If you enjoy carrying out tasks with your hands and would love a career within the construction industry then how’s about becoming a plasterer. You get to work with your hands and you’ll be working in a career that’s in high demand here in the UK and all over the world.
A plasterer’s role is to apply various kinds of plaster to internal ceilings and walls making them ready for decorating. Plasterers also work outside plastering over outside walls with coatings such as sand and cement render and also pebble dash.
A plaster will need to have a good level of mathematical skills in order to work out how much plaster you’re going to need to completely finish a job. You’ll also need to be physically fit as plastering is a highly demanding job on the body. A plasterer must also be able to mix well within a team.
A plasterer’s daily work
A plaster can be self employed or they can work as a team working on one of the following:
This is when a plasterer will create ornamental plasterwork including cornice, architraves and ceiling roses, they do this by using a mixture of short fibres shaped with casts and moulds and plaster.
When a plasterer applies wet finishes to surfaces and also puts protective coverings including pebble dashing on external walls.
This is when a plasterer fixes wallboard partitions and also internal plasterboards by fastening them jointly to a timber frame or metal frame ready for decorating.
Plasterers work on repairs, work on restorations. They also work in big commercial developments including hospitals and schools and also on small scale domestic jobs.
A plasterer will usually work 39 hours a week and that includes Mondays to Fridays however you may have to work weekends and evenings if there are deadlines to meet. If you’re working as a solid plasterer then you will have to be prepared to work outdoors and also on building sites. Fibrous plasterers are usually based in the workshops however they too may have to visit building sites sometimes.
Plasterers also have to work at height on occasions either on scaffolding or access platforms. Plasterers will have to wear protective gear such as a hard hat, overalls/ hi-viz jackets, gloves, safety footwear and glasses.
A plasterer’s wage
A plasterer’s starting salary is usually between £14,000 and £17,000 a year. Qualified plasterers can earn between £17,500 and £25,000 a year or more.
Of course there will also be the added options of working overtime and shift allowances. Remember if you’re planning on becoming a self employed plasterer then you have the added bonus of setting your own rates.
What do you need to become a plasterer?
You don’t need to have any formal qualifications to become a plasterer however most employers prefer it if you has some previous on site experience. You can get this experience by working as a plasterer’s mate or labourer.
Another good way of gaining on site experience is by trying to get on a plastering apprenticeship scheme with a plastering, building or drylining firm. Apprenticeships are in extremely high demand and there are only a few allocated spaces available each year so competition is fierce out there for apprenticeships. Ideally apprentices are between the ages of 16 and 24.
There is also the option of taking a college course or taking a course with your local training centre.
The courses will include:
- Level1 Award/certificate in basic construction skills (plastering)
- Level 1 certificate in construction and building (plastering skills)
- Level 1/2 certificate/diploma in plastering
- Level 1/2 certificate/diploma in construction crafts (plastering)
For even more development and training
As soon as you are employed you could then start to further your development towards more qualifications.
You could gain more qualifications including:
· Level 3 diploma in plastering (construction)
· Level 2/3 NVQ diploma in plastering (construction)
These qualifications will involve:
· Quantities and technical information
· Installing components
· Health and safety
· Applying render and plastering materials to indoor and outdoor surfaces
· Producing plasterwork components from moulds
As you gain more experience you could carry out specialist training towards a level 3 NVQ diploma in Heritage Skills. This diploma will see that you meet with the demands for traditional craft skills that are used in historical buildings to repair and conserve.
Construction Skills Certification Scheme
The majority of building contractors will require you to have a CSCS card this card will enable you to work on a construction site. This card will be your proof that you have the knowledge and skills that are required to carry out a job successfully.
In order to gain your CSCS card you must:
- First pass the CITB health, safety and environment test
- Be able to prove that you are fully competent at your trade. Your qualifications will prove this.
If you are currently working as a plasterer but don’t currently hold any qualifications then you could use the on site assessment workshop or experienced worker practical assessment (EWPA) schemes. By using these schemes hopefully you’ll gain your qualifications and be able to qualify for your CSCS card.
The traditional Building Bursary scheme
This scheme offers bursaries and also organises work based training placements. They are designed for those who want to develop their skills. Take a look at the Traditional Building Skills Bursary Scheme website for more info on this and whether or not you are eligible.
Just to recap!
A plasterer will need to have:
- Good maths skills to work out the quantities of materials
- A good level of physical fitness
- Good practical skills
- The ability to work efficiently, safely and accurately
- Good creative skills especially if becoming a fibrous plasterer and also for other decorative plastering jobs
- A good ability to work closely as a team member
- A good knowledge of health and safety
So that’s about it from me but I would just like to congratulate you on your great choice of career, plastering is a fantastic career with plenty of job prospects and you’ll know that you’re working in a trade that will always be in high demand and with that comes peace of mind. So good luck and I wish you all the best with your training to becoming a plasterer. Good luck!