How To Become A Self Employed Plasterer

Are you considering becoming a self employed plasterer?

Plasterers mix and apply plaster to the interior surfaces of buildings in order to prepare them for decoration. It’s a skilled job as it both protects and improves the look of a building.

Our guide looks at the basics of becoming a self employed plasterer.

Basic duties

Plasterers tend to work on a number of different buildings, including new housing developments, redecoration or renovation projects and in offices. They repair and restore existing plasterwork and plaster newly erected walls.

There are three main types of plastering:

• Solid plastering – Applying wet plaster to internal walls, floors and ceilings
• Fibrous plastering – Making ornamental plasterwork such as architraves, ceiling roses, cornices and ornamental columns from a mixture of plaster and short fibres
• Dry lining – Fixing internal plasterboard or wallboard partitions on a timber or metal frame ready for decorating

Skills you will need

Most plastering is done indoors but it can be a dirty, dusty and demanding environment. You will often have to use scaffolding or ladders and so it’s important that you have a good knowledge of health and safety.

Additionally, it is useful if you are fit and flexible as you are likely to have to stand for the majority of the day.

If you can drive then that will also be useful as many jobs will not be near to where you live.


While you may not need any formal qualifications to become a plasterer, gaining on-site experience is important. This can be obtained by working as a labourer or ‘plasterer’s mate’.

Alternatively, you may choose to get a job through plastering training on a plastering apprenticeship scheme. To be eligible for an apprenticeship, you will need some GCSE grades in subjects, such as maths, English and design technology or equivalent vocational qualifications.

Plastering training can take the shape of college plastering courses. Plastering training includes:

• City & Guilds Basic Skills in Construction Award (Plastering – 6217)
• Intermediate/Advanced Award (Plastering)
• Entry Level Certificate in Preparation for Employment (Plastering)

Once you are working as a plasterer you can also attend plastering training with day or block release at a local college or training provider. This leads to the NVQ/SVQ in Plastering at levels 1 to 3.

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