Becoming a tiler is a great career move with job satisfaction and if you love carrying out practical tasks then tiling is right up your street, as a tiler you’ll be covering floors and walls with tiles on a wide range of locations including people’s homes, business premises, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, the list is endless really. As a tiler you can also specialise in swimming pools and mosaic walls that are found in landscaped gardens.
As a tiler you must be able to work accurately and be well organised and also have the ability to calculate costs and quantities for when you’re ordering or buying your materials for the jobs you’ll be carrying out.
To start out on the road to tiling you could become a labourer and then you’ll be able to get trained up by your employer to go further up the tiling ladder. Construction courses are another great route into the tiling industry where you’ll gain all the theory knowledge as well as practical skills. Another route into the tiling industry is via an apprenticeship scheme where you’ll be trained up by an expert at their trade who will get you up to the highest of standards that’s needed for a career in the tiling industry.
A tiler’s work!
A tiler carries out a wide range of jobs including:
- Cutting the tiles to shape and size with bench mounted tools or hand cutters
- Marking out locations so that you can estimate the number of tiles that will be needed for the job and also work out the amount of adhesive that will be required this is known as setting out
- Fixing the tiles and then applying the grout before you finish the work
- Preparing the surfaces the tiles are being placed on using, cement, plaster, or sand.
Some jobs a tiler carries out may involve them having to remove or repair the previous surface that the tiles are going to be placed on before you can proceed with the setting out stage.
A tiler works with many types of building materials including:
How many hours a week does a tiler work?
A tiler would usually be expected to work between 37 and 45 hours a week and that’s including Mondays to Fridays. Sometimes you may be required to work overtime to finish contract deadlines.
Remember that tiling is very exhausting as it is physically demanding because it does involve working with heavy loads. You will be required to wear protective gear especially when working with grout and adhesives.
Tilers travel from site to site and sometimes they may be required to stay overnight away from home on certain jobs.
How much can you earn as a tiler?
Qualified tillers can earn between £17,000 and £23,000 a year, trainee tillers can earn up to £14,000 a year but a trainee’s earning can vary depending on who’s training you up.
The more experienced tiler can look forward to earning between £25,000 and £30,000 a year. Experienced tillers include tillers who have supervisory and also training duties.
Of course these figures will vary considerably depending on bonuses, overtime, shift allowances and of course the part of the country you’re working in.
The closer you are to London and the South East will see wages much higher than these mentioned here. So if you are living and working in the London area then you can look forward to wages much, much higher than these. If you’re planning on becoming a self employed tiler then you have the added bonus of being able to set your own rates.
Entry Requirements For Becoming A Tiler
You don’t need any formal qualifications to become a tiler but it would be great if you do have some previous experience with working on site as most employers will be looking out for this previous experience. To get this on site experience you could start out as a labourer and the once you get started your employer may offer you some training.
You can also gain this on site experience via a tiling apprenticeship scheme with a tiling company or a building firm.
Apprenticeship places are limited and competition is fierce and there is an age limit too, you should ideally be between the ages of 16 and 24.
You could also consider a training course or college course and while you’re completing your course you could also try and find a work placement. The course will include:
- Level 1 Award/certificate in Construction Skills (Floor and wall tiling)
- Level 1 certificate in construction and building (fitted interiors)
- Level 1 Diploma in wall and floor tiling
Further development and training once you become a tiler
As soon as you start working as a tiler you would be training on the job with block or day release at your local training centre or local college. This way you can aim for tiling qualifications including:
Level 2 Extended Diploma in Wall and floor tiling
Level 2/3 Diploma in wall and floor tiling
Level 2/3 (NVQ) certificate /Diploma in wall and floor tiling (construction)
These qualifications will include units involving:
- Setting out
- Mosaic finishes
- Positioning and fixing wall and floor tiles
- Preparing surfaces
Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
There are many building contractors that require you to have a CSCS card. This card is your proof that you have all the training and skills that are required for working on a construction site. To get your CSCS card you must:
Pass the CITB health, safety and environment test
Prove that you are fully competent at working on a construction site and have all the necessary knowledge and training. You can prove this by the qualifications that you already have.
If you are currently working as a tiler but don’t have any qualifications to get your CSCS card then you can use the on site assessment workshop or experienced worker practical assessment schemes. Once you do this you will hopefully gain a qualification and then go on to qualify for your CSCS card.
So to sum up here’s what you’ll need to become a good tiler:
- An ability to follow designer’s plans
- Have good practical skills and knowledge
- Have good maths skills for calculating costs
- Have good attention to detail
- Have good accuracy
- Have creative flair
- Have a good eye of design
- Be able to work closely as part of a team
- Be able to work on your own
- Have good customer service skills
- Be aware of health and safety at all times
- Have the ability to keep paperwork
- Have the ability to keep accounts up to date if you’re a self employed tiler
So there we are then, I’ve come to the end of my article on tiling qualifications I do hope I’ve helped you gain more info on the life of a tiler and the qualifications you need to become one and go even further up the scale.
Tiling is a good choice of career with very good prospects. So I’ll be off now but before I go let me wish you the best of luck with your training to become a tiler!