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Dry liner

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Dry liners use plasterboard panels to build internal walls, suspended ceilings and raised flooring in houses, offices and shops.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £10,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths may be helpful.

You could get into this job by:

  • joining a company as a dry liner’s assistant or 'mate'
  • completing a dry lining or plastering apprenticeship

Go Construct has more information about becoming a dry liner.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • good practical skills
  • good maths skills for working out surface areas and angles
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • the ability to read technical diagrams

3. What you'll do

Dry lining methods are used to create the walls and rooms in a building. They also hide wires and pipes, improve a room’s acoustics, create space for insulation and smooth out uneven walls during renovation work. 

Your work will involve a ‘fixing' stage, followed by a ’finishing' stage.

At the 'fixing’ stage, you’ll:

  • measure and cut plasterboard to the right sizes and angles
  • fix panels to timber, metal frames or ceiling joists using special studs
  • cut panels to fit around doorways and create openings for windows

You’ll then ‘finish’ the walls by:

  • sealing joints using filler or adhesive
  • taping over the seal either by hand or with a taping machine
  • applying a thin layer of plaster over the tape (skimming)
  • sanding down the area ready for painting and decorating

4. Salary

Starter: £10,000 to £20,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £30,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000 or more (senior or master dryliner)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work up to 40 hours a week. 

You may have to work evenings, nights or weekends on commercial contracts, to limit disruption to your client’s business.

The work can be physically demanding. You’ll work at height, from ladders or a small scaffold when fitting ceilings.

You may need a driving licence.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a site supervisor, estimator or dry lining quantity surveyor. 

You could also set up your own dry lining business. 

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Last updated: 12 September 2018