PHOENIX -- What's the most popular job in Arizona?
According to a report released earlier this month, it's plastering.
Statistics show that Arizona has more plasterers per capita than the United States as a whole.
"When I was told that, I thought it was April 1 and someone was playing an April Fools' joke on me," said Jay Eaton, who works for Cal Plastering Co. in Phoenix and has been in the industry for about 40 years.
While probably not the first occupation that comes to mind for the state's most popular job, plastering might not be all that surprising considering the amount of swimming pools and home construction in Arizona.
Eaton said Cal Plastering worked hard to stay afloat during the economic downturn but now the industry is bouncing back. There's more money for pools, home improvements and brand new stucco houses, meaning contractors are looking for plasterers.
"The economy's coming back as far as I'm concerned," said Mark Rumsey of Buena Vista Pools. "I'm busier now than I've been in years."
Eaton said plasterers typically make between $30,000 and $80,000 per year.
"It's a good job," he said. "It's just hard work."
Plasterers often work eight- to 10-hour days outside in the desert heat.
"The reason that I've done this for as long as I have is because I've enjoyed it almost all the time," Eaton said.
For Eaton, it's a labor of love, but he's still surprised so many other Arizonans have gone into the industry.
"Maybe it's the most popular. It's not the easiest, that's for sure," he said.