what is a dryliner?

Most modern buildings forego plastering for wall or ceiling linings. A dryliner is a skilled tradesperson who constructs ceilings and wall linings. You can create drywalls in various buildings, from offices to airport terminals and residential properties. The role also involves adding partitions to rooms using metal framing systems and plasterboards to improve the layout of the space.

The purpose of lining walls is to prepare the surfaces for decorations by creating a smooth surface. When you attach plasterboard to a wall, you can easily paint or add wallpaper. It reduces the hassle of waiting for the plaster to dry up before painting. Aside from improving the aesthetics, dryliners use boards to hide electrical wires and pipes. As a dryliner, you also enhance insulation with specialised materials or soundproof the rooms.

what does a dryliner do?

Dryliners work with plasterboards of various thicknesses and sizes alongside other unique materials required for attaching linings to walls. Some fixing techniques require nails, adhesives and screws. You also need sealants or tape to cover the joints and any nails or screws visible on the plasterboard. If the surface isn't smooth, you should sand it to achieve a smooth finish.

Would working in construction as a dryliner suit your interest in creating unique spaces using simple materials? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a dryliner role.


dryliner jobs

average salary of a dryliner

According to National Careers, the average salary of a dryliner is £17,000 per year at the entry-level position. As you improve your skills and increase your expertise, you can earn up to £30,000 per year. Aside from the basic salary, dryliners also enjoy various allowances and benefits such as medical insurance and contribution to pension schemes. When you work overtime, you will receive extra payments for the overtime hours. Some companies have end-of-year bonuses and incentives like paid vacations for full-time workers.

how to increase your salary as a dryliner

Your earnings as a dryliner mostly rely on the level of expertise and the project size. When you are an entry-level dryliner, you have few transferrable skills and experience, making it hard for you to negotiate higher wages. However, when you have a few years of experience and specialised skills in drylining, your compensation package increases, and you may receive additional benefits. The company also determines the salary range. For instance, if your employer deals with large-scale projects like commercial buildings or shopping centres, the resources are unlimited, and your salary will be high. However, the earnings are low when working on a residential property since it is a small-scale project with limited resources.


Blue-collor workers during lunch break. Laughing. Female Asian and male African-American. Checkered shirt and white T-shirt. Primary color yellow/orange. Secondary color white.
Blue-collor workers during lunch break. Laughing. Female Asian and male African-American. Checkered shirt and white T-shirt. Primary color yellow/orange. Secondary color white.

types of dryliners

The types of dryliners include:

  • drylining fixer: as a dryliner fixer, you focus on construction and put together walls and ceiling linings or partitions based on the plans and detailed drawings. You need to measure and prepare the walls to fix the plasterboards by laying the metal frames supporting the boards. You can use adhesives or screws to fit the linings in place.
  • drylining finisher: as a dryliner finisher, you ensure the wall linings or ceilings are smooth and ready for decorations. You should sand the surface after filling the joints for a seamless finish.


working as a dryliner

If you enjoy creating functional walls to add decorative features, you will have fun working as a dryliner. Let's look at the work environment and the tasks of a dryliner.



education and skills

Start your journey to becoming a dryliner with the following educational qualifications:

  • college: to become a dryliner, you have to attend college training. You can do a Level 1 diploma in drylining operations if you have 2 GCSE at grades 3 to 1, or go for a Level 2 or 3 diploma in drylining. The diploma course requires 2 GCSEs in grades 9 to 3.
  • traineeship or short courses: instead of attending college, you can do a short course that takes six months to help you gain work experience and skills for the role. Adults from 16 to 24 years qualify for a traineeship.
  • apprenticeship: become a dryliner through apprenticeship and learn the trade as you work for 30 hours a week. The intermediate apprenticeship in drylining takes about two years. You need some GCSEs in English and maths to qualify for the apprenticeship.

skills and competencies

The following skills are beneficial for dryliners:

  • knowledge in construction: as a dryliner, you apply many construction skills to accomplish your tasks. For instance, you may need to construct frames or mix plaster for sealing joints in your wall lining. Knowledge in construction helps you perform your tasks with minimal effort.
  • attention to detail: your job is to ensure the wall or ceiling linings don't leave any gaps. If you are attentive to details, you can identify places that need extra layers of plasterboard or sealants to cover nail heads and screws.
  • team skills: when you prepare plasterboards for the walls, you will work with a team. You need interpersonal skills to collaborate with them and incorporate their ideas. Communication skills also help you communicate instructions clearly to avoid mistakes.
  • creativity: while dryliners don't perform decorative duties, you use your creativity to ensure the wall linings transform the interior space. If the drawing plans don't specify and create a functional space, you can identify the perfect places for partitions.



FAQs about working as a dryliner

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