Thatcher

Thatchers use traditional craft skills, materials and tools to replace and repair thatched roofs.

Average salary (a year)

£13,000 Starter

to

£26,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

How to become a Thatcher

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • doing specialist courses run by training organisations

Apprenticeship

You may be able to do an intermediate apprenticeship in roofing occupations.

This will usually take 18 months to complete and could help you to get a trainee job with a thatching company. You would then do further training in thatching methods with your employer.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information

Work

You could start by looking for work as a trainee thatcher or thatcher's labourer. Once you're working, your employer may train you to qualify as a thatcher.

Direct application

You may be able to apply directly to thatching companies if you've got experience in related work like roofing or reed cutting.

Your enthusiasm and practical skills will be as important as qualifications.

Other routes

You could do a specialist training course if you're interested in heritage and conservation skills like thatching. The Prince's Foundation also runs courses in building crafts, including thatching.

These courses may help you to get a trainee job as a thatcher.

More information

Career tips

You may need to relocate to an area where thatching skills are in demand.

Professional and industry bodies

You may find it useful to join organisations like the National Society of Master Thatchers to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about thatching from the National Society of Master Thatchers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • leadership skills
  • customer service skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • be able to cope with working at height
  • have a good level of fitness

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • putting up scaffolding or securing ladders to buildings
  • stripping off old roofs
  • checking roof timbers for damage or rot
  • repairing, treating or replacing timbers
  • preparing materials, like straw, wheat reed or water reed into bundles ready for use
  • securing bundles of thatch to roof timbers using tarred cord or metal hooks
  • growing and harvesting your own thatching materials

Working environment

You could work at a client's home.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, at height, physically demanding and dusty.

You may need to wear safety clothing.

Career path and progression

You could set up your own business and take on other thatchers.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Floor Layer and Fitter

  • Wage : £111.00 Weekly
  • Location: Sheffield S5 9NT

Apprentice Plasterer

  • Wage : £148.00 Weekly
  • Location: Brigg DN20 8NF

Courses In England

FULL COST NOCN L3 DIPLOMA IN ROOFING OCCUPATIONS (CONSTRUCTION)

  • Provider: CHESTERFIELD COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 August 2019
  • Location: CHESTERFIELD

FULL COST PEARSONS L2 NVQ DIPLOMA IN ROOFING OCCUPATIONS (CONSTRUCTION)

  • Provider: CHESTERFIELD COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 August 2019
  • Location: CHESTERFIELD

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