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.
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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to decline
- is likely to reach 25,200 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 78% of people employed as Plasterers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 12 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Plasterers work in the Construction industry.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Plasterers||All Jobs Average|
Around 60% of Plasterers live in capital cities, similar to the all jobs average of 62%.
Western Australia has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Plasterers is 37 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 1% of the workforce. This is 47 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Plasterers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||1.5||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Plasterer. Although some workers have a certificate III in wall and ceiling lining or solid plastering.
Registration or licencing may be required.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Construction, Plumbing and Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Plasterers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.5||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||21.0||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Plasterers who are reliable, work well in a team and are hardworking.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
45%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Reading work related information.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
36%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
36%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
34%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Talking to others.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
32%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Using maths to solve problems.
Teaching people how to do something.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
29%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
76%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
42%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
42%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
41%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
41%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
34%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
31%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
30%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
29%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
20%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
18%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Keep your balance or stay upright.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Exercise for a long time without getting winded or out of breath.
Communicate by speaking.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
See details that are far away.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
41%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
75%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
64%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
50%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
50%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
48%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
45%Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts
Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
44%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
44%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
43%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
39%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
38%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
38%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
37%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
35%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
35%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
33%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
32%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
31%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
31%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
97%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
95%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Talk with people face-to-face.
89%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
82%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
82%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
81%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
Talk on the telephone.
80%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
79%Walking and running
Spend time walking and running.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Work with people in a group or team.
Work to strict deadlines.
74%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
74%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
73%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
72%Bending or twisting your body
Spend time bending or twisting your body.
69%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
69%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
69%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.