Mastic Asphalter

What is a Mastic Asphalter?

A Mastic Asphalter is a professional who specializes in working with mastic asphalt, a mixture of limestone and bitumen that becomes liquid when heated. They play a crucial role in various construction and waterproofing projects, such as roofing, dams, car parks, and pathways. In this guide, we’ll explore the role of a Mastic Asphalter, what they do, how to become one, potential salaries, career prospects, and related opportunities.

What Does a Mastic Asphalter Do?

Mastic Asphalters have the following key responsibilities:

Surface Preparation

  • Inspecting work sites and cleaning them thoroughly.
  • Laying out membranes and guides to ensure proper asphalt application.

Asphalt Application

  • Spreading hot liquid mastic asphalt onto surfaces, creating a waterproof and protective layer.
  • Working on a variety of surfaces, including dams, landfills, riverbank protection, car parks, bus stations, pathways, and building roofs.

Specialized Tools

  • Using specialized tools like boilers, mixers, and cylinders to prepare surfaces and apply the asphalt accurately.

Mathematical Skills

  • Utilizing math skills for calculating quantities of materials required for each project.

How to Become a Mastic Asphalter

Becoming a Mastic Asphalter involves specific entry requirements, training programs, and the development of essential skills. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Entry Requirements

  • Having some GCSE/National 5 passes in subjects like English, Maths, and Design and Technology can be beneficial.
  • Alternatively, vocational qualifications such as the BTEC Level 1 or 2 Certificate/Award/Diploma in Construction and the Scottish National Progression Award in Construction can introduce you to the basics of the industry.


  • Most individuals entering this field complete an apprenticeship program in Mastic Asphalting accredited by organizations like the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) or through the Constructive apprenticeship scheme.
  • Apprenticeships usually take 2 to 4 years to complete, during which apprentices typically study an NVQ Diploma Level 2 or 3 in Mastic Asphalting (Construction).
  • Prior to acceptance into an apprenticeship program, you may be required to complete an aptitude test.


  • Training typically involves a combination of block or day-release training at an approved college or training center, alongside on-the-job training provided by experienced professionals.


  • Mastic asphalters working on construction sites often require a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, which demonstrates health and safety training and competence in the occupation.
  • To obtain a CSCS card, you’ll need to have or be working towards an NVQ or equivalent qualification.

Working Conditions

Working as a Mastic Asphalter involves specific conditions

  • Most of the work is done outdoors, with some projects being carried out under cover.
  • Regular travel between work sites is common.
  • Protective gear such as safety helmets, gloves, and boots is essential.
  • Those with claustrophobia, vertigo, or breathing problems may find this work challenging.
  • While a normal working week is typical, you may need to work evenings and weekends to meet project deadlines.

Mastic Asphalter Salary

Salaries for Mastic Asphalters can vary depending on experience and project type. Here’s an approximate salary range:

  • Trainees starting in this profession may earn an average wage of around £10,000 per year.
  • Once qualified, your salary may rise to approximately £16,000 per year.
  • With more experience, your annual salary could reach up to £35,000.
  • Overtime opportunities and bonuses based on project outputs are common, which can lead to higher earnings. Travelling expenses are usually reimbursed.

Please note that these figures are approximate and may vary.

Career Prospects and Progression

Mastic Asphalters have several career progression opportunities:

  • Most start as trainees and can work their way up to become supervisors, managers, or trainers in large companies.
  • Alternatively, some choose to set up their own contracting businesses.
  • Moving between employers may be necessary to access promotion opportunities.
  • Self-employment is also common among skilled Mastic Asphalters.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Working as a Mastic Asphalter comes with its set of advantages and disadvantages:


  • Developing a range of practical skills and working on a variety of surfaces.
  • Opportunities for self-employment and entrepreneurship.


  • Working at heights on roofs or in confined spaces can be physically demanding.
  • Exposure to fumes and the risk of accidental burns are potential hazards in this line of work.

Related Opportunities

If you’re interested in this field, you may also consider related career opportunities:

  • Floor Layer/Finisher: Focusing on floor installation and finishing.
  • Plasterer: Specializing in plastering and surface finishing.
  • Roofer: Dealing with roofing and related construction.

Further Information

To pursue a career as a Mastic Asphalter and access additional resources, you can explore the following organizations:

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