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Wall and ceiling fixer

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Summary of occupation

Wall and ceiling fixers mix and apply plaster to interior and exterior walls, and apply and fix plasterboard partitions, suspended ceilings, fire-rating systems, acoustic tiles, and composite wall linings to buildings. They also interpret building plans and liaise with clients. They work throughout the State, on everything from new commercial buildings in regional towns to homes in Perth's sprawling suburban areas. Wall and ceiling fixers may require registration or licensing to work in Western Australia.

ANZSCO description: Applies and fixes plasterboard partitions, suspended ceilings, fire rating systems, acoustic tiles, and composite wall linings to buildings. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Fixer (Plasterer), Plasterer
Specialisations: Dry Wall Plasterer, Solid Plasterer
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Wall and ceiling fixers need:

  • good problem-solving skills
  • excellent organisational skills
  • to demonstrate precision and care in their work
  • manual dexterity and fitness
  • the ability to work at heights
  • the ability to work in untidy conditions.
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Working conditions

Wall and ceiling fixers usually work for building contractors, although some are self-employed and work independently. Fibrous plasterers usually work for companies that specialise in ornamental plastering.

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Salary details

On average, wall and ceiling fixers (sometimes referred to as fibrous 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 wall and ceiling fixers 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

Wall and ceiling fixers work with plaster or fibrous cement board, and as such may use panel board lifters, hand tools such as collated screw guns for fixing plasterboard, sanding machines or vacuum sanders.

Wall and ceiling fixers may also use ladders and scaffolding to reach high areas, and may need to wear protective clothing such as overalls, hard hats and dust masks.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a wall and ceiling fixer you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. The fibrous plasterer (commercial and domestic) apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

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.

To work as a wall and ceiling fixer in Western Australia, you may need to obtain a High Risk Work license 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.

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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Related links

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Solid Plasterer  Video Solid Plasterer Occupation

Plasterers work on the interior or exterior of commercial or residential properties hanging plaster sheets and applying decorative and protective coverings to the plaster.

Wall & Ceiling Flusher Video Wall & Ceiling Flusher Occupation

Wall and ceiling flushers put up cornices in rooms and fill in cracks and joins so that the wall and ceiling look smooth and neatly finished.

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