Plasterers apply and fix plasterboard partitions, suspended ceilings, fire rating systems, acoustic tiles, and composite wall linings to buildings, and apply decorative and protective coverings of plaster, cement and similar materials to the interiors and exteriors of structures.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Around half of workers have a Certificate III/IV. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Some additional tickets may also be required.

Tasks

  • determining plasterboard layout, and installing insulation and vapour barriers
  • measuring, marking and cutting plasterboard, lifting and positioning panels, and securing them to walls, ceilings and battens
  • preparing corner beads and securing them in position
  • fixing pre-cast cornices, panel mouldings, ceiling centres and other plaster fittings
  • covering joins and nail holes with wet plaster and sealing compounds, and smoothing them using wet brushes and sand paper
  • mixing and applying coats of plaster, cement and render to structures using trowels, and levelling and smoothing coats to uniform thickness
  • plumbing and straightening corners, angles and wall and ceiling surfaces
  • creating decorative textures in finishing coats
  • applying and finishing acoustic, insulating and fireproofing materials bonded with plaster, plastic cement and similar materials

Job Titles

  • Fibrous Plasterer
  • Solid Plasterer
  • Fibrous Plasterer

    Applies and fixes plasterboard partitions, suspended ceilings, fire rating systems, acoustic tiles, and composite wall linings to buildings. Registration or licensing may be required.

    Specialisations: Dry Wall Plasterer

  • Solid Plasterer

    Applies decorative and protective coverings of plaster, cement and similar materials to the interiors and exteriors of structures. Registration or licensing may be required.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,000 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    moderate
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    34,200
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    99.4%
  • Female Share

    0.6%
  • Full-Time Share

    85.8%

Find Vacancies

This is a large occupation employing 34,200 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Moderate growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Plasterers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Construction.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 38.7 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,000 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 35 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • More than 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

In 2016, employers along the eastern seaboard found it hard to fill vacancies for Plasterers. Some employers seeking solid plasterers wanted workers with experience in different mediums and techniques. To find out more, view the Department of Employment's latest skill shortage research opens in a new window.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200529900
200633400
200731200
200834600
200931500
201036600
201133700
201225500
201334900
201434300
201534200
202036900

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsPlasterersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPlasterersAll Jobs Average
Full-time85.868.4
Part-time14.231.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)38.740.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Construction98.4
Administrative and Support Services0.7
Manufacturing0.6
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services0.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePlasterersAll Jobs Average
NSW31.831.8
VIC21.325.5
QLD21.319.8
SA5.96.8
WA15.011.2
TAS2.02.0
NT1.31.1
ACT1.51.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPlasterersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-194.3-5.45.4
20-2411.0-9.99.9
25-3432.6-23.423.4
35-4423.4-21.721.7
45-5417.2-21.121.1
55-597.5-8.78.7
60-643.5-5.95.9
65 and Over0.4-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPlasterersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males99.4Males53.6
Females0.6Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationPlasterersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree0.0-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma5.2-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV51.7-18.918.9
Year 1217.6-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1025.5-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed.
Around half of workers have a Certificate III/IV. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Some additional tickets may also be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Plasterers who are reliable, work well in a team and are hardworking.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Building and Construction

    89% Important

    Materials, methods, and the tools used to construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

  2. Mathematics

    70% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Mechanical

    65% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  4. Public Safety and Security

    64% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  5. Administration and Management

    62% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

Occupational Information Network Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Handling and Moving Objects

    74% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  2. Getting Information

    73% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Performing General Physical Activities

    72% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  4. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    66% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  5. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    65% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Occupational Information Network Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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