Plasterers prepare walls and ceilings for decoration and finishing.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 39 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but employers will look for some experience.

You can get this as a plasterer's assistant (mate) and train on the job. Another route in is to do a college course in plastering.

You'll need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a building site and to improve your career prospects.

Go Construct has more information on construction careers and qualifications.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • practical skills
  • to be able to work out surface area measurements and volumes of materials
  • creative skills for fibrous plastering and other decorative work

3. What you'll do

You'll do repairs and restoration work on houses and on large commercial developments like schools, hospitals and hotels. You'll usually work for a specialist plastering firm, building contractor or local authority

You'll normally work in a team carrying out:

  • solid plastering (applying wet finishes to surfaces and putting protective coverings like pebble-dash on outside walls)
  • fibrous plastering (creating ornamental plasterwork like ceiling roses, cornices and architraves)
  • dry lining (fixing internal plasterboard or wallboard partitions)

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000 to £18,000

Experienced: £18,000 to £25,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000

You may get overtime and shift work. Self-employed plasterers can negotiate their rates.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work about 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday.

If you're a 'solid' plasterer, you'd work both indoors and outdoors. This might be on existing buildings or on building sites. 'Fibrous' plasterers are usually based in a workshop.

You'd often work at height on platforms or scaffolding. For most jobs, you'll wear personal protective equipment like a hard hat, overalls, hi-vis jacket, safety glasses and safety footwear.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to supervisory jobs or move into related areas like tiling, estimating and site management.

You could become self-employed and work as a sub-contractor.

Last updated: 11 October 2016