What is a Tiler?

Tilers cover walls, floors and surfaces with tiles, ranging from kitchens and bathrooms to shops, hotels and restaurants. Some tilers may also carry out specialist work, such as swimming pools or mosaics. This is precise work and it can be really creative, too… after all, tiles are often put in place to make a surface look striking or beautiful. It’s not just about creating wipe-clean surfaces in kitchens.

How much does a Tiler earn?

The basic salary for a trainee tiler can vary, but it would usually be up to £14,000 a year. A qualified tiler would earn between £17,000 and £23,000 a year. Those with more experience (and a more senior position) can earn between £25,000 and £30,000 a year. These salaries can all get topped up with bonuses, shift allowances and overtime.

These figures are intended as a guideline only.

So tell me more about how to be a Tiler

Tilers apply hard tiles and wood tiles to walls, floors, and other surfaces. Installing tiles involves a lot of work, and workers spend much of their time bending, kneeling, and reaching. Although the occupation is not as dangerous as some other construction trades, workers still experience a high rate of injuries and illnesses.

Becoming a Tiler: What does it take?

Tiling is a job that requires a real eye for detail – if someone is paying good money to have a lovely mosaic done on the bottom of their swimming pool, they won’t be happy if the tiles are all wonky and out of place. You’ll need basic maths skills so you can get the measurements right and a real understanding of materials, textures and colour. Gloss or matt tiles? Stone or plastic? Your clients or employer will decide in most cases, but if you can prove you’ve got an eye for these things yourself it’ll really help build trust with clients.

Quite a few tilers learn their trade through starting out as a helper, or they pick it up through an apprenticeship. The basics you will learn on an apprenticeship will include basic maths (which you’ll need to know for measuring things), building code requirements, reading blueprints and knowing your health and safety requirements.

After you’ve completed an apprenticeship programme, you’ll be thought of as a “journey worker” and can carry out jobs on your own. Sometimes you’ll find your employer has their very own training programme for tile setting and marble setting

What is the job market like for careers in tiling?

Employees in the trade sector are usually male, and it’s not the best-paid of industries. However, the number of those employed is expected to rise steadily.

Tiling courses and training to build your career

Training will usually happen on the job, including day or block release at a local training centre or college. This will include working towards qualifications like:

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 will include units on:

  • Setting out
  • Preparing surfaces
  • Positioning and fixing wall and floor tiles
  • Mosaic finishes

Many contractors will need you to have a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card before they'll let you work on site. This proves that you can do the job safely. To get one you'll need to:

  • Pass the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test
  • Prove your occupational competence (by holding appropriate qualifications)

If you don't have any qualifications, you might be able to use the On-Site Assessment Workshop or Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA) schemes to get a qualification, and qualify for the CSCS card. There are more details on their websites:

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