Be a Flooring Installer: Training and Career Information

Research the requirements to become a flooring installer. Learn about the job description and duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in flooring installation.

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Should I Become a Flooring Installer?

Flooring installers measure, cut and place various types of flooring for their customers. They work with laminate, linoleum, marble, tile, carpet, and more. Installers are generally responsible for safely removing old flooring, laying and leveling subfloors, and installing new flooring according to the design arrangement. These professionals often work in the building contractors industry, and many are self-employed. This job can be physically demanding, and protection must be used to prevent injuries, especially those involving the knees. Installers who are self-employed may need to spend significant time seeking new job assignments.

Career Requirements

Education Level High school diploma or equivalent
Training Apprenticeship or on-the-job training
Key skills Analytical or project-management software; scheduling programs; customer service skills for dealing with customers in their homes; the ability to measure and calculate flooring area; knowledge of flooring tools like drill bits and carpet tensioners
Median Salary (2015)* $38,230 (for flooring installers and tile and marble setters)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and job postings (November 2012), O*Net OnLine.

Steps to Becoming a Flooring Installer

Step 1: Obtain Basic Training

Many employers will train new workers to install flooring; however, training requirements for flooring installers differ based on the type of material one handles. For those who wish to install typical floor coverings like laminate and linoleum, on-the-job training is usually sufficient. Would-be installers often work with individual contractors and begin by mastering basic tasks. As they gain an understanding of the trade's skills and tools, they work their way up to performing all the duties required in flooring installation.

Success Tip:

Since physical strength is important for this job, you may want to get physically fit. In general, flooring installation requires a degree of physical fitness, given the labor-intensive nature of the job. These workers need to be able to bend, kneel, and carry heavy material.

Step 2: Specialize Through an Apprenticeship

For tile and marble flooring, more formal apprenticeship programs are typically required. Contractors or labor organizations usually sponsor these programs. Apprenticeship programs generally take 2-4 years to complete and consist of more than 140 hours of technical instruction, in addition to 2,000 hours of paid hands-on training under the supervision of experienced installers. To qualify for apprenticeship training, candidates may be required to hold high school diplomas or GEDs, as well as having driver's licenses or reliable transportation.

Step 3: Advance with Experience

Flooring installers with experience can often advance to supervisory or even contractor positions. Being dependable and demonstrating trade skills and proficiency with the tools may qualify an installer for more advanced jobs. Having one's own tools and van can also make the experienced installer more competitive in this career field. Experienced flooring installers may be responsible for training apprentices or entry-level workers.

To recap, with on-the-job training or an apprenticeship, flooring installers can earn about $38,000 to measure, cut, and place various types of flooring for their customers.

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