Drywall tapers (also sometimes called drywall finishers) are not required to have a formal education beyond a high school diploma. However, students may complete an apprenticeship in the field, and there are some schools that also offer relevant certificate and associate's degree programs.
Schools with Drywall Taper Programs
The table below provides a list of a few of the schools that offer programs in drywall tapering and plastering.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|South Seattle College||Seattle, WA||2-year, Public||Associate||$4,130 (in-state)|
|Gateway Community College||Phoenix, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate & Associate||$2,046 (in-state)|
|Honolulu Community College||Honolulu, HI||2-year, Public||Associate||$2,910 (in-state)|
|Santiago Canyon College||Orange, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate & Associate||$1,142 (in-state)|
|Milwaukee Area Technical College||Milwaukee, WI||2-year, Public||Certificate||$4,360 (in-state)|
|St. Charles Community College||Cottleville, MO||2-year, Public||Associate||$2,472 (in-district), $3,648 (in-state)|
|Mid-Plains Community College||North Platte, NE||2-year, Public||Diploma, Certificate & Associate||$2,880 (in-state)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Here are some considerations for students who are considering drywall taper programs:
- Students may want to find out if they will be required to purchase their own tools.
- Some certificate and associate's degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, while others are not. Students can choose between them based on their academic and career goals.
- Drywall taping is a highly physical activity, so aspiring professional should make sure that they have the necessary strength and stamina to complete a program.
- Students who are considering standalone certificate or associate's degree programs may want to find out if the credits can be applied to higher degree programs in the future.
The most common formal training program for aspiring drywall tapers is an apprenticeship, leading to a certificate. Depending on the program, these programs can last for three or four years, and they include at least 2,000 hours per year of on-the-job drywall taping training under the supervision of an experienced journeyman. Students also take courses in career-focused topics, such as blueprint reading, math, building codes and construction safety. Another associate-level option is a building construction technology certificate, which provides a short series of basic courses that introduce students to the technical, business, mathematical, communications and safety aspects of the construction industry.
Associate's Degree Programs
At some schools, it is possible to pursue and associate's degree in conjunction with a drywalling apprenticeship, leading to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Construction Trades. Students take courses similar to those in a certificate-granting apprenticeship programs, but they also fulfill general education requirements. Alternatively, aspiring drywallers can earn an associate's degree in building construction technology, separate from an apprenticeship. These two-year programs provide a comprehensive overview of the industry, and they also include general education courses.
There are a number of training options available for those interested in drywall taping finishing. Many involve apprenticeship training.