Starting Wage


Journey-Level Wage


***The listed wages may vary by state and county.***

Rock-Solid Benefits

  • Retirement And Pension Funds

  • Wellness Program

  • Health Care

  • Vacation Fund

Career Requirements

  • Must Be 18 Years Old For Hire

  • High School Diploma or GED

  • Driver's License

Decoration wood lath wall.

Lathers install the supportive backings on ceilings or walls to which plaster or other materials are applied. Work involves gypsum, composition board and/or wood lathe. The process also includes wall furring, the erection of steel and tying or lacing metal lath on both walls and ceilings. Structural frameworks built with plaster by lathers can include theme park attractions and ornamental ceilings.

While skilled lathers once worked with wooden strips called lath, they now mostly employ wire and metal mesh to create structures of various shapes. Workers will identify and use all types and sizes of screeds and beads, and apply drop hangers, runners, and furring to hang ceilings. They understand how to identify and nail diamond mesh, flat rib, high rib, herringbone, and paperback and boswick metal lathe.


Enroll in a Lather apprenticeship program through Lathers Metro Apprentice JATC Local 190, call 612-332-4348.


The recommended prerequisites for high school students include construction courses, shop courses, and mathematics courses. Geometry and algebra are used by lathers daily. Mechanical drawing, and general vocational technical training are considered useful.

Completion of high school classes do not count for hours in the apprenticeship program, but the experience and classes taken are valuable in building students’ skill sets.


A two-year diploma is not required to qualify for a lather apprenticeship. Lather apprenticeship programs, usually in the form of carpentry apprenticeships are available through community and technical colleges and are sponsored by unions and contractor organizations. Connect with Lathers Metro Apprentice JATC Local 190; call 612-332-4348, to confirm credits transfer before enrolling.


Lather apprenticeships consist of approximately three-to-four years of paid training in which apprentices receive both on-the-job practical training and classroom instruction. The apprenticeship requires 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 classroom training hours each year.

By the end of their training, lathers learn carpentry basics, blueprint reading, mathematics, building code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. They also may receive specialized training in creating and setting concrete forms, rigging, welding, scaffold building, working within confined workspaces, and fall protection. After finishing an apprenticeship, lathers are considered ‘journey workers’ and may begin to work independently.


Skilled lathers rely on training, an eye for architecture, and years of experience to deliver projects that meet demanding specifications. They use everything from wire, screws, nails, clips, staples, metal studs, metal lath, and drywall to build frameworks that are often covered by plaster, drywall materials, or other finishes. Attention to detail, customer service skills and being in good physical shape are important for a lather’s success.

High school students preparing to become a lather apprentice should seek out part-time jobs that require being physically fit such as landscaping or sheetrock work. Knowledge of tools such as the experience one gets working at a local hardware store is beneficial to a future lather apprentice’s experience.


Military members applying for a lather apprenticeship should reach out to www.helmetstohardhards.org to be connected with job opportunities.

Local Offices

St Paul

Lathers Metro Apprentice JATC

710 Olive St.
St. Paul, MN 55130

Drug Testing

An employer/contractor/apprenticeship instructor may require drug and alcohol testing of employees and applicants for employment, including random testing.

questions about apprencticeship? We can help.

Contact us and we'll be in touch soon.