A career in paint and plastering

Do you like working with your hands? Do you have patience and a good eye for detail? If so, the painting and plastering trade could be for you.

You’ll learn how to expertly paint and apply plaster to the interior and exterior of buildings, and add the finishing touches that serve as both decoration and protection. This includes knowing how to prepare surfaces, what products to use, and how to achieve different finishes. Workplace safety skills are also important, especially when working at heights.

Plus, your skills will be in demand, with a booming building sector and a shortage of workers in the industry.

How do I train?

Trades training is flexible. You can:

  • Do a pre-trades programme, then get a job and apprenticeship
  • Get an apprenticeship straight away and study while you work

Many people start with a pre-trades course at a training institution. This will give you the hands-on experience and theory you need to prepare you for work. If you qualify for one of our scholarships, you can study for free – and we’ll help you find work when you finish.

If you already have experience in the trades or are ready for working life and happy to study while you work, you might look at going straight into an apprenticeship. We can help you make that decision, and we might even know someone who needs an apprentice like you.

How do I fund my training?

There are a few ways to get your fees paid – but they’re not all the same. 

Only available to Māori and Pasifika learners, the MPTT scholarship doesn’t just cover your course fees, it gives you the most well-rounded support to get a job in the trades. 

Find out how the MPTT scholarship compares to other funding options.

  • Find a course

    You can apply for the MPTT scholarship programme now, but make sure you enrol in your chosen course as well. Here’s what you need to do:

    • Check out the painting and plastering course below, and follow the link to find out more. You can apply for the course through the course provider (NZMA).
    • Apply for your MPTT scholarship and, if you qualify, we’ll let your provider know you’ve been awarded an MPTT scholarship to get financial help and other support.

  • Find an apprenticeship

    Apprenticeships for painting and plastering are currently managed by an Industry Training Organisation (ITO), who makes sure you get the training you need to earn your qualification. The ITO for painting and plastering is BCITO.

    You can specialise in painting and decorating, exterior plastering or interior systems. Check out the links below to find out more:

    To find out more about getting an apprenticeship you can contact David Parsons at douglas.leef@bcito.org.nz