In general terms, tilers, or tile installers perform all duties related to installing ceramic, wood, glass and marble tile into residential homes and commercial buildings. This includes cutting tile, measuring tile, designing the general layout of tile and repairing broken or cracked tiles. Although, the majority of tile installers generally install tile as flooring, they also may install acoustical, shock absorbent and decorative tile on walls, ceilings and counter tops.
Training and Advancement
Most entry-level tile installers are hired without any formal training, or college education. In fact, many tile installers are not required to have a high school diploma, or equivalent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2010 to 2011 edition of their Occupational Outlook Handbook, the majority of a tile installer's training occurs through extensive hands-on training as a tile helper. As a tile installer's skill increases they are given more responsibility, which often leads to supervisory, or sales positions.
Tile installers are required to have excellent math skills, physical fitness, manual dexterity and a thorough understanding of every type of tile. This includes extensive knowledge about how tile is made, what tile works best for different kinds of flooring and how to recommend tile that adequately suits a client's needs. Additionally, tile installers must know how to use and operate the tools of the trade, which include saws, tile cutters, tile grout application and removal tools and tile buffers.
Tile installers work a standard 40-hour work week, and they spend the majority of their work day on the floor. There is a lot of repetitive bending, crawling, standing and heavy lifting. There is always the hazard of getting cut and scraped by ceramic tile, grouting tools, knives and saws used for cutting, shaping, cleaning and installing tiles. There is also the risk if back and knee damage from the repetitive bending, heavy lifting and crawling.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for experienced tile installers was just over £11 per hour in 2008. This translates to roughly £24,050 annually for the average tile installer.
Flooring installation jobs are expected to grow by about 7 per cent through the 2008 to 2018 decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2010 to 2011 edition of the Occupational Outlook handbook, which is about average for all occupations and careers surveyed in the handbook. However, the handbook also states that tile installation jobs are expected to grow faster than average, which according to the handbook, is about a 14 to 20 per cent growth rate.