Employment of plasterers and stucco masons is projected to grow 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. But because plasterers and stucco masons are part of a niche market, overall employment growth will be somewhat limited. In addition, the growing use of less costly and easy-to-install alternatives, such as drywall, will likely slow employment growth of plasterers.
At the same time, the need to fireproof refineries and powerplants should result in some demand for plasterers. Stucco masons will experience employment growth that results from demand for polymer-based exterior insulating finishes, which are gaining popularity, particularly in the South and Southwest regions of the country.
Overall job prospects should improve over the coming decade as construction activity rebounds from the recent recession. Like many other construction workers, employment of plasterers and stucco masons is particularly sensitive to fluctuations in the economy, and workers in this trade can expect periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. However, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity.
Highly skilled workers with good job histories and work experience in construction should have the best opportunities. Stucco masons will have the best job opportunities in parts of the country where stucco homes and other buildings are popular, such as the South and some Southwestern states. Plasterers will have better job opportunities in areas where powerplants and oil refineries are being built or refurbished.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition