A mastic asphalter spreads hot mastic asphalt (a material made of a mixture of limestone and bitumen) on horizontal or vertical surfaces, such as roofs, walls, floors, footbridges, car parks or swimming pools. The mixture cools and hardens to seal surfaces and make them waterproof.
You could be:
measuring the area and calculating the amount of asphalt you need
cleaning and preparing the area
working as part of a team with a potman or potwoman, who melts the blocks of asphalt
if necessary, adding colour
fixing wooden battens as laying guides, applying the asphalt between the battens, using wooden hand floats, and smoothing it level with a trowel
applying a second layer of asphalt
sealing the joints and perhaps finishing the surface with tiles, sand, wood chippings or a reflective coating
repairing or maintaining asphalt work.
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.
Once qualified you may start on around £17,000 a year. With experience your salary could go up to £35,000 a year.
You work outdoors in all weathers, sometimes at heights.
You work among fumes in dirty conditions.
There is some risk of accidental burns.
You might have to work overtime at evenings and weekends to meet deadlines, and hours could be longer in summer than in winter.
You spend most of the time kneeling or standing.
You would wear protective clothing – overalls, gloves, boots, knee pads and a hard hat.
Some jobs are temporary, for a few weeks or months at a time.
The normal entry route is through a Modern Apprenticeship with an employer.
You do not always need formal qualifications to enter this job, but some subjects at National 3, 4 or 5 including English and Maths may be useful. National 3 SfW Practical Experiences: Construction and Engineering may be relevant.
You could study the Foundation Apprenticeship in Construction (SCQF Level 4 or 5) in S3-S6, which can help to get into a relevant Modern Apprenticeship.
You usually have to sit an aptitude test as part of the application process.
A driving licence is useful and may be necessary.
You should be fit, strong and agile.
If you are working on roads you may be required to hold a Street Works qualification, depending on your role.
You must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to work on a building site. You must pass a health and safety test to qualify for this scheme.
Look for a job with a local authority, a specialist roofing company or a firm of builders or civil engineers.