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Plasterer Job Information CV Writing Tip's

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Plasterer Job Information

Plasterer Job Information

As a plasterer, you would mix and apply different kinds of plaster to internal walls and ceilings so that they are ready for decorating. You could also cover outside walls with coatings, such as sand and cement render, pebble-dash, stone-effect materials and possibly machine applied finishings.

You would normally be part of a small team, and work in one of the following:

  • solid plastering – applying wet finishes to surfaces and putting protective coverings like pebble-dashing on external walls
  • fibrous plastering – creating ornamental plasterwork, such as ceiling roses, cornices, and architraves, using a mixture of plaster and short fibres shaped with moulds and casts
  • dry lining – fixing internal plasterboard or wallboard partitions by fastening them together on a timber or metal frame ready for decorating.

You could work on small-scale domestic jobs, repairs and restoration or on big commercial developments such as schools or hospitals.


Hours

You would work around 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday, although weekend or evening work may be necessary to meet deadlines.

As a solid plasterer, you would be expected to work indoors and outdoors – this could be on existing buildings or on building sites. As a fibrous plasterer you would usually be based in a workshop, but may also make site visits.

You would often be working at heights from access platforms or scaffolding. For most jobs, you would be expected to wear personal protective equipment such as hard hat, overalls/hi viz jacket, safety glasses, gloves and safety footwear.


Income

  • Starting salaries can be between £14,000 and £17,000 a year.
  • Qualified plasterers can earn from £17,500 to over £25,000 or more.
  • Experienced plasterers can earn around £28,000 a year.

Overtime and shift allowances will increase earnings. Self-employed plasterers negotiate their own rates.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.


Entry requirements

You do not usually need qualifications to become a plasterer, but employers usually look for people with some on-site experience. If you have not worked in construction before, you may be able to get this experience by working as a plasterer’s ‘mate’ or labourer.

A common way into plastering is through an Apprenticeship scheme with a plastering, drylining or building firm. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. For more information, visit the Apprenticeships website.

For an Apprenticeship, you may need some GCSEs in subjects such as maths, English and design and technology, or equivalent qualifications.

Alternatively, you could learn some of the skills needed for the job by taking a college course in plastering, but employers may still want to see some site experience.

Relevant courses include:

  • City & Guilds (6217) Certificate in Basic Construction Skills (Plastering)
  • CSkills Awards Diploma in Plastering
  • ABC Certificate in Preparation for Employment in Plastering
  • Ascentis Preparation for Employment in the Construction Industries (Plastering).

Training and development

Once you are in employment, you could work towards NVQ levels 2 and 3 in Plastering.

After completing the Level 3 NVQ, you could take further specialist training for an NVQ Level 3 in Heritage Skills (Construction). This is designed to meet the demand for traditional craft skills used in the repair and conservation of historical buildings.

Many building contractors now insist that you have a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on their sites. To get your card you must:

  • pass a health and safety assessment
  • have an NVQ or equivalent qualification.

If you are working without qualifications, you may be able to use On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) or Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA) to get your NVQ and card. Contact CSCS for further details.


Skills and knowledge

  • good practical skills
  • the ability to work quickly and accurately
  • maths skills for calculating surface areas and volumes of materials
  • a reasonable level of fitness
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • creative skills for fibrous plastering and other decorative work
  • an awareness of health and safety issues.

Opportunities

You could work for specialist plastering firms, building contractors, local authorities and other public organisations. With experience, you could also become self-employed and work as a sub-contractor.

You could progress to supervisory jobs or move into other areas, like tiling, estimating and site management.


Related industry information

Industry summary

The construction sector is represented by ConstructionSkills Sector Skills Council. Construction is the creation of the built environment covering all stages of the construction process, from creating the initial ideas and designs to actually building the structure and ensuring that everything continues to work after it is completed. The sector covers the following areas: building infrastructure (such as roads and rail); the building of public and private housing; the construction of public non‐housing (such as schools); industrial building; the construction of commercial premises (such as offices and retail units); together with the repair and maintenance of these constructions.

ConstructionSkills represents every part of the UK construction industry, from architects to bricklayers. The sector employs 2.35 million people, representing over 8% of the UK workforce.

The craft industry covers a whole range of different trades including:

  • Wood occupations – Site Joiner, Shop fitter, Wood Machinist
  • Exterior occupations – Bricklayer, General Construction Operative
  • Interior occupations – Painter and Decorator, Ceiling Fixer
  • Specialist occupations – Thatcher, Roofer, Scaffolder
  • Plant occupations – Plant Mechanic, Plant Operator

Careers in construction craft roles suit people who are practical and are willing to work in a team. Craftspeople can also move into professional and technician roles.

Key facts for the construction sector as a whole:

  • 92% of organisations in the construction sector employ less than 10 people.
  • 55% of the workforce is employed in manual occupations.
  • 37% of the workforce is self‐employed.
  • Much of the workforce is mobile.
  • More than 35% of people in the sector are their own boss running their own companies.

Jobs in the industry range from: bench joiner, wood machinist, built up felt roofer, mastic asphalter, bricklayer, stonemason, dry liner, glazier, renderer, plant operator, demolition


National and regional data

Fewer employers in the East Midlands and West Midlands who had tried to recruit skilled staff had encountered difficulties (9% and 16% respectively); compared with London and Scotland, where two in five employers had experienced recruitment difficulties (40% and 39% respectively).

East Midlands – The highest requirements are for labourers (1,210) and wood trade and interior fit out (800). There are little or no requirements for: plasterers and dry liners; roofers; plant mechanics/fitters; steel erectors/structural; plus electrical trades and installation.

East of England – The highest requirements are for painters and decorators (1,000) and plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades (870). There are little or no requirements for: wood trade and interior fit out; building envelope specialists; plasterers and dry liners; plant mechanics/fitters; plus electrical trades and installation.

London – The highest requirements are for labourers (640) and plant operatives (510). There are little or no requirements for: wood trade and interior fit out; bricklayers; painters and decorators; roofers; floorers; plant mechanics/fitters; plus plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades.

North East – The highest requirements are for labourers (550) and bricklayers (510). There are little or no requirements for: roofers; steel erectors/structural; plus plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades.

North West – The highest requirements are for painters and decorators (620) and floorers (410). There are little or no requirements for: scaffolders; and steel erectors/structural.

South East – The highest requirements are for painters and decorators (340), labourers (290) and civil engineering operatives (290). There are little or no requirements for: bricklayers; building envelope specialists; plasterers and dry liners; roofers; floorers; plant mechanics/fitters; electrical trades and installation; plus plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades.

South West – The highest requirements are for labourers (1,260) and wood trade and interior fit out (350). There are little or no requirements for: building envelope specialists; painters and decorators; floorers; glaziers; specialist building operatives; plant mechanics/fitters; plus plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades.

West Midlands – The highest requirements are for labourers (710) and wood trade and interior fit out (640). There are little or no requirements for: bricklayers; plasterers and dry liners; roofers; floorers; glaziers; specialist building operatives; scaffolders; plant mechanics/fitters; plus plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades.

Yorkshire and the Humber – The highest requirements are for labourers (540) and floorers (340). There are little or no requirements for: building envelope specialists; plasterers and dry liners; glaziers; specialist building operatives; electrical trades and installation; plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades; plus civil engineering operatives.

Northern Ireland – The highest requirements are for wood trade and interior fit out (200) and labourers (180). There are little or no requirements for: building envelope specialists; painters and decorators; plasterers and dry liners; roofers; floorers; glaziers; steel erectors/structural; electrical trades and installation; plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades.

Scotland – The highest requirements are for plant operatives (1,030) and wood trade and interior fit out (760). There are little or no requirements for: bricklayers; roofers; floorers; electrical trades and installation; plumbing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning trades.

Wales – The highest requirements are for wood trade and interior fit out (1,170) and labourers (730). There are little or no requirements for: plasterers and dry liners; steel erectors/structural; plus electrical trades and installation.

[N.B. Data derived from Constructionskills Labour Market Intelligence 2010‐2014.]

Originally from National Careers Service

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