A Career as a Plasterer

According to recent research carried out 4 years ago, the average plasterer’s salary is in the region of £29,000+ per annum in 2012, a marked increase on the 2010 average salary which was around £22,000. This increase indicates that a career in plastering can be a lucrative one and is also a sign that the economic recession which plagued the property market may be coming towards its end. Certainly, the construction industry as a whole is likely to pick up within a few years which will be a natural progression after years of problems. Therefore, now could be as good as time as any to begin the process of choosing plastering as a career.

Qualifications Needed

It is theoretically possible to become a plasterer overnight but good luck trying to find an employer willing to take on someone with no experience and no qualifications! One way to get experience is through an apprenticeship scheme with a drylining, plastering or building company. Obviously, the amount of openings available will depend on your local market and the specific skills employers are looking for. In order to be eligible for such an apprenticeship, you might require GSCEs in subjects such as maths, design & technology and English.

Relevant Courses

If you can’t procure work as an apprentice at this time, education is another avenue and there are a host of different courses on offer ranging from the most basic topics to more advanced subjects for those with existing plastering experience. Here is a list of some courses you could consider taking:

  • City & Guilds: These are popular courses because they teach all students to industry standards of safety and competency. The City & Guilds Certificate in Basic Construction Skills is a great place to start if you have never worked as a plasterer before.
  • NVQ: You can achieve accredited NVQ qualifications in conjunction with City & Guilds by taking on one of the many plastering courses on offer that vary in terms of duration. For instance, you could take an 8 week NVQ plastering course that teaches you the skills of the trade and gives you a dose of reality with successful graduates receiving a level 2 NVQ qualification.
  • Weekend Courses: Again, there are a litany of short-term ‘crash’ courses in plastering that may help you get acclimatised to the vocation but if they don’t carry NVQ qualifications or the City & Guilds seal of approval, they won’t be worth much when it comes to getting you actual employment.

The Work

If you gain employment with a firm, you will join a small group and work on jobs such as
solid and fibrous plastering and dry lining. The work varies from small scale domestic jobs to
large commercial developments such as schools and hospitals. Your work week will be a
typical Monday-Friday 39 hour work week in general although you may be asked to work
overtime to meet certain deadlines. Although your salary will eventually climb towards the
£29,000 mark we mentioned before, it will start off at around £14,000 and rise with your
experience level.