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Floor Covering Installer


Description

People spend a lot of time indoors, whether it is in the office at work, at the gym, inside a shopping mall or relaxing at home. All kinds of trades to do with construction and design have emerged as we continue to build more structures. One trade that continues to evolve is that of the floor covering installer.

A floor covering installer installs, replaces, repairs, services and prepares rugs, carpets, organic and synthetic materials, linoleum, vinyl, plastic, rubber, wood, cork, seamless plastic flooring and preparation of sub-surfaces. They are physically fit and have the mathematical skills to supply estimates and determine flooring costs for clients based on existing criteria.

Floor covering installers need to be focused and self-disciplined. Since many of the coverings are expensive and require great care in cutting and shaping, employers look for installers who are careful and methodical workers. Anyone who has ever seen a smoothly polished wooden floor can appreciate the efforts of floor covering installers.
 
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  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$18,512
 
Median Salary:
$56,472
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$32,594

  Interests and Skills  
Floor covering installers are physcially fit with strong manual dexterity and an eye for detail. People in this trade must be able to work well with customers and numbers to come up with estimates of supplies and costs. They are focused and methodical in their work and have a knowledge of tools and fixatives best suited for each job. Floor covering installers are responsible for putting the finishing touches on projects and they must therefore take pride in their work and the finished product.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Inspect, measure and mark surfaces to be covered
  • Measure, cut and fasten underlay and underpading
  • Measure, cut and install carpeting using hand or machine stitcher, seaming iron, bonding tape or other bonding materials
  • Stretch carpeting using a power stretcher and secure carpeting to floor or other surfaces using staple gun or other devices
  • Measure, cut and install resilient floor covering using adhesive, rollers and other hand tools
  • Install hardwood floors, such as strip floors, block floors or plank floors using glue, staples, nails or other means
  • Inspect and repair damaged floor coverings
  • Estimate material and labor costs
  • Floor covering installers generally work a 40-hour week with fairly regular hours, however, evenings, weekends and longer hours may be required to meet construction deadlines. They will deal with customer estimates, mix glue, measure cut and lay down flooring in the course of a typical day.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Floor covering installers are employed by carpet outlets, construction companies, floor-covering contractors, and though self-employment.

  Long Term Career Potential  
The potential for movement in the trade of floor covering installer is fairly limited. With the correct training and contacts self-employment is a big option for those working in this field. The expansion of this industry into areas such as plastics and synthetics will also open opportunities for those with the desired knowledge. Potential for growth also exists within the growth of specialty areas such as plastic welding techniques that completely enclose hospital and laboratory rooms to make them airtight and germ-free.
 

  Educational Paths  
Floor covering installers receive their training either through informal, on-the-job training or through an apprenticeship program. Trade certification can be obtained either through an apprenticeship program or after several years of work experience. While trade certification is not mandatory in all areas to become a floor covering installer, it can be a requirement for many employers and can also help secure employment.

Apprenticeship programs involve a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. A pre-apprenticeship course may also be available which takes about five to six months to complete at a community college and is designed to help you get connected with a good company to apprentice with. It is important to apprentice with a reputable company as that is your education. While some apprenticeship programs may not require a high school diploma, it is important to note that employers generally prefer to hire high school graduates.

Apprenticeships can vary, however a typical apprenticeship lasts four to five years. The apprenticeship is a paid position, however wages are about 50 percent of what an employer pays the journeyperson, with yearly increases. After successfully completing the apprenticeship requirements, their industry training and apprenticeship office awards the floor covering installer a certificate of completion.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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