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to ask the good people of Mumsnet whether I should become a Plasterer?

(23 Posts)
CheshireDing Tue 07-Nov-17 20:20:52

Would you retrain at 41 for such a physical job (any job at 41?)

I did a Plastering course and LOVED it. My current job is fine, pays fine, serves it's purpose but really I have always craved being a builder/decorator/similar (my Dad had a building company and I have always wished he would have taken me as an Apprentice but it wasn't seen as a great career then.

Would you give up a steady salary to become a Student again ? DH would support my choice I reckon (whilst probably thinking I was mad) grin

There is no wine in the house so I am mulling over life whilst eating burnt shortbread blush

Flowerbot Tue 07-Nov-17 20:22:32

Do it! 41 is young and it sounds like you’d enjoy it smile

whereiscaroline Tue 07-Nov-17 20:23:19

I have no idea about how physical being a plasterer is, other than a strong suspicion that it is very! However, I am a firm believer in following your dreams - if you really want to do it, why not?! Don't live with "what ifs", life is far too short. Is your current job such that you could return to it in the future, should you wish to?

CheshireDing Tue 07-Nov-17 20:25:54

I could probably get back in to my current job (did previously after we lived abroad) the salary would take a dip though and we have currently come up with a 5 year plan to try and clear the mortgage.

Not well timed for my Plastering grin

ApplesTheHare Tue 07-Nov-17 20:28:31

Wow no way. My ex's dad was a plasterer and he used to help him out. All the guys were physically screwed from doing it and wondering what they could possibly retrain to do that was less physical.

Wolfcub Tue 07-Nov-17 20:30:46

I firmly believe you should do something you enjoy so I’d say go for it

10storeylovesong Tue 07-Nov-17 20:30:58

I wouldn't. My DH was a plasterer from the age of 18. By 25 his back was knackered and he had to retrain in mental health. It was unpredictable work and we often struggled financially.

19lottie82 Tue 07-Nov-17 20:32:54

Hi OP - I actually did a City and guilds course in plastering course a couple of years ago, it was full time (5 days a week 830-415) and took 6 months.

Realistically you have a slim to none chance of getting an apprenticeship but there should be a college in your local area which will offer a city and guilds course. If your household income is under a certain amount (24k ish?), you will get a bursary.

The training is reasonably basic but it will be enough for you to set up as self employed doing small skimming jobs and maybe some rendering, if you are confident enough at the end of the course.

As you have stated it is a very physical job, doing ceilings is especially taxing. I still do it as a hobby, as carting 25kg bags of plaster up 3 flights of stairs wasn’t really for me!

Can you take a career break for six months to do a course and see how you get on?

Shenanagins Tue 07-Nov-17 20:33:19

I wouldn’t. My fil is a wreck with so many physical problems due to plastering.

Liara Tue 07-Nov-17 20:34:34

I love plastering, but would never do it for a full time job.

It's not just that it's very physical, it's that it's the same kind of movements over and over again so repetitive strain can and does happen a lot.

The job just does not pay enough to make up for that.

ClashCityRocker Tue 07-Nov-17 20:35:35

Must admit my 50 year old bil is looking at jacking as his body is fucked.

He's been doing it since a lad though, so maybe that's why.

Do you know many people in the building trade? Round here it seems that a lot of work comes from fellow tradespeople so if you already have some contacts that should come in handy.

CatsRidingRollercoasters Tue 07-Nov-17 20:35:42

Do it! Good luck to you smile

engineersthumb Tue 07-Nov-17 20:37:20

Plastering is extremely physical, particularly if you are earning a living at it. Also plasterers tend to end up with bad joints and plenty of injuries. I don't want to put you off but at 41 I think most plasterers would be happy to get out of that job into something less strenuous.

Ellisandra Tue 07-Nov-17 20:38:37

In my (not south east area) my plasterer is always busy.

But I have to echo what others have said about the physical toll of the job sad

According to my plasterer and my joiner/everythinger who recommended him, who won't touch plastering!

Are there other related trades you're interested in so that you were doing the same movements all the time? Like combining with tiling, painting, papering?

Coulddowithanap Tue 07-Nov-17 20:39:43

I think you should go for it.

I've recently changed career to something very physically demanding and love it.

I know plenty of plasterers who have been doing it for years and couple into their retirement so as long as you look after yourself you will be fine. (Also it will keep you strong and healthy without needing to go to the gym!)

christmaspudding1 Tue 07-Nov-17 20:44:30

my DP is one and 49yrs old,yes his joints are playing up and he would love to give it up but the money is good at the moment

CheshireDing Tue 07-Nov-17 20:49:23

Ooh maybe I should look into taking 6 months off work to study, that's a good idea then I am not committed either way just yet.

<should have done something about this 20 + years ago > hmm

19lottie82 Tue 07-Nov-17 21:29:40

This is the course I completed.

www.cityofglasgowcollege.ac.uk/courses/npa-plastering-level-5-2018-01-15

I imagine there would be similar courses nationwide.

It won’t make you a qualified plasterer so to speak, but as I explained it will give you enough skills to start out self employed doing small jobs if you are good / confident enough.

FireCracker2 Tue 07-Nov-17 21:38:03

Depends of you want knackered shoulders and wrists

Frouby Tue 07-Nov-17 21:51:51

I probably wouldn't.

It can be difficult to get paid for any self employed person or company. And sadly add to that the fact you are a woman (I presume anyway) and you will be lacking much physical presence to help hurry the money along.

If you do site work it's very physical and even more difficult to get paid. But lucrative if you so. But most plasterers we know work in pairs with a labourer. So unless you can find someone to pair up with it only leaves private jobs.

What about training as an odd job woman/painter and decorator. I have often thought of doing it. Many people feel vulnerable getting trades people in. The elderly in particular and avoid having strange men in their house. You could probably get a fair bit of work advertising as a female odd job/decorater person.

The money can be good in plastering. My brother is one and we occasionally take a plastering contract on alongside what we do.

If you specifically wanted to work on building sites my DP reckons plastering is being replaced by taping as the standard of plasterboards improves. So you basically plaster over the gaps between plaster boards in a tape. Might be worth looking at.

Also fireproofing is a less physical trade but pays good money. It's quite technical rather than physical. And since the Grenfell disaster is in demand as firms would rather over spec than under do it.

I am nearly your age. If I wanted to go into a trade in building I would look at painting and decoraring in residential property.

averylongtimeago Tue 07-Nov-17 22:04:18

I wouldn't. DH is a builder, I know many plasterers and its backbreaking work.
Can you lug 25kg bags of plaster up and down a building site? Could you carry buckets of plaster up and down stairs? Spread the stuff on the walls non stop - you can't stop once you start a wall or the plaster "goes off" before you get it smooth and its ruined.
Most of the older plasterers I know have bad backs, shoulders and knees.

Electricians, now. That would be good. Paid more too.

KungFuEric Tue 07-Nov-17 22:10:09

I can echo the voices who know plasters and it's very demanding work, often hear complaints of ruined knees/shoulders.

skankingpiglet Tue 07-Nov-17 22:28:51

I wouldn't.

I'm a 34yo carpenter. I was a late starter as I did the Uni route first then retrained, but my joints are feeling creaky already. I'm looking to further my training and get off the tools, despite loving my job, as soon as DD2 starts school (a while to go: 2020!). Plastering is much harder on the body than carpentry. I have never worked with an old plasterer.

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