Plastering is a job which entails a great deal of dexterity and speed. It involves the coating of internal walls and ceilings with different types of plaster in order that they’re ready to be decorated, and the coating of external surfaces with appropriate materials, such as cement or sand.
It’s not all just handiwork though – maths plays a key role in knowing how much plaster to mix up and how much needs ordering to maintain the correct levels of work on different projects, so that nothing gets held up.
There’s also the element of plastering which takes place in workshops, that of creating plasterwork to order, usually in differing shapes and sizes, and to request.
Salary & benefits
Starting salaries are usually between the £14,000 and £17,000 mark within the industry, and qualified plasterers tend to earn between £18,000 and £26,000, although even this can rise over time.
There’s scope for overtime in most companies which allows you to earn more, by working at unsociable hours, and self-employed plasterers can earn even more through running their own businesses, although the work is less stable.
You would be expected to work around a 40 hour week, within the working hours of the week, although overtime can be a good little earner and evening or weekend work is sometimes necessary to meet deadlines.
Self-employed plasterers can negotiate their own wages for individual jobs, which can often be higher than if they’re under the control of a firm who set the rates.
There are no formal qualifications required by most firms to employ a new plasterer, but on-site experience can be key. You can gain this kind of experience by shadowing a local plasterer, or even by working on another type of job – just site experience is often enough to show your interest.
Training & progression
Courses are available in the skills which are needed on the job – qualifications in construction crafts and plastering can be found within the Government’s apprenticeship schemes and combine classroom work with on-site experience in order to help build skills quickly and effectively.
Ultimately, there are specialist courses that can take one further up the progression ladder – the Diploma in Heritage Skills allows for a plasterer to work on the repair of classic and historical buildings.