What does a plasterer do?

Plasterers are expected to reference architectural plans in their calculations and measurements of required materials for plastering. They must then obtain materials; and measure, cut and install plasterboard for residential and commercial building projects. Plasterers need to consider insulation and moisture prevention when working. Due to the practical nature of this trade, plasterers generally work onsite at all times. Plasterers can also work in factories, creating plaster moulds and fittings or may be in charge of ordering a factory’s inventory.

Tasks:

  • Draw up measurements for plasterboard layout
  • Install insulation and moisture barriers
  • Cut and install panels to walls and ceilings
  • Fix and maintain plaster fittings
  • Assemble scaffolding and trestles

What skills do I need to be a plasterer?

A plasterer conducts almost all of their work on a building site and must therefore be familiar with construction site protocol, be conscious of adhering to WHS procedures and have a passion for practical, hands-on work. As measuring is a vital part of a plasterer’s job, one should be confident in working with numbers.
Skills/attributes
  • Technical aptitude and ability to work well with numbers
  • Ability to work at heights
  • Methodical work ethic
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Physically fit

Specialisations

Once skills are properly developed, plasterers can further their careers by specialising in particular aspects of plasterwork outside of initial construction. Due to the diverse nature of plasterwork, plasters can choose to specialise in a variety of different areas such as modelling, maintenance and factory work.

Plasterboard fixer

A fixer is a type of plasterer that specialises in installing plasterboard sheets and cornices.

Modeller’s hand

A modeller’s hand specialises in making plaster moulds. These moulds are created in factories and require a familiarity with the nature of a plaster structure and protocol.

Wet plasterer

Wet plasterers, also known as solid plasters, render panels using the application of wet solutions. This can involve using a damp mixture of cement, sand, water or lime. The wet solution is applied and then dries and hardens after a period of time.

Study pathways for plasterers

To become a plaster, one must have completed an apprenticeship in solid plastering and demonstrate a high level of familiarity and confidence within the construction industry.

Getting Started

Get started with an apprenticeship, this will get you accustomed to the processes and techniques employed by a professional plasterer.

Skill Building

Working for a subcontractor is a great way to cut ones teeth and develop your skills as a plasterer on commercial and residential projects.

Professional Development

Working as a professional plaster can lead to a factory job whereby a plasterer is given the responsibility to order materials, construct moulds, or manage subcontracted plasterers.

Industry Recognition

To work as a plasterer, you need to have some a industry experience as well as a valid licence from the relevant building and construction peak bodies.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your building and construction career. Take a look at our sample resume and cover letter and put your best foot forward when you apply for plaster jobs.

Job Prospects and Salaries

Job prospects for plasterers are promising, with between 10,000 and 25,000 jobs expected to open up between 2014 and 2019. Despite a slight decline over the past ten years, employment in plastering is predicted to rise strongly.