A ceiling fixer will work to fix and fit ceilings in a host of buildings, and will need to conceal wiring and pipe-work, and any air-conditioning units. They will work in a variety of buildings, including business structures such as offices and shops, or other developments like hospitals and schools. A ceiling fixer would need to follow a technical plan and use an assortment of power tools to conduct their work. They may also be involved in fitting insulation.
Typical salary for starters is £13,000, with qualified ceiling fixers able to earn in the region of £16,000 - £22,000. Those who have attained a good level of experience can earn around £27,000. Salaries will vary according to organisation and individual experience, and can be boosted by doing over-time. A bonus structure may be in place for certain companies, and if going into self-employment, you would be able to negotiate your own salary.
Working hours are usually nine to five, but you may need to work during the weekend or evening at times. Over-time is a possibility, as is shift work. Work is mostly conducted in-doors, sometimes at heights, and you can on occasion need to work in small spaces. Safety equipment will be required, such as hard hats and protective boots. Travel will be frequent due to the need to work on-site.
There are no major qualifications needed to work as a ceiling fixer but a few GCSEs graded A-C, such as mathematics and technology, or equivalent qualifications like the BTEC (Business & Technology Education Council) Diploma in Construction, would be beneficial. You can apply directly to employers to attain a junior position, or could possibly achieve one by way of the Apprenticeships Scheme. This is a programme working to give people real experience in working environments. Availability of openings will depend on the area.
College courses in construction would also be advantageous, with more information available on the ConstructionSkills website. Work experience would improve your career credentials, proving to employers you have industry experience and are willing to work to prove your worth. Placements can be found with your local job centre or recruitment agency, or you can try sending speculative applications to potential employers.
A ceiling fixer will start out in a trainee position, learning on the job and from more experienced colleagues. They can then become what are known as experienced ceiling fixers, which will require them to achieve some qualifications. With experience there is a chance of promotion into supervisory or management positions, or the distinct possibility of starting your own company. There is also the prospect of moving into other areas of construction, with promotion being based on experience and company openings.
You will likely need to attain some NVQs while working for your employer. These are vocational qualifications, courses of particular interest based in areas such as health and safety, ceiling fixing, dry lining, estimating, and other topics based in construction and ceiling fixing.
Most employers now require their employees to attain a CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme) card, which proves you have essential skills and are of good health. This card can be achieved by way of a medical test and through attaining an NVQ or equivalent qualification. You may also be able to get a card through the OSAT (On-Site Assessment and Training) or EWPA (Experienced Worker Practical Assessment) programmes.