In Summary - Plasterer
Plasterers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
- Plasterer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
The Work - Plasterer
Plasterers mix and apply plaster to inside walls and ceilings. They may also apply cement mixes to floors and outside walls or do decorative work. Plasterers use tools such as trowels, floats and hawks.
They also make ornamental plasterwork and decorative panels by moulding and casting plaster in workshops. The finished pieces are then fixed on-site. Fibrous plasterers may work from architects' designs or copy pieces of plasterwork from artists' drawings or from photographs.
They must finish off their work to a high standard and leave it ready for painters and decorators to work on.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Apply coats of plaster or stucco to walls, ceilings, or partitions of buildings, using trowels, brushes, or spray guns.
- Mix mortar and plaster to desired consistency or direct workers who perform mixing.
- Create decorative textures in finish coat, using brushes or trowels, sand, pebbles, or stones.
- Apply insulation to building exteriors by installing prefabricated insulation systems over existing walls or by covering the outer wall with insulation board, reinforcing mesh, and a base coat.
- Cure freshly plastered surfaces.
- Clean and prepare surfaces for applications of plaster, cement, stucco, or similar materials, such as by drywall taping.
- Rough the undercoat surface with a scratcher so the finish coat will adhere.
- Apply weatherproof, decorative coverings to exterior surfaces of buildings, such as by troweling or spraying on coats of stucco.
- Install guide wires on exterior surfaces of buildings to indicate thickness of plaster or stucco and nail wire mesh, lath, or similar materials to the outside surface to hold stucco in place.
- Spray acoustic materials or texture finish over walls or ceilings.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Interests - Plasterer
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
You must be physically fit, as the work involves a lot of bending, lifting and stretching.
Plasterers often work at heights using ladders or scaffolding.
Entry Requirements - Plasterer
The official entry route for a Plasterer is through undertaking an apprenticeship.
The employer pays the apprentice while s/he is being trained on-the-job. A training allowance is paid by the local ETB while the apprentice is attending the off-the-job training, and an Apprentice Rate of pay during the on-the-job phases of their apprenticeship. Generally, the rates of pay are based on a percentage of the fully qualified rate for the occupation:
- 1st Years – 33.3%
- 2nd Years – 50%
- 3rd Years – 75%
- 4th Years – 90%
A training allowance is paid by the local ETB to apprentices while attending off-the-job training. In some cases, a contribution towards travel or accommodation costs may be paid if deemed eligible. The sector the apprentice's employer is engaged in will determine the allowance payable. These allowances are calculated on the gross wages paid by industry in each sector. The amount the apprentice gets will generally be less than that, as it is based on the net take-home pay of the relevant sector. The weekly gross wage norms for different industries can be found here
The Annual Student Contribution is charged to students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology (IoT). Apprentices now pay the same contribution as full time students, but their contribution is based on the time they spend in the Institute or College.
The Student Contribution is payable to the IoT /College on the date of registration for the training phase. You should consult the relevant IoT/College for details of payment options.
Note: Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the IoT or College for repeat exams. For further information, click here.
Last Updated: November, 2014
Pay & Salary - Plasterer
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 13k - 36k
Apprentice Rates: 13 - 16
Qualified / Experienced: 23 - 36
The Construction Industry is governed by a Registered Employment Agreement (REA). The REA is a nationally negotiated deal which sets legally binding minimum rates of pay and conditions. All building workers are entitled to these benefits. It is unlawful to be paid less.
Rates for the Construction Industry
SOLAS / REA Rates
Last Updated: March, 2016
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Plasterer
With almost 2,000 job ready job seekers there remains an overhang of supply from the recession for this occupation. However, as apprenticeship registrations in this area remain low, shortages could emerge if an increase in residential activity occurs.
The high employment growth rate should be treated with caution.
National Skills Bulletin 2018