What Do Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers Do?
Private and public institutions depend on the practical knowledge and experience of drywall and ceiling tile installers to attach plasterboard or sheet rock to interior walls and ceilings, usually as part of a construction or remodeling project. They also install sound reduction or enhancement materials in the form of tiles, sheets or strips. While most installations are purely practical, some jobs require working toward a decorative effect. Lathers are also in this occupation group. They fasten various types of lathing—wood, metal and rock board– as a foundation for plastering, fire-retardant spraying and soundproofing.You can expect more than 16 percent growth annually for these positions nationwide. This means about 2,410 openings annually.
Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers Skills and Abilities
You need to be able to work in teams under the supervision of a foreman or manager. You should be a good listener and reader, and able to communicate verbally with others. Logical thinking and reasoning are essential to the occupation because decision-making and problem solving are central to large project success. You should have steady hands and arms, and sharp near vision. It helps to be strong though the midsection, as abdominal and lower back muscles are subject to day-to-day stress. Flexibility and excellent balance make jobs go more smoothly, as does an easy way with words.
Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers Duties
Many of your duties will involve measuring, marking and cutting drywall or wallboard, frequently while referring to blueprints or other technical documents. You will hang dry lines and drywall sections on metal supports for walls and ceilings and cut away space for electrical outlets, windows, piping and vents. Metal framing and trimming during the construction of sizeable buildings are often necessary. Some other required duties include:
- Coordinating projects with drywall finishers
- Cutting tiles to fit individual spaces
- Setting horizontal and vertical studs in place to hold drywall panels
- Laying tile with adhesives, nails, studs and wire ties
Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers Tools and Technology
Hand tools will predominate your work day—sprayers, sanders, putty knifes and trowels. Record keeping, however, will send you to the computer where you will use accounting, job costing and project management software. You’ll do your communications and presentations using common office software suites.
Education and Training for Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers
This career is not demanding in terms of formal education: Nearly 85 percent of employed drywall and ceiling tile finishers have a high school diploma or less, though about 10 percent have attended college, but only 4 percent earned a degree. Speaking generally, no work experience is required to join the profession, but once employed, moderate on-the-job training is essential. If you would like to become an installer, you should enroll in an appropriate training program or apprentice yourself to an established professional.
Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers Salary
The pay scale is modest, but not punitive. The median annual wage was $38,100 in 2014, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,000, the top 10 percent earned nearly $80,000. The biggest factor affecting pay is the location of the employing firm. For example in the New York City area, the median pay is $58,600, while in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, it is $38,000.
Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers Jobs by Geography
Because much of the building industry is affected by local economic conditions, states with the most robust economies hire more installers. As expected, Texas, California and Florida lead the way in opportunities and higher salaries. Recently, however, the emergence of fracking has made North and South Dakota new players in rapid construction and has opened the employment door for more jobs in the construction trades.