Program overview

The Lather (aka Wall & Ceiling Installer, or Interior Systems Mechanic) Apprenticeship Program consists of three Levels where apprentices learn how to install, handle, build and apply materials that are used in the construction of ceilings and walls. Through a combination of hands-on learning and classroom time, Lather Apprentices become well-rounded journeypersons prepared for any challenge. Lathers are also called Wall and Ceiling Installers.

Apprentices learn the best practices to frame commercial, industrial, institutional and residential jobs, including rain-screen walls, using materials such as steel stud, drywall, sound proofing, insulation, lath, stucco and more.

The program usually takes about four years to complete, with a total of 18 weeks in class. In addition to the in-class training, the apprentice must complete 6,000 hours in the workplace with an ITA-approved sponsor.

Successful completion of the program earns apprentices a Red Seal certification, and a Certificate of Apprenticeship which is recognized in every province in Canada.

Learn the trade hands-on

Experience how Lather/Interior Systems Mechanics apprentices learn the trade, and meet the program coordinator.

Apprenticeship outline

Level 1

Apprentices start off with a solid understanding of how to work safely as the first week of the program is focused entirely on this subject. Level 1 apprentices are also introduced to the tools they will use on the job. They develop project planning and blueprint reading skills, and learn to use ladders, scaffolds and automated lift equipment. Apprentices also start with the basics of steel framework and drywall installation. (6 week program)

Level 2

In Level 2 apprentices develop their skill in the trade by learning how to install insulation, non-load metal framing, and gypsum wallboard. They begin installing pressed steel frames, beads, mouldings, soundproofing, and fireproofing. They also learn more advanced framing methods including suspended t-bar ceilings and bulkheads. (6 week program)

Level 3

Once the apprentice reaches Level 3, they further hone their skill in the Wall and Ceiling trade by learning how to install load-bearing and metal framing, acoustical ceilings, access floor systems, and demountable partitions. Apprentices learn to apply lath, wire and trims to walls and ceilings. They also learn how to apply exterior building envelope technologies while continuing to learn blueprint reading, building codes and specifications as they approach the Red Seal/Inter-provincial exam, which is written at the end of this level of training. (6 week program)

Program Fees

Program fees include Apprentice books and manuals.

  • Level 1 – $1000
  • Level 2 – $1000
  • Level 3 – $1000

About the Lather Faculty

Stewart Baird

Lather Coordinator/Instructor

Stewart began his apprenticeship in 1988 after high school graduation, and he received his ticket as a journeyman in 1992 at the age of 22. By 26 he was running jobs for several companies, ending with B&O. Stewart went to China in 2002 to teach steel stud in their growing industry, and when he returned to BC he taught construction to high school-aged students in Maple Ridge. He joined the FTI in 2008.

Upcoming Schedule

Check out our upcoming course offerings:

Apprenticeship Schedule