lather apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton and in Calgary.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Apprenticeship Trades

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Lather-Interior Systems Mechanic

Lather-interior systems mechanics assemble and install the frameworks for gypsum materials in buildings. For more information, the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta's Tradesecrets website.


Under Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act and Lather-Interior Systems Mechanic Trade Regulation, you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.

What You Need

The term of apprenticeship for apprentice lather-interior systems mechanics in Alberta is three years (three 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training in each year. Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete technical training examinations.

Working in Alberta

Lather-interior systems mechanics trained in other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they hold a certificate or license recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board or have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified in Alberta. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.

Contact Details

Any of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Service Offices located throughout Alberta. For a list of office locations and telephone numbers, click on "Contact Us" on the home page of the Tradesecrets website (

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Most lathers are employed by contractors in the construction industry and have the opportunity to become a certified journeyperson, foreman, project manager, estimator or be self-employed.

Experienced lathers may specialize in working with a particular type of lath, become estimators or advance to supervisory positions. Alberta certified journeyperson lathers who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Lathers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7284: Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers. In Alberta, 95% of people employed in this classification work in the Construction (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Construction industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 8,700 Albertans are employed in the Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0.1% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 9 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As lather-interior systems mechanic form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for lather-interior systems mechanic. 

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range from $25 to $50 an hour plus benefits (2016 estimates). Apprentice lathers earn at least 55% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 70% in the second and 80% in the third.

Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.00 $27.06 $21.40 $18.00
Overall $22.50 $35.00 $27.55 $28.00
Top $26.00 $37.00 $32.12 $31.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Construction
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website:

Alberta Wall and Ceiling Association website:

BuildForce Canada website:

Calgary Construction Association website:


For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 30, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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