Ames tapers stick tape to the surfaces of walls and ceilings. This seals the joints between sheets of plasterboard or wallboard, leaving a seamless finish ready for decoration. Ames tapers are sometimes called drywall or dryline finishers.
You could be:
- nailing down the surface of a wall or ceiling
- mixing sealing compound and spreading it by hand with a trowel over joints
- pressing paper tape over compound, covering joints and nails
- spreading the compound and taping the joint all in one, using a special machine
- sanding down the rough spots and filling cracks and holes
- fitting metal mouldings at corners
- spraying on a special compound which gives a texture to the wall and ceiling.
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.
There is a minimum wage for apprentices in Scotland. As of June 2016 the Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council (SBATC) rates for a 4-year apprenticeship based on a 39-hour week are:
Year 1 – £159.90
Year 2 – £216.45
Year 3 – £285.87
Year 4 – £354.90.
A fully qualified and experienced ames taper can earn between £11 and £16 an hour.
- The job involves bending, kneeling and sometimes working in small spaces.
- You balance on ladders, scaffolding or stilts.
- You work mostly indoors. Conditions are dusty and sometimes noisy so you will need to wear a face-mask or ear protectors and overalls.
- You have to buy your own taping machines and tools if self-employed.
- You have to travel to and from the sites, transporting materials.
- You may have to work away from home.
- You should not be allergic to dust.
- You will probably work shifts and overtime with possible night shifts.
- Some jobs are on a contract basis, for a few weeks or months at a time.
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- The normal entry route is by a Modern Apprenticeship registered with the Scottish Building Apprenticeship Training Council (SBATC).
- You do not always need formal qualifications for an apprenticeship, but English, Maths at National 4 or 5 would be useful.
- You would require a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to work on a building site.
- A driving licence would be useful if you are travelling between sites.
You could apply for a job with construction companies, small building firms, local authorities or housing associations.
Predicted Employment in Scotland
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What Does it Take?
You should be:
- good with your hands
- good at basic maths
- able to read diagrams and plans
- good at following instructions
- good at spotting imperfections
- able to work to deadlines
- able to work at heights.
- Training during an apprenticeship is mainly on the job with off the job training at college. You would work towards Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) at Levels 2 or 3.
- You could work towards SVQ Level 2 Interior Systems (Construction): Dry Lining - Finishing, at SCQF Level 5.
- You could go on to do a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in construction at college on a part time basis.
- With further training or qualifications you could progress to a supervisory or management role.
- You could become self-employed, in which case you must have your own equipment and tools. Most of the work is in cities. In remote areas it is painters and joiners who carry out this work.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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