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

  • $1,000 Weekly Pay
  • 34,500 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 87.1% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 38.6 hours Average full-time
  • 35 years Average age
  • 0.8% female Gender Share

The number of Plasterers grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 34,500 in 2018 to 38,700 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 19,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 3,800 a year).

  • Size: This is a large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Plasterers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Construction industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (87.1%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 38.6 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 35 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 0.8% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

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 Jobs and Small Business latest skill shortage research opens in a new window.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200834500
200930700
201034500
201137200
201226700
201326700
201437500
201533400
201636300
201734200
201834500
202338700

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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)
Construction95.7
Manufacturing2.0
Wholesale Trade1.3
Administrative and Support Services0.4
Other Industries0.6

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 2017, 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
NSW24.431.6
VIC22.326.2
QLD21.319.7
SA7.76.7
WA19.610.8
TAS2.12.0
NT0.81.1
ACT1.81.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-192.4-5.25.2
20-249.8-9.99.9
25-3437.1-23.623.6
35-4420.6-21.721.7
45-5416.7-20.820.8
55-594.6-8.88.8
60-647.5-6.06.0
65 and Over1.3-4.04.0

Education Level

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 Certificate0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree0-17.917.9
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 100-8.18.1

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Construction, Plumbing and Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-2081.00 - Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-2081.00 - Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers.

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