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Operative Plasterers' and Cement Masons' International Association of the United States and Canada

The following information is provided as a general overview/guideline and it subject to change. Information as to earnings and benefits should be verified with the trade office in your geographical area as it can vary from province to province.

Operative Plasterers' and Cement Masons' International Association of the United States and Canada

International Association
11720 Beltsville Drive, Suite 700
Beltsville, Maryland 20705

Top Officer:
Patrick D. Finley, General President

OP&CMIA members represent skilled plasterers, cement masons, shop hands and associated members. Plasterers finish interior walls and ceilings of buildings; apply plaster on masonry, metal, and wire lath or gypsum. Bridges, canals, dams, reservoirs, roads and many other engineering feats would be impossible without the skills of OP&CMIA cement masons. Cement masons are responsible for all concrete construction, including pouring and finishing of slabs, steps, wall tops, curbs and gutters, sidewalks, paving and other concrete construction.

What do Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons Do?

Plasterers’ Work includes these valuable skills:

  • All Types of Plastering
  • Exterior Insulated Finish System (EIFS) Application – including the installation of the insulation board whether adhesive-applied or fastened with mechanical fasteners.
  • Restoration Work
  • Acoustical Tile Application
  • Artificial Marble Work
  • Fireproofing Application
  • Epoxy Coating Application
  • Sculpturing
  • Swimming Pool Interior Application
  • Wallboard Taper and Joiner/Drywall Application/ Level 5 Drywall Skim coating
  • Modern Veneer and Hardcoat Applications
  • Cornice and Ornamental Plastering
  • Building Illusions and Props for the Motion Picture Industry
  • and more!

Cement Masons’ Work includes these valuable skills:

  • Concrete Finishing on Buildings, Highways, Sidewalks, Curbs and Gutters
  • Concrete Saw and Scoring Machine Operation
  • Floor Hardeners, Sealers and Curing Applications
  • Gunite Operation
  • Laser Screed Operation
  • Installing Seamless Flooring (Epoxy)
  • Sand Blasting and Bush Hammering
  • Restoration Work (Concrete Repair)
  • Waterproofing
  • Form Setting
  • Grouting
  • Epoxy Coatings Application
  • Decorative Concrete: Stenciled, Stamped, Stained
  • and more!

What is an Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons Apprenticeship Program?

As part of its long-standing tradition of pursuit of excellence, the OPCMIA, in the post-war era, began to establish apprenticeship to assure a constant supply of highly skilled craftsmen. Just as the OPCMIA advocated use of quality materials, it also demanded quality Plasterers and Cement Finishers who were properly trained in the craft. In 1946 the union joined with the Contracting Plasterers' International Association and the Associated General Contractors to establish the National Apprentice Training Standards. Through this program the union was able to guarantee a steady flow of qualified Plasterers and Cement Finishers to an ever-expanding construction industry. Working closely with the Veterans' Administration, the union indentured a large number of returning servicemen into apprenticeship programs.

OPCMIA Apprentices receive a minimum of 144 hours of classroom training, plus hands-on and/or on-the-job training.

How much will I earn?

You earn while you learn the trade. Union journeymen Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons wages and fringe benefits are negotiated on their behalf by the union through collective bargaining with signatory contractors. Some apprenticeship programs partner with community colleges to offer college credit for apprenticeship classes.

Wages vary according to the geographical location of the local union. Wages are determined as a percentage of the journeyperson’s wage and increase throughout the apprenticeship program as your knowledge and skills increase.