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Drywall Framer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Drywall framers require no formal education. Learn about the training options, job duties and employment outlook to see if this is the right career for you.

Essential Information

Drywall framers install panels of drywall into the frameworks of buildings. These specialized construction workers focus on the functionality and practicality of the materials they work with to create an effective and well-protected building. Apprenticeship and other training programs are available for workers new to drywall framing.

Required Education High school diploma
Additional Requirements Job training or apprenticeship
Projected Job Growth* (2012-2022) 16% for drywall and ceiling tile installers
Median Salary* (2013) $37,210 annually for drywall and ceiling tile installers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Drywall Framer Job Description

Drywall framers normally get to work indoors. In some cases, they may have to apply exterior finishes outside a house. This career is physically hard on employees due to the extended periods of kneeling, bending, standing, and stretching. Heavy equipment often has to be moved back and forth while working. Additionally, work conditions can be dangerous when working with sharp tools or in high places with ladders. Protection is a high priority of all drywall framers, so safety equipment like gloves, goggles, and masks are used at all times.

Additional Job Duties

After receiving an assignment, a drywall framer arrives on location with the necessary work materials. Prior to arriving, a drywall framer ensures they have the necessary ladders, tools, and drywall to perform the tasks required of them. Once at the work site, a drywall framer meets with the customer, if needed, and finds out his or her expectations.

The site is thoroughly examined by the drywall framer and the best work route is determined. Once these decisions are made, a drywall framer begins to install and fasten panels of drywall into framework. After these are installed and set, a drywall framer uses a special compound referred to as spackle to join the drywall panels together. This material is worked with in an efficient and quick manner to minimize any imperfections and reinforce the drywall. After the material sets, a drywall framer observes the completed product. If anything looks uneven, a drywall framer sands off the imperfections.

Training Requirements

The minimum age requirement for this career is 18 years old. Job candidates may be asked to have either a GED certificate or high school diploma, along with job training. The latter is typically acquired in two ways. One route is obtaining employment from a company with a job-training program. These entry-level positions have new drywall framers learning the trade from experienced workers. Simple tasks are performed first, and then more complex jobs are learned over time. Some employers ask that job training is combined with classroom instruction from a community college or vocational school.

The other route to acquiring training is finding a unionized workforce in the area and entering into a formal apprenticeship. Much like the other job-training route, drywall framers in apprenticeship programs participate in a mixture of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Apprenticeship programs take three to four years on average to complete. These programs are highly competitive and result in official certification.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of drywall and ceiling tile installers and tapers, including drywall framers, is expected to grow by 16% between 2012 and 2022. The BLS also reported the median annual salary earned by such workers as $37,210 in 2013.

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