Dry liner

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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

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How to become a dry liner

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
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College

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

Entry requirements

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

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Apprenticeship

You may be able to do a construction specialist interior systems, or interior systems installer, intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

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Work

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.

Direct application

You could apply directly if you’ve got experience in woodworking or working as a building operative. 

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Registration

Further information

You can find more details about careers and training in dry lining through Go Construct.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • 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.

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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

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.

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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.