From the Ground Up: Careers in Flooring Installation
Go behind the scenes and learn about flooring installation.
If you’ve never considered a career in the skilled trades, now is the time to think about it. There is a desperate demand in the US for skilled trade professionals. Contrary to misconceptions, it is possible to have a long-term, profitable, gratifying career in these creative professions, especially as a flooring installer.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for flooring installers is growing by 10% annually (3 percent higher than the national average for all jobs). Remember, every building has floors! That makes flooring installers essential to the construction industry.
Love What You Do
Ask a flooring installer what they love most about their career, and you’ll get a variety of answers--the joy they bring their customers; the satisfaction of working with tools and solving challenges; their passion for creating; the pleasure of seeing a job through from start to finish; and the steady flow of exciting work.
There are a variety of different types of floor installers. You can specialize in one specific niche or master all of them, depending on your passions, your skills, and the demand in your local area.
- Broadloom Carpet Installers - lay and replace roll carpet
- Carpet Tile Installers - install modular carpet (carpet squares)
- Floor Sanders and Finishers - complete the final steps in hardwood floor installations and restorations
- Floor Layers - install linoleum, vinyl, and manufactured wood floorings
- Hardwood Floor Installers - install and restore hardwood floors and, depending on their skills, sometimes create and design the floors
- Tile and Marble Setters - cut and install ceramic and marble tile
The Training and Tools for Success
Ready for more good news? You can learn the skills needed to become a flooring installer in just six months. You can receive training on the job, through an apprenticeship, or via a more formal route such as technical schools and community colleges. (Check out the programs in your area.) Skilled flooring installers can earn as much as $25 to $50 per hour.
Beyond their training, successful flooring installers possess qualities that can be cultivated over time and through experience:
- Problem-Solving - Thanks to the variety of spaces, materials, machines, and tools they use, flooring installers will often find themselves in challenging or unfamiliar installation scenarios. They enjoy “McGuyvering” solutions that result in enhanced skills and happy customers.
- Technical Skills - Depending on the surface you’re working with, you may use adhesives, staples, and stretching tools. Hardwood floors require woodworking tools like saws, and tile installers use equipment like tile-cutting saws and grout trowels.
- Business Acumen and Interpersonal Skills - Successful flooring installers know that technical skills only take you so far. Improving your business knowledge and honing your customer service skills over time are key elements to growing your flooring installation business.
- Craftsmanship -Greg Ceglarski, a self-taught flooring tradesman with decades of experience in the flooring business, wrote about the art of wood flooring. He said, “A floor can be installed correctly, or it can be installed correctly AND beautifully.” When working with wood and tile, you have the opportunity to hone your creativity and artistry produce genuinely magnificent work.
Your Future in Flooring Installation
If you like working with your hands, being creative, and prefer to work independently indoors, a career in the flooring business may be for you. Sound interesting? Check out our resources to explore the trade further--and share this blog with anyone you know who might be interested in this career path.
2 weeks ago, in Exploring the skilled trades by Jason Burns