Image of patterned plaster with 'how to become a plasterer' superimposed

How to become a plasterer

Posted on 20/11/2018

Have you ever tried your hand at plastering and found you had a knack for it? Maybe you’ve considered turning that enjoyment into a career? The life of a plasterer and the possibility of being your own boss is an attractive prospect for many and it might be just the thing you’re looking for.

Plastering is one of the cornerstones of home renovation - whether you’re looking for a new wall feel, repairing some damage, or if you have grand designs on a new look for your home, plastering can give you everything you need. If you feel that you could be the one to provide this service then read on to find out how you can become a plasterer.

What do I need?

Trades such as plastering involve a lot of physical labour and working with your hands, as a result, you’ll need to have a good handle on a few basic skills if you want to make it as a plasterer. However, don’t worry if you don’t match all of the criteria, after all, practice makes perfect.

Firstly, as already mentioned, plastering is a physical trade and as such you’ll need excellent practical skills if you want to really smooth those walls down to a silky finish. You’re also going to be moving quite a lot of equipment to and from locations, so being afraid of a little heavy lifting won’t cut it if you want to be a plasterer.

Calculating surface areas and the volumes of materials you’ll need to complete any one job is an integral part of being a plasterer

You’ll also need some skill when it comes to numbers to ensure that you’re offering the best possible service. Calculating surface areas and the volumes of materials you’ll need to complete any one job is an integral part of being a plasterer. No one wants a job half done, or to be overcharged for surplus materials. Being able to make sure you have exactly what you need, as well as supplying accurate quotes to customers will be something you do every single day of the job.

Plastering can also be an excellent creative outlet for those who wish to explore their artistic side in a little bit more detail. Not every wall needs to be smooth, and not every plastering job is the same. You’ll also be expected to work with fibrous materials for plastering and other decorative work.

Your day to day work will generally consist of repairs, restorations, and renovations, ranging from public properties and private homes to construction and industrial sites. You’ll also be expected to apply protective coverings to new walls, create ornamental works for things like ceilings, and complete dry lining which entails fixing wall partitions.

Day to day work will generally consist of repairs, restorations, and renovations, ranging from public properties and private homes to construction and industrial sites.

You’ll most likely start put working for already established companies as part of a larger team but starting your own business is still a perfectly valid career path many plasterers embark on within a few years of starting.

Using your hands, head, and artistic sense are the three pillars of a master plasterer. Think you have what it takes? Great, let’s see how you can get started.

Where do I start?

While there are certain plastering courses available, plastering, like many other trades, requires no formal qualifications or academic credentials but employers will be keen to note how much experience you have.

Plastering requires no formal or academic qualifications but employers will be keen to note how much experience you have.

One of the best ways to start out on your career path as a plasterer is to get some experience as an established plasterer’s assistant or ‘mate’ by training on the job. If you want to find a plasterer in your area that might be interested in letting you shadow them, be sure to check out Local Heroes!

However, plasterers will be keener to take you on if you can demonstrate some prior knowledge or experience. For this reason, it might be good to pursue an apprenticeship if you find yourself in a position to do so.

Additionally, if you’re looking to work on building sites, or just generally improve your career prospects, it might be worth your while to complete a CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme). Not only will this open you up to more avenues of work, it will also show you have a deeper understanding of what is required of you when at work.

Next steps

As you can see, there are few barriers to entry when considering becoming a plasterer, but that doesn’t mean the work is any less physically demanding. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and using your head, then a career as a plasterer maybe exactly what you need.

Once you have set yourself up, why not join Local Heroes?