What Does an Exterior Insulated Finish Systems Mechanic Do?

An Exterior Insulated Finish Systems (EIFS) Mechanic (455A) installs building systems that integrate a resinous exterior cladding with a continuous layer of insulation on the exterior of a building or structure. EIFS Mechanics are commonly referred to as stucco workers.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • reading interpreting drawings, specifications and manuals
  • preparing substrates
  • selecting and applying barriers
  • selecting and applying adhesive applications and mechanical attachments
  • preparing and installing rigid insulation board
  • applying reinforcing mesh, base and textured finish coats
  • selecting, setting up, maintaining and operating hand/power tools and equipment
  • being in good physical condition
  • working well with co-workers under deadlines
  • learning and keeping up to date on various materials and regulations

This work is most rewarding for those who enjoy physical exercise, working with their hands, developing special skills, and the security of steady employment.

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To become an Exterior Insulated Finish Systems Mechanic, you should preferably have a secondary school diploma this is usually required by employers and unions today, but grade 10 is currently the legal minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades. Completion of a 3,600 hour apprenticeship will include a combination of on-the-job and in-school training, before successfully writing an examination to obtain your Certificate of Qualification. Related training in High School through co-operative education in construction, or technical courses is an advantage.

Mandatory health an safety certificates are required prior to starting work.

To view the Essential Skills for this particular skilled trade, please click the following link:
EFIS Mechanic essential skills

You may find additional information about  and applicable standards at the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website - Construction sector link: www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/construction.

What’s Your Future as an Exterior Insulated Finish Systems Mechanic?

Most Exterior Insulated Finish Systems Mechanics are employed by contractors on construction or repair jobs. Some Exterior Insulated Finish System Mechanics are members of unions and work from union halls (see International Union of Painters and Allied Trades website: Link click here

The work is seasonal and workers may expect periods of unemployment due to inclement weather even during the summer months. However, this occupation is less sensitive to economic changes than some other construction trades because there is steady demand for repair work even if new construction is slow.

Exterior Insulated Finish Systems Mechanics may advance to supervisory positions or become contractors themselves. With additional apprenticeship training, they can transfer their skills to other construction occupations such as carpenter, roofer or sheet metal worker. Examples of typical employers include:

  • residential building developers
  • building construction firms
  • construction contractors
  • roofing contractors
  • independent contractor

    For additional information about this career, check out the construction sector website at: www.CareersInConstruction.ca.

Wage Rate

  • apprentices usually start at a wage rate less than that of a journeyperson
  • this rate increases gradually as you gain competency and skill
  • a fully qualified Exterior Insulated Finish Systems Mechanics can earn anywhere from $13.00/hr to $28.00/hr or more depending on what geographic area they live in, sometimes with opportunities for overtime and benefits

Self-Rating Quiz

 Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Exterior Insulated Finish Systems (EIFS) Mechanic for You?

Would you be comfortable working around hazardous materials?

Yes      No

Do you like working with hand or power tools?

Yes      No

Can you stand on your feet for long periods of time?

Yes      No

Can you communicate well verbally and in writing?

Yes      No

Are you willing to travel from job to job?

Yes      No

Do you mind working outdoors occasionally?

Yes      No

Are you good at working independently or as part of a team to accomplish a task?

Yes      No


If you answered yes to most of these questions, a career as an Exterior Insulated Finish Systems Mechanic may be for you!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as: 

  • Roofer
  • Drywall Finisher and Plasterer
  • Glazier
  • Insulator
  • Brick and Stone Mason
  • Painter and Decorator
  • Floorcovering Installer

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