Dry liners use plasterboard panels to build internal walls, suspended ceilings and raised flooring in houses, offices and shops.
Salary Range: £10,000 to £30,000
How to become a dry liner
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could take a college course to get some of the skills needed in this job. Courses include:
- Level 1 Award in Dry Lining Operations
- Level 2 Diploma in Dry Lining
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
You may be able to do a construction specialist interior systems, or interior systems installer, intermediate apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You could start by joining a company as a dry liner’s labourer or ‘mate’. Once working, your employer may be willing to put you through training towards industry qualifications.
You could apply directly if you’ve got experience in woodworking or working as a building operative.
- you’ll need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to train and work on a construction site
You can find more details about careers and training in dry lining through Go Construct.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of building and construction
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with others
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- knowledge of maths
- the ability to work well with your hands
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You may need a driving licence to transport yourself and your equipment from job to job.
What you’ll do
Your work will involve a ‘fixing’ stage, followed by a ’finishing’ stage. At the ‘fixing’ stage, you’ll:
- measure and cut plasterboard to the right sizes and angles
- fix panels to timber, metal frames or ceiling joists using special studs
- cut panels to fit around doorways and create openings for windows
You’ll then ‘finish’ the walls by:
- sealing joints using filler or adhesive
- taping over the seal either by hand or with a taping machine
- applying a thin layer of plaster over the tape (skimming)
- sanding down the area ready for painting and decorating
You could work at a client’s business, at a client’s home or on a construction site.
Your working environment may be physically demanding and at height.
You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a site supervisor, estimator or dry lining quantity surveyor.
You could also set up your own dry lining business.