Career Profile: Floor Covering Installer
Floors are part of every building, but it can be easy to forget the work that goes into them. Floor covering installers work with tile, carpet, and other types of materials to make floors look good and stay strong. This trade is an important part of the construction industry.
Building a house, school, or office is a complicated process with many steps. After putting in the foundation, builders make the frame and make walls, floors, and a roof. One of the last steps is covering the floors. In the kitchen and bathrooms, that would likely be linoleum, or something else that is easy to clean. The living room might have carpet and the bedrooms might have hardwood or carpet.
Floor covering installers need good math skills to be able to measure a room and be able to calculate how much of the tile or carpet they need. They need to be able to use tools to cut the materials to fit around corners and in tight spaces. Geometry courses in school are useful for this trade, and also classes which teach students how to use tools like drills or hammers.
If you know someone who works in this trade, you could also arrange some time to follow along on some jobs to see what the job is actually like. You might find that you love the work or that it might not be the right fit for you.
A high school education is useful for people in this field, but normally only a Grade 9 education is required. Most people who work as floor covering installers go through an apprenticeship program. The length of the program varies, but usually it is three twelve-month sections with an exam at the end. Certification is necessary in Quebec but also available in most other parts of Canada.
Working as a floor covering installer can be physically difficult, as materials like carpets and tiles can be heavy. Sometimes, the glues and dust can make the work unpleasant. Most construction in Canada happens in summer, but floor covering installers can work at any time of the year since their work is indoors. Salaries start at about $24,000 and can rise to $58,000 with experience.
Most floor covering installers generally work in groups or at least in pairs, but they can also work alone. Some deal with customers and have to send bills, collect payments, and order supplies, but others do only the installation work. When customers are unsure of what they want, the floor covering installer might have to advise them about colours, styles, and the best materials for what they need. A floor for a family with pets, for example, might be different from a floor for an elderly person living alone.
If you want to become a floor covering installer, a good place to start is to practice your math skills and ability to use your hands. Increasing your ability to bend and kneel down for long periods of time is also useful. If you have some degree of physical strength and like to work with colour and style, the job of floor covering installer might be right for you.
Careers in Construction. “Floor Covering Installer.” https://www.careersinconstruction.ca/en/career/floor-covering-installer
Government of Alberta. “Floor Covering Installer.” https://alis.alberta.ca/media/698083/floor-covering-installer.pdf.
Red Seal. “Floor Covering Installer.” http://www.red-seal.ca/trades/fl.4.4rc.4v.2r.3ng-eng.html.
Work BC. “Floor Covering Installer (NOC 7295).” https://www.workbc.ca/careers/7295.