How to Become a Plasterer

Plasterers are vital to the construction and renovation industry, specialising in applying plaster and other finishes to interior and exterior walls and ceilings. This work not only contributes to the aesthetic appearance of a building but also provides protective and insulative layers. Plasterers must be skilled in preparing surfaces, mixing materials, and applying finishes with precision and efficiency. The role demands a good eye for detail, physical stamina, and a solid understanding of construction and finishing techniques.


What Do Plasterers Do?

Surface Preparation: Ensure surfaces are clean, dry, and suitable for plastering, which may include applying a base coat or mesh for reinforcement.

Mixing Materials: Accurately mix plaster, render, or other finishing materials to the correct consistency.

Application: Apply plaster or other finishes to walls and ceilings using trowels, brushes, and other tools, ensuring a smooth, even surface.

Finishing Techniques: Use various tools and techniques to create decorative textures or finishes as required by the project specifications.

Drying and Sanding: Allow applied materials to dry completely and sand them to achieve the desired finish before further decoration.

Could I Be a Plasterer?

This role is suited for individuals who enjoy practical, hands-on work and take pride in achieving a high-quality finish. Ideal candidates should have good hand-eye coordination, physical endurance, and the ability to work meticulously over extended periods. Being able to work at heights and in various conditions is also important.

What Skills Do I Need?

  • Attention to Detail

     Precision in applying finishes to achieve a high-quality surface.

  • Physical Fitness

    The stamina to perform physically demanding tasks and work in various postures for extended periods.

  • Technical Skills

    Understanding of different materials and techniques for plastering and finishing surfaces.

  • Safety Awareness

    Knowledge of safety practices, especially when working with potentially hazardous materials or at heights.

how to become a plasterer

How Much Do Plasterers Make?

Earnings for plasterers can vary based on experience, location, and the type of work undertaken. Entry-level plasterers might start with a salary ranging from £15,000 to £20,000 annually. Experienced and skilled plasterers can expect to earn between £25,000 and £35,000 per year, with potential for higher earnings for those specialising in decorative plasterwork or running their own business.

  • CSCS Card

    To work on construction sites, plasterers in the UK need a CSCS card. For skilled workers, the Blue CSCS Skilled Worker card is appropriate. This requires passing the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test and having an NVQ or SVQ Level 2 in Plastering.

  • Vocational Training

    Enrol in courses or training programs specific to plastering to learn the fundamentals and develop your skills.

  • Apprenticeships

    An apprenticeship in plastering offers a mix of on-the-job training and classroom learning, leading to recognised qualifications and practical experience.

  • Gain Experience

    Start by working on simpler projects to build your skills. As you gain experience, you can tackle more complex and creative tasks.

  • Specialise

    Consider specialising in areas like ornamental plasterwork, external rendering, or dry lining to distinguish your skills and potentially increase your earning potential.

Career Progression

Starting as a plasterer, there are numerous paths for career advancement. With experience, you might move into supervisory roles, overseeing projects and managing teams. Further training and qualifications can lead to specialised fields, such as heritage conservation or interior design, where your expertise can command higher fees.

Entrepreneurial individuals may establish their own business, offering plastering services directly to clients. For those with a passion for education, transitioning into a teaching or training role to share your knowledge with aspiring plasterers is another viable path.

Continuous professional development, through workshops, industry seminars, and staying updated with new materials and techniques, is key to a successful career in plastering.