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Thatchers use traditional craft skills, materials and tools to replace and repair thatched roofs.
1. Entry requirements
There are no set entry requirements.
Experience in related jobs like roofing or reed cutting may be useful. Employers may ask for some GCSEs or equivalent, but your enthusiasm and your practical skills will be as important as qualifications.
You’ll need a good level of fitness and an enthusiasm for traditional building crafts.
You could contact individual thatchers or thatching companies to see if they've a vacancy for a trainee thatcher or thatcher's labourer.
The Prince's Foundation run courses in building crafts including thatching.
The National Society of Master Thatchers has more information on becoming a thatcher.
2. Skills required
- excellent practical skills
- number skills
- communication and negotiating skills
3. What you'll do
You’ll prepare roofs and materials by:
- putting up scaffolding or securing ladders to buildings
- stripping off old roofs
- checking roof timbers for damage or rot
- repairing, treating or replacing timbers
- preparing materials, like straw, wheat reed or water reed into bundles ready for use
You’ll then secure bundles of thatch to roof timbers (battens), using tarred cord or metal hooks.
You’ll use a range of thatching craft tools, like shearing hooks, needles, eave-knives and mallets.
You might also grow and harvest your own thatching materials.
Experienced: £13,000 to £20,000
Highly Experienced: up to £26,000
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentWorking hours, patterns and environment
You’ll usually be self-employed.
Your hours will depend on the availability of work, but could include early starts, late finishes and weekends, especially during the summer months.
You’ll be outdoors in most weather conditions, working at height.
The job is physically demanding and can get dusty.
You’ll usually need a driving licence.
6. Career path and progressionYou could set up your own business and take on other thatchers.
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Last updated: 11 September 2018