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Career profile Taper

Also known as Drywall Finisher, Drywall Mechanic, Drywall Taper, Finisher, Taper, Taper/Finisher

Taper

Also known as Drywall Finisher, Drywall Mechanic, Drywall Taper

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$36,580 - $95,800 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Monitoring
Knowledge Areas
  • Building and Construction
  • Education and Training
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • Spread sealing compound between boards or panels or over cracks, holes, nail heads, or screw heads, using trowels, broadknives, or spatulas.
  • Press paper tape over joints to embed tape into sealing compound and to seal joints.
  • Apply additional coats to fill in holes and make surfaces smooth.
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What does a Taper do?

Tapers seal joints between plasterboard or other wallboard to prepare wall surface for painting or papering.

What kind of tasks does a Taper perform regularly?

Tapers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Spread sealing compound between boards or panels or over cracks, holes, nail heads, or screw heads, using trowels, broadknives, or spatulas.
  • Press paper tape over joints to embed tape into sealing compound and to seal joints.
  • Apply additional coats to fill in holes and make surfaces smooth.
  • Seal joints between plasterboard or other wallboard to prepare wall surfaces for painting or papering.
  • Spread and smooth cementing material over tape, using trowels or floating machines to blend joints with wall surfaces.
  • Sand or patch nicks or cracks in plasterboard or wallboard.
  • Mix sealing compounds by hand or with portable electric mixers.
  • Work on high ceilings, using scaffolding or other tools, such as stilts.
  • Select the correct sealing compound or tape.
  • Countersink nails or screws below surfaces of walls before applying sealing compounds, using hammers or screwdrivers.
  • Remove extra compound after surfaces have been covered sufficiently.
  • Install metal molding at wall corners to secure wallboard.
  • Apply texturizing compounds or primers to walls or ceilings before final finishing, using trowels, brushes, rollers, or spray guns.
  • Check adhesives to ensure that they will work and will remain durable.
  • Sand rough spots of dried cement between applications of compounds.
  • Use mechanical applicators that spread compounds and embed tape in one operation.

The above responsibilities are specific to Tapers. More generally, Tapers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.

What is a Taper salary?

The median salary for a Taper is $59,450, and the average salary is $62,140. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Taper salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Tapers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Tapers earn less than $36,580 per year, 25% earn less than $46,380, 75% earn less than $76,770, and 90% earn less than $95,800.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Tapers is expected to change by 0.5%, and there should be roughly 1,600 open positions for Tapers every year.

Median annual salary
$59,450
Typical salary range
$36,580 - $95,800
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
0.5%

What personality traits are common among Tapers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Taper are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Tapers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Taper tend to value Relationships, Support, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Tapers moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Tapers moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Tapers somewhat value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Tapers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, leadership, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Tapers, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Tapers need?

Working as a Taper usually requires a high school diploma.

Tapers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Tapers

  • 47.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 37.6% completed high school or secondary school
  • 11.5% completed some college coursework
  • 2.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 1.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Tapers

Tapers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as building and construction, education and training, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Tapers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Tapers

Tapers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Tapers need abilities such as near vision, arm-hand steadiness, and manual dexterity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Tapers, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Trunk Strength
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.

Critical Skills needed by Tapers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Tapers frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and monitoring to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Tapers, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.