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Earnings

Some contractors pay lathers according to how many panels they install per day; others pay an hourly rate. The earnings of experienced lathers vary according to different geographic regions, but the average hourly wage rates compare favorably with others in the skilled building trades. According to May 2015 data from the U.S. Department of Labor, workers in drywall installation and finishing (including lathers) earned a median salary of $18.85 an hour, or roughly $39,220 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $12.62 an hour, or $26,250 a year; the highest paid workers earned $37.51 or more an hour, or $78,030 or more a year. Apprentices receive about 50 percent of the rate paid to experienced lathers, with periodic increases throughout their training. By the end of the program, apprentices generally earn 90 percent of a skilled lather's wage.

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