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Floor Covering Installer

Floor Covering Installer

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Similar Titles

Carpet Installer, Flooring Installer, Installer, Carpet Mechanic, Commercial Floor Covering Installer, Floor Covering Installer, Carpet Installer Helper, Carpet Layer, Floor Coverer, Floor Installation Mechanic

Job Description

Floor covering installers lay and install carpet from rolls or blocks on floors. They install padding and trim flooring materials.

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • A sense of accomplishment when you finish a project
  • Autonomy: You can work as much and as little as you want. Project-based.
    • Typically you start at 6:30am-3:30pm: Able to do other projects in the afternoon.
  • Work with your hands!: “When you are mechanically inclined, the trades are excellent for that.”

“I took my kids to the California Academy of Sciences. I ran that project when it was first built. They love going there and being able to tell people that “my daddy painted this.” To see the pride and joy in their eyes…that they were almost a part of it. It’s about having the pride in the workmanship of being a craftsman.” Robert Williams III, Painter, Business Representative, District Council 16

The Inside Scoop
Job Responsibilities

Carpet installers lay carpet in many types of new and old buildings, including homes, offices, restaurants, and museums. Although installing carpet in newly constructed buildings requires minimal preparation, those who replace existing carpet must first remove old flooring, including any padding, glue, tacks, or staples. In some cases, carpet installers lay carpet over existing tile or hardwood.

  • Removes old carpet or flooring to prepare surfaces for laying new carpet.
  • Inspects the condition of the surface to be covered.
  • Fixes any problems that could show through the carpet or cause uneven wear.
  • Measures the area to be carpeted.
  • Plans the layout of carpeting to get the best appearance and least wear.
  • Installs a padded cushion underneath the carpet.
  • Rolls out, measures, marks, and cuts the carpet.
  • Fits the carpet so that it lays evenly and snugly.
  • Tacks, glues, or staples carpeting to hold it in place.
  • Finishes the edges so that the carpet looks neat.

Tile installerstilesetters, and marble setters install materials on a variety of surfaces, such as floors, walls, ceilings, countertops, patios, and roof decks. Because tile and marble must be set on smooth, even surfaces, installers often must level the surface to be tiled with a layer of mortar or plywood. If the area to be tiled is unstable, workers must nail a support of metal mesh or tile backer board to create a stable surface.

Skills Needed on the Job
  • Manual dexterity: good with your hands
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving: You will encounter unexpected problems and you will have to figure them out in a timely fashion.
  • Attention to detail
  • Sense of balance and color
  • Time management
  • Math: Must solve arithmetic problems quickly and accurately.
  • Physical strength and stamina
Where do they work?
  • Installer contractor company: Range from mom and pop shop (4-8) to large shops (200+)
  • Home Furnishing store
Why become a union floor covering installer?
  • Union negotiates competitive rates: For example) In SF Bay Area, $44.87 per hour as journeyman which is the position after you are an apprentice.
  • Full medical benefits (medical, dental, vision)
  • Pension
  • Annuity
  • Access to better jobs and amazing opportunities
Expectations/Sacrifices Necessary

Injuries: The most common injuries are cuts from knives and muscle strains from lifting carpet. Some installers also get burns from heat guns used to join carpet.

What kinds of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were young...
  • Building and fixing things! : working with your hands.
  • Being outside in nature.
  • Sports
  • Anything mechanical: Working on cars

“Some of us we have more Neanderthal DNA than others. You’ve got to be able to express that in the best way possible. We all have a sense of creativity that can be shown and it’s finding that way to show that creativity. Some people they can do that behind a computer, other people it’s great to be able to build a building. It all comes into that sense of being of whatever makes you feel alive.” Robert Williams III, Business Rep, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16, Northern California

2016 Employment
122,300
2026 Projected Employment
134,000
Education and Training Needed
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Pre-apprenticeship training
  • 3-4 year apprenticeship program
    • For each year of the program, apprentices must have at least 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. Unions sponsor these apprenticeship programs.
    •  International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades
Basic requirements for apprenticeship program

Unions and contractors sponsor apprenticeship programs. The basic qualifications to enter an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Driver’s license
  • High school diploma or equivalent (GED or take an aptitude test)
  • Physically able to do the work
How to find a local apprenticeship program

Click here to find your local apprentice training center.

What kinds of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were young...
  • Classes: English, math.
  • Shop class and learn about blueprint reading.  
Education Stats
  • 43.3% with HS Diploma
  • 3.2% with Associate’s
  • 3.7% with Bachelor’s
  • 0.3% with Master’s
  • 0.2% with Professional
Typical Roadmap
Floor Covering Installer roadmap gif
How to Land your 1st job
  • Finish the apprenticeship program (note: you are working with pay while you are an apprentice)
  • Union will give you the signatory list: local union will give you some leads, you start making calls to contractors on the list.
  • Contact Job Corps.
  • Ask the local union for help: they have a “out of work” list which contractors look to when hiring for projects.
Description of the different positions
  • Estimator: Budgets the job then bids on the job.
  • Project Manager: Behind the scenes, paperwork. Make sure request for information is filled out. Money is getting paid. Work in conjunction with Superintendent.
  • Superintendent: Takes care of the manpower needs on a jobsite. Materials and workers.
  • Foreman: Takes care of the job.
  • Lead person: Right hand man of the foreman.
How to stay competitive and climb the ladder
  • Dedication
  • Person who is best with tools and the union elevates these people.
  • Leader/Teacher: someone who knows the craft so well and they teach others.
Words of Advice

“You can get what you want out of it. Depending on how hard you want to invest yourself into it, how dedicated you want to be. You can just get buy or you can flourish and rise in the industry. It’s all up to the individual.” Robert Williams III, Business Rep, District Council 16, Northern California

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