Working In The Trade

There are a number of occupations that can offer rewarding careers in £2 Billion the finishes and interiors sector. If you are interested in turning putting your skills to the test and building a career that makes buildings safe, beautiful and sustainable then we have opportunities for you. We have prepared some basic information below, but if you have any questions or want to source training or a find an employer call us on 0121 707 0077 or email info@thefis.org, we're here to help.

Ceiling Fixer

Ceiling fixers install suspended ceiling systems in new and existing buildings, working from platforms or scaffolding which they may erect and dismantle themselves. They work from drawings, instruction sheets and site measurements and use a variety of tools.

 

Newly trained ceiling fixers can earn in the region of £17,000 – £20,000

Trained with experience ceiling fixers can earn in the region of £25,000 – £40,000

Salaries depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.  Many operatives will often go on to become supervisors or managers or may opt to work self-employed and work on a day rate – these options can yield significantly higher income for competent individuals.

There are no formal qualifications needed to start training as a ceiling fixer, it is, however, generally recommended to complete Standard Grades/National 4 or 5s/GCSEs in English, mathematics and a technological subject.

Ceiling fixers should complete a SVQ/NVQ Level 2 in Interior Systems to enter the profession, while others may complete a construction apprenticeship for a ceiling fixer firm.

To find out more about training to become a Ceiling Fixer and to source employers or courses near you, email FIS on info@thefis.org to get advice and introductions via our specialist team.

More information on becoming a ceiling fixer is available on Go Construct Here.

Dryliner

Dryliners build the internal walls in all types of buildings by using metal or timber stud partitioning and plasterboard sheets. This role can also be combined with traditional plastering as a finishing stage.

  • Newly trained dryliners can earn in the region of £17,000 – £20,000
  • Trained with experience dryliners will earn in the region of £25,000 – £40,000

Salaries depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.  Many operatives will often go on to become supervisors or managers or may opt to work self-employed and work on a day rate – these options can yield significantly higher income for competent individuals.

There are no set barriers qualifications to starting to train as a dryliner but it helps to have Standard Grades/National 4 or 5s, GCSEs/Standard Grades 9-4 (A*- C) in maths and English, or their equivalent such as the Welsh Baccalaureate. These can be useful in the job but aren’t essential.

Employers will be more interested in those who have on-site experience. If you don’t have any, you can start out as a labourer before an employer trains you as a dryliner.  There are a number of work experience options available to you find out more here

Otherwise, you can think about taking a college course to learn drylining, such as the Level 1, 2 & 3 Diplomas in Dry Lining.

To find out more about training to become a Dryliner and to source employers or courses near you, email FIS on info@thefis.org to get advice and introductions via our specialist team.

More information on becoming a Dryliner is available on Go Construct Here.

 

Partition Fixer

Partition fixers install relocatable partition systems, which divide work areas and internal spaces within buildings. This can include just about any commercial project that requires internal partitions.

  • Newly trained Partitioning Systems Operatives can earn in the region of £12,000 – £15,000
  • Trained with experience Partitioning Systems Operatives can earn in the region of £18,000 – £30,000
  • Self-employed Partitioning Systems Operatives can exceed these rates.

Salaries depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.  Many operatives will often go on to become supervisors or managers or may opt to work self-employed and work on a day rate – these options can yield significantly higher income for competent individuals.

GCSE or equivalent such as the Welsh Baccalaureate in Maths and English are important because you need to use precise measurements and follow instructions carefully.

You could then do an NVQ Level 2 in Interior Systems (Construction) – Partitioning and move on to a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Work Supervision to gain the right skills for this career.

To find out more about training to become a Partitions Installer and to source employers or courses near you, email FIS on info@thefis.org to get advice and introductions via our specialist team.

 

Flooring Fitting

Raised access flooring fitters install raised floor systems. This can include just about any project that requires raised floorings – from houses to nightclubs to airports.

    • Newly trained floor layers can earn in the region of £17,000 – £20,000
    • Trained with experience floor layers can earn in the region of £20,000 – £30,000
    • Senior or master floor layers can earn in the region of £30,000 – £35,000

    Salaries depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.  Many operatives will often go on to become supervisors or managers or may opt to work self-employed and work on a day rate – these options can yield significantly higher income for competent individuals.

     

There are no formal qualification requirements to begin a career as a Floor Layer. However, GCSE grades 9-4 (A* – C) in English and Maths are highly beneficial. Maths skills are particularly important for measuring floor areas and calculating material requirements with minimal wastage.

There are several courses that enable you to enter a career in Floor Laying:

  • The Floorlayer Apprenticeship Standard in available in England, this is a 30-36 month apprenticeship
  • The Floorcovering Occupations (Construction) Modern Apprenticeship in Scotland, this is a 4 year apprenticeship
  • Short courses delivered by the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA) who are a not for profit organisation supported by the Contract Flooring Association (CFA) and the National Institute of Carpet and Floorlayers (NICF)
  • Short upskilling courses delivered by FeRFA, these are aimed at experienced floorlayers
  • Experienced workers can upskill through the On Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) route

Most Floor Layers start out by joining a company as an apprentice and training on the job. Construction Apprentices in England and Wales will work towards an NVQ Level 2 or 3 in Floorcovering.

For Resin Flooring, there are three Specialist Apprenticeship Programmes delivered by FeRFA, leading to an NVQ Level 2 Diploma.

To find out more about training to become a Ceiling Fixer and to source employers or courses near you, email FIS on info@thefis.org to get advice and introductions via our specialist team.

More information on becoming a floor layer is available on Go Construct Here.

Plasterer

  • Being part of a small team, and doing either solid or fibrous plastering
  • Applying wet finishes to surfaces and putting protective coverings such as pebble-dashing on external walls
  • Mixing and applying different kinds of plaster to inside walls and ceilings
  • Creating ornamental plasterwork (such as ceiling roses and cornices) using a mixture of plaster and short fibres shaped with moulds and casts
  • Newly trained plasterers can earn in the region of £19,000 – £25,000
  • Trained with experience plasterers can earn in the region of £25,000 – £35,000
  • Senior plasterers and those going on to do advanced work (e.g. Heritage) can earn in excess of £35,000

Salaries depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.  Many operatives will often go on to become supervisors or managers or may opt to work self-employed and work on a day rate – these options can yield significantly higher income for competent individuals.

There are no set qualifications to become a plasterer, but employers usually expect four GCSEs grades 9-4 (A* – C), or the Scottish or Welsh equivalent.

A common way into plastering is through an apprenticeship scheme with a plastering firm. The range of apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers.

If you cannot get on to an apprenticeship, there are college courses where you can study a qualification such as Level 1,2 & 3 Diploma in Plastering.

To find out more about training to become a Plasterer and to source employers or courses near you, email FIS on info@thefis.org to get advice and introductions via our specialist team.

More information on becoming a plasterer is available on Go Construct Here.

Carpentry and Joinery

Carpenters work with wood and wooden products.   In the finishes and interiors sector, carpenters mostly work inside, once the building is sealed and dry.  As a carpenter you will typically be installing skirting, timber studs (for walls), doors, staircases, floors and furniture in buildings of all types, renovating or refitting existing structures, building sets for film and theatre companies and much more.

    • Newly trained carpenters can earn in the region of £17,000 – £20,000
    • Trained with experience carpenters can earn in the region of £20,000 – £30,000
    • Senior, chartered or master carpenters can earn in the region of £30,000 – £45,000

Salaries depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.  Many operatives will often go on to become supervisors or managers or may opt to work self-employed and work on a day rate – these options can yield significantly higher income for competent individuals.

There are no set qualifications to become a carpenter or joiner, but employers usually expect four GCSEs grades 9-4 (A* – C), or the Scottish or Welsh equivalent.

A common way into carpentry is through an apprenticeship scheme with a fit-out or specialist carpentry and joinery firm. The range of apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers.

If you cannot get on to an apprenticeship, there are college courses where you can study a qualification such as Level 1,2 & 3 Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery or jou can join an employerr as a trainee and work towards a vocational qualification (which is assessed on the job).

To find out more about training to become a carpenter or joiner and to source employers or courses near you, email FIS on info@thefis.org to get advice and introductions via our specialist team.

More information on becoming a carpenter is available on Go Construct Here.

Labourer

A labourer carries out manual work on a construction site and requires good physical strength and fitness. The role can be physically dangerous depending on the nature of the construction, therefore safety precautions need to be adhered to.

The starting salary for an apprentice or novice labourer is around £14,000, depending on demand. Once qualified and experienced, this usually rises to around £23,000, with more experienced labourers earning around £28,000. It is common to be paid by the hour or day rather than by a set salary.

Most labourers learn their trade through experience or an apprenticeship, having completed a minimum level of Maths and English. Most contractors will tend to want some on-site experience. Alternatively, college courses can be completed before engaging in ‘hands-on’ experience; these can also be completed whilst working.

To find out more about training to become a labourer click here

Typically individuals joining the sector will join as trainees – find out more about vocational qualifications in the finishes and interiors sector.
Or apprentices – find out more about apprenticeships in the finishes and interiors sector.