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Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers
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Description: what do they do?
Apply plasterboard or other wallboard to ceilings or interior walls of buildings. Apply or mount acoustical tiles or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce or reflect sound. Materials may be of decorative quality. Includes lathers who fasten wooden, metal, or rockboard lath to walls, ceilings or partitions of buildings to provide support base for plaster, fire-proofing, or acoustical material.
Also known as:
Drywall Mechanic, Dry Wall Installer, Drywaller, Drywall Installer, Ceiling Installer, Metal Stud Framer, Drywall Hanger, Metal Framer, Drywall Finisher, Exterior Interior Specialist

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: Beneath the surface of the rooms we inhabit are the materials that make up walls and ceilings. The exacting workers who construct these interior surfaces are drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers. Drywall installers attach wallboard to create walls in new construction, or to remodel existing spaces. They measure and cut wallboard with exacting precision, and hang the panels on wooden or metal framing. Tapers cover drywall seams with paper or fiberglass mesh tape so walls are ready for the final coating of plaster, paint, or wallpaper. They sand joints and holes as needed to create a seamless finish. Ceiling tile installers create the framework for suspended ceilings, cut ceiling tiles to size, and insert them in the frames. These workers spend hours each day standing, bending, climbing up and down ladders, and lifting materials. Skilled with both manual and power tools, they may use mechanical lifts for ceiling work, or stand on stilts or scaffolds to reach the work surface. They wear protective masks, goggles, and gloves as needed. Most drywall and ceiling tile installers and tapers work for drywall contractors, and learn their trade on the job. Knowledge of basic math is helpful, but there are no formal education requirements. In this field, when your back is up against the wall… the job is done.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Kentucky
910
2016 Employment
850
2026 Employment
-7%
Percent change
70
Annual projected job openings
United States
119,500
2016 Employment
120,700
2026 Employment
1%
Percent change
10,500
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers in Kentucky
LocationKentuckyUnited States
10%$28,820$27,630
25%$34,900$34,270
Median$41,140$42,860
75%$47,380$57,570
90%$51,400$83,920


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2017 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • No formal educational credential
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements.
  • Measure materials or objects for installation or assembly.
  • Mark reference points on construction materials.
  • Install building fixtures.
  • Cut openings in existing structures.
  • Install trim or paneling.
  • Cut wood components for installation.
  • Cut metal components for installation.
  • Verify alignment of structures or equipment.
  • Cut tile, stone, or other masonry materials.
  • Install masonry materials.
  • Install metal structural components.
  • Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
  • Trim excess material from installations.
  • Coordinate construction project activities.
  • Install wooden structural components.
  • Install insulation in equipment or structures.
  • Apply material to fill gaps in surfaces.
  • Remove worn, damaged or outdated materials from work areas.
  • Clean surfaces in preparation for work activities.
  • Apply mortar.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Trunk Strength - Using your lower back and stomach.
  • Extent Flexibility - Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Manual Dexterity - Holding or moving items with your hands.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.
  • Gross Body Equilibrium - Keeping your balance or staying upright.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Read blueprints or other specifications to determine methods of installation, work procedures, or material or tool requirements.
  • Measure and mark surfaces to lay out work, according to blueprints or drawings, using tape measures, straightedges or squares, and marking devices.
  • Fit and fasten wallboard or drywall into position on wood or metal frameworks, using glue, nails, or screws.
  • Measure and cut openings in panels or tiles for electrical outlets, windows, vents, plumbing, or other fixtures, using keyhole saws or other cutting tools.
  • Assemble or install metal framing or decorative trim for windows, doorways, or vents.
  • Cut metal or wood framing and trim to size, using cutting tools.
  • Inspect furrings, mechanical mountings, or masonry surfaces for plumbness and level, using spirit or water levels.
  • Cut fixture or border tiles to size, using keyhole saws, and insert them into surrounding frameworks.
  • Cut and screw together metal channels to make floor or ceiling frames, according to plans for the location of rooms or hallways.
  • Hang drywall panels on metal frameworks of walls and ceilings in offices, schools, or other large buildings, using lifts or hoists to adjust panel heights when necessary.
  • Trim rough edges from wallboard to maintain even joints, using knives.
  • Coordinate work with drywall finishers who cover the seams between drywall panels.
  • Suspend angle iron grids or channel irons from ceilings, using wire.
  • Install horizontal and vertical metal or wooden studs to frames so that wallboard can be attached to interior walls.
  • Scribe and cut edges of tile to fit walls where wall molding is not specified.
  • Hang dry lines to wall moldings to guide positioning of main runners.
  • Fasten metal or rockboard lath to the structural framework of walls, ceilings, or partitions of buildings, using nails, screws, staples, or wire-ties.
  • Install blanket insulation between studs and tack plastic moisture barriers over insulation.
  • Seal joints between ceiling tiles and walls.
  • Remove existing plaster, drywall, or paneling, using crowbars and hammers.
  • Apply or mount acoustical tile or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings or walls of buildings to reduce reflection of sound or to decorate rooms.
  • Mount tile, using adhesives, or by nailing, screwing, stapling, or wire-tying lath directly to structural frameworks.
  • Nail channels or wood furring strips to surfaces to provide mounting for tile.
  • Install metal lath where plaster applications will be exposed to weather or water, or for curved or irregular surfaces.
  • Apply cement to backs of tiles and press tiles into place, aligning them with layout marks or joints of previously laid tile.
  • Wash concrete surfaces before mounting tile to increase adhesive qualities of surfaces, using washing soda and zinc sulfate solution.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.