Alternative titles for this job include

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

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Thatcher

You can get into this job through:

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


You could apply to do a Roofer Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship.

This will usually take a year and a half 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.

The National Society of Master Thatchers (NSMT) also offers an apprenticeship and mentoring scheme.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information


You could start by looking for work as a trainee thatcher or thatcher's labourer. Once you're working, your employer would train you in thatching techniques to eventually 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 may be able to do specialist training courses if you're interested in heritage and conservation skills like thatching. The King's Foundation also runs courses in building crafts, including thatching.

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

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a thatcher, you'll:

  • put up scaffolding or secure ladders to buildings
  • strip off old roofs
  • check roof timbers for damage or rot
  • repair, treat or replace timbers
  • prepare materials, like straw, wheat reed or water reed into bundles ready for use
  • secure bundles of thatch to roof timbers using tarred cord or metal hooks
  • grow and harvest your own thatching materials

Possible green job

As a thatcher, you'll use environmentally friendly, sustainable materials to insulate the roofs of properties.

Find out more about green careers

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 and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could set up your own business and take on other thatchers, or train new entrants to the industry.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Commercial Roofing Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £13,312 a year Annually

Apprentice Roofer

  • Wage: £12,979.20 a year Annually
  • Location: Country House Estate, London Road, Exeter

Courses In England

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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