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Solid plasterer

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Summary of occupation

Solid plasterers prepare interior and exterior walls and surfaces to apply coverings such as plaster, cement, acrylic mixtures or similar materials. These coverings may be fire, weather or sound resistant. They create and fix precast decorative surfaces such as cornices, ornamental ceiling roses and decorative mouldings around arches. 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.

ANZSCO description: Applies decorative and protective coverings of plaster, cement and similar materials to the interiors and exteriors of structures. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Plasterer, Renderer
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A solid plasterer needs:

  • to enjoy practical work
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • to demonstrate precision and care in their work
  • to be comfortable working at heights
  • to be physically fit
  • to be able to work as part of a team.
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Working conditions

​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.

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Salary details

On average, solid plasterers can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

Many solid plasterers are self-employed and/or work as part of a team as an individual sub-contractor. Earnings for sub-contractors or small business operators will depend on their level of skill and experience, the level of demand for their services, as well as the amount of work completed.

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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.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a solid plasterer you usually have to complete an apprenticeship. The plasterer (solid) apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship. 

To work as a solid plasterer in Western Australia, you may need to obtain a High Risk Work Licence from the WorkSafe Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. 

Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a "white card"). In Western Australia, training is conducted by registered training organisations 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 Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety​ for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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