Construction and building

Career outlook for plasterer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would work in people’s homes and other buildings to prepare the walls and ceilings for decorating and to protect the building from the weather.

You’d apply different kinds of plaster to internal walls and ceilings. You’d cover external walls with coatings, such as sand and cement render or pebble-dash.

You’d calculate how much plaster you need for the size of the job. Once it is mixed and ready to use you’d need to work quickly and accurately by hand.

As part of a small team, you’d work on one of these processes:

  • Solid plastering – applying wet finishes to surfaces and putting protective coverings like pebble-dashing on external walls
  • Fibrous plastering – creating ornamental plasterwork, such as ceiling roses, cornices, and architraves, using a mixture of plaster and short fibres shaped with moulds and casts
  • Dry lining – fixing internal plasterboard or wallboard partitions by fastening them together on a timber or metal frame ready for decorating

You could work on small jobs, repairs and restoration in people’s homes . Other jobs could be at big commercial developments such as schools or hospitals.

Working conditions


You would work around 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday, although weekend or evening work may be necessary to meet deadlines.


As a solid plasterer, you would work indoors and outdoors – this could be on existing buildings or on building sites. As a fibrous plasterer you would usually be based in a workshop, but may also make site visits. You would often work at heights from access platforms or scaffolding. For most jobs, you would wear protective clothing such as a hard hat, gloves and safety footwear.


You would travel from job to job. Many plasterers transport their materials in a van, so a driving licence would be useful.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Observation
  • Attention to detail
  • Concentrating
  • Time management

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You would need a Modern Apprenticeship registered with the Scottish Building Apprenticeship Training Council (SBATC).

You do not always need formal qualifications to enter this apprenticeship but most employers value a good general education. Some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • A technologies subject

You will also need

You usually have to take an aptitude test before you can start training.

You must have a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to train and work on site and will need to pass a health and safety test. 

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show practical skills such as Skills for Work Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5).

A driving licence can be useful.