What they do
Wall and floor tilers affix ceramic, slate, marble and glass tiles to walls and floors, using glues, grout and cement. They frequently cut tiles in order to fill small edges or make particular patterns. Tiles provide both a decorative and protective function, especially in spaces that experience ongoing wet or damp conditions such as kitchens or bathrooms. Wall and floor tilers are needed wherever construction or building renovation takes place, and while the bulk of this occurs in the Perth metropolitan area there are still opportunities to work in this occupation in other areas of the state.
Specialisations include: Ceramic Tiler, Mosaic Tiler
Wall and floor tilers work on private and commercial construction sites or pre-existing buildings requiring renovation. They can also work at heights, which will require the use of scaffolding and ladders, or in confined spaces that can be noisy, wet and dirty. Wall and floor tilers sometimes work in small teams, and will move from job site to job site. They usually work normal business hours, but may be required to work overtime to meet deadlines.
Tools and technologies
Wall and floor tilers work with a wide variety of tools and equipment. They use spirit levels, tape measures, squares, trowels, cement-mixing equipment and tile-cutting tools. They also wear protective clothing, such as steel-capped boots, hard hats or masks, depending on the job and work environment.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a wall and floor tiler you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in tile laying. The apprenticeship usually takes between 36 and 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing
To work as a wall and floor tiler within the construction industry you will need to obtain a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a “white card”) authorised by the WorkSafe Division, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
In Western Australia sub-contractors carrying out construction work valued at more than $20,000 must be accredited, or work under the supervision of someone who is accredited, as a registered building practitioner. Contact the Building Commission Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety for more information.