Job Description:

Plasterers apply plaster to walls and ceilings ready for decorating and finishing.

Job Category:
Engineering & Construction

What you will do:

You’ll normally work in a team where you’ll:

  • estimate the amount of materials needed for a job
  • prepare surfaces and level off uneven areas
  • mix plaster to the right consistency by hand or with an electric mixer
  • apply ‘wet’ finishes to walls and ceilings – solid plastering
  • create ornamental features like ceiling roses, cornices and architraves – fibrous plastering
  • fix internal plasterboard or wallboard partitions in rooms – dry lining
  • coat outside walls with protective coverings like pebble-dash or render


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
  • the ability to work well with your hands

As well as:

  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to organise your time and workload (organisational skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a plasterer, you don’t typically need specific qualifications, but it’s essential to focus on subjects and skills that provide a strong foundation for the practical aspects of plastering work. Plastering is a skilled trade, and hands-on training and experience are often more critical than formal education. However, here are some relevant subjects that can be beneficial:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for measuring and calculating dimensions, materials, and areas that need plastering.
  2. Design and Technology: Courses related to design and technology can help you develop practical skills in working with tools and equipment, which are essential for plastering tasks.
  3. English: Effective communication skills are important for interacting with clients, understanding work orders, and conveying information to colleagues and supervisors.
  4. Art and Design: Developing an eye for aesthetics and attention to detail can be valuable for creating smooth and visually pleasing plaster finishes.
  5. Construction or Carpentry: If your school offers courses in construction or carpentry, these can provide a solid foundation for understanding building structures, materials, and construction techniques.
  6. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Basic computer skills can be useful for tasks like estimating materials, communicating with clients, and managing business operations if you choose to run your own plastering business.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You can do a college course that will teach you some of the skills needed for the job. Courses include:

  • Level 1 Award in Construction Skills Plastering
  • Level 2 Diploma in Plastering
  • Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Plastering
  • T Level in On Site Construction

You can get into this career by taking an intermediate apprenticeship in plastering.

You’ll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.

You can begin working as a plasterer’s labourer or ‘mate’. You may not need formal qualifications but some employers look for on-site construction experience.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 43 to 45 hours a week.

You could work at a client’s business, on a construction site or at a client’s home.

Your working environment may be at height.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move to a supervisory job, or into related areas like tiling, dry lining, estimating and site management.

You could also become self-employed and work as a sub-contractor.