What they do
Solid plasterers prepare interior and exterior walls and surfaces to apply coverings such as plaster, cement, acrylic mixtures or similar materials. They create and fix precast decorative surfaces such as cornices, ornamental ceiling roses and decorative mouldings around arches. They cover joins and nail holes with wet plaster and smooth them using wet brushes and sandpaper. Solid plasterers also need to read and interpret plans to meet specifications set by the builder or client.
In Western Australia, solid plasterers work throughout the State on commercial and residential projects.
Solid plasterers may work either indoors or outdoors and most of their work is done standing up. They may work alone or as part of a team and often travel to other job sites when work is completed. When on site they need to adhere to occupational health and safety standards to reduce the risk of injury.
Tools and technologies
Solid plasterers apply a range of finishes to internal or external surfaces. They use tools such as trowels, brushes and spirit levels, and equipment including mechanical hammers, power grinders, mixers and plaster projection machines.
Solid plasterers use scaffolding and ladders to reach high areas. They may wear protective clothing such as safety boots, safety glasses, dust masks, hard hats and hearing protection.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a solid plasterer, you usually have to undertake an apprenticeship in plastering. The apprenticeship usually takes 36 to 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing
To work as a solid plasterer within the construction industry, you will need obtain a Construction Induction Card (also known as a “white card”) from a registered training organisation authorised by the WorkSafe Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
In Western Australia, sub-contractors carrying out construction work valued at more than $20,000 must be accredited or work under the supervision of someone who is accredited, as a registered building practitioner. Contact the Building Commission of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
You may also need to obtain a High Risk Work Licence from the WorkSafe Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.