A plasterer mixes and applies plaster or cement to walls, ceilings and floors. There are two kinds of plasterer. A solid plasterer applies smooth wet finishes. A fibrous plasterer produces ornamental shapes from moulds for cornices, centre roses and panelling.
As a fibrous plasterer you could be:
moulding ornamental plasterwork – cornices, centre roses, decorative panelling – out of plaster and short lengths of fibre (which binds the plaster together so that it keeps its shape)
working from architects’ designs, artists’ drawings or photographs of old plasterwork.
As a solid plasterer you could be:
fixing metal strips to corners to give a straight edge and checking them with spirit level and plumb-line
for internal walls, filling in the area with plaster, using a trowel and brush to build up the plaster in layers
for external walls, or floors, filling in the area with cement
using rollers or spray guns to decorate an external wall with finishes such as pebble-dash or stone effect
fixing moulded pieces of ornamental plasterwork, which a fibrous plasterer has made, to inside walls
doing restoration work – removing old plaster and putting on the new.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
As of June 2023 the Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC) recommends the following rates for a 4-year apprenticeship based on a 39-hour week are:
Year 1 – £237.46 (£6.09 an hour)
Year 2 – £316.02 (£8.10 an hour)
Year 3 – £396.38 (£10.16 an hour)
Year 4 – £396.38 (£10.16 an hour) (without SCQF Level 6)
Year 4 – £419.27 (£10.75 an hour) (with SCQF Level 6).
Please note these rates may vary if the Apprentice is 21 years old or over and has completed the first year of their apprenticeship. National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) will apply.
Qualified plasterers can earn between £12.00 and around £22.00 an hour, or more. Overtime and shift allowances will increase earnings.
Work is mostly indoors but you might sometimes work outside.
As a fibrous plasterer you could work from either a workshop or on site.
You often work at heights on scaffolding or ladders.
Conditions may be messy, dusty and damp.
You wear protective gear: a hard hat, overalls and sometimes gloves, a face mask and safety glasses.
You travel to different sites and may sometimes have to live away from home.
Some jobs are temporary.
You would work around 39 hours a week.
You might have to work evenings and weekends to suit clients.