Be a Carpet and Flooring Contractor: Career Requirements and Info

Research the requirements to become a carpet and flooring contractor. Learn about the job description and duties and read the step-by-step process to start a career in carpet and flooring contracting.

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Should I Become a Carpet and Flooring Contractor?

Carpet and flooring contractors install various floor coverings in both commercial buildings and residences. They measure, cut, stretch, and lay carpeting, while gluing or otherwise securing flooring such as tile or marble. They may also have to prepare the uncovered floors, often by sanding down any uneven spots in the floorboards. Protection is often used by these workers, such as pads to protect knees and goggles for sawing and sanding. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median annual salary for carpet installers was $37,220, and the median annual salary for tile and marble setters as of May 2015.

Career Requirements

Degree Level No degree required; an associate's degree in business management may be helpful for independent contractors or supervisors
Experience Usually gained through on-the-job training
Key Skills Customer service skills; math and measuring skills; physical strength and stamina; knowledge of various carpet and flooring installation tools

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O Net OnLine

Steps to Become a Carpet and Flooring Contractor

Step 1: Complete On-the-Job Training

According to the (BLS), most carpet and flooring installers have no formal training. Many jobs in the field don't even require a high school diploma. Rather, workers in the profession learn all the skills they need on the job during a short training period. They begin as helpers to more experienced workers and carry out simple assignments. Over time, as their abilities grow, they're given advanced tasks. Occasionally, especially with larger employers, companies may sponsor apprentice programs.

With enough relevant experience, carpet and floor installers may advance to positions such as crew supervisor, cost estimator, or salesperson. After that, workers in the field may opt to go into business for themselves as independent carpet and flooring contractors.

Step 2: Consider an Associate's Degree in Business Management

Since independent contractors are essentially small business operators, if you aspire to own your own carpet and flooring installation businesses you might want to consider earning an associate's degree in business management while continuing to work in the field. Associate's degree programs in business management are available at many post-secondary institutions. They teach you the basics of running a business, including managing finances, information, and employees. These degree programs often include courses such as marketing, accounting, legal practices, and English. Upon graduation, individuals typically possess the skills necessary to successfully run a carpet and flooring installation business.

Step 3: Become an Independent Carpet and Flooring Contractor

Once you have gained the proper experience and/or earned an associate's degree in business management, you may wish to become independent carpet and flooring contractors. In addition to performing the duties of installers, independent contractors usually own and manage actual carpet and flooring businesses. They supervise and coordinate worker efforts, including scheduling installation and other tasks. They acquire the materials (such as tools and flooring) necessary to perform installation jobs. They also check up on the work of their employees to make sure jobs are completed correctly and efficiently. Since direct contact with customers is a necessary part of contractors' jobs, you should possess strong customer service skills as well.

Step 4: Develop and Expand Clientele

Since most businesses rely on their clients to keep them afloat, you should make it a point to market your businesses in order to attract and gain customers. A successful marketing scheme may include printed advertisements, such as flyers, that may be posted in surrounding areas. Advertisements may also be placed online, on the radio, or on television.

To become a carpet and flooring contractor, you don't need any formal training, but you will complete on-the-job training and might want to consider getting an associate's degree if you wish to own your own business.

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