Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers, and Tapers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
There are no educational credential requirements for becoming a drywall and ceiling tile installer, or taper.
Training Required
Most drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers learn their trade on the job by helping more experienced workers and gradually being given more duties. They start by carrying materials and cleaning up and then learn to use the tools of the trade. They also learn to measure, cut, and install or apply materials. They may start out working on less visible areas like closets. The on-the-job training received typically lasts up to 12 months.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 1% (Little or no change)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Median pay: How much do Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers, and Tapers make?
$42,280 Annual Salary
$20.33 per hour

Drywall and ceiling tile installers hang wallboard and install ceiling tile inside buildings. Tapers prepare the wallboard for painting, using tape and other materials. Many workers both install and tape wallboard.

What do Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers, and Tapers do?

Drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers typically do the following:

  • Measure, mark, and cut panels according to design plans by using tape measures, straightedges, utility knives, and power saws
  • Fasten panels and tiles by using glue, nails, or screws
  • Patch, trim, and smooth rough spots and edges
  • Apply tape and sealing compound to cover joints between wallboards
  • Add coats of sealing compound to create an even surface
  • Sand all joints and holes for a smooth, seamless finish

Drywall is a commonly used interior wall covering. In addition to covering insulation, electrical wires, and plumbing pipes, it also dampens sound and provides fire resistance.

Workers may use mechanical lifts or stand on stilts, ladders, or scaffolds to hang and prepare ceilings. Once wallboards are hung, workers use trowels to spread coats of sealing compound over cracks, indentations, and other imperfections. Some workers may use a mechanical applicator, a tool that spreads sealing compound on the wall joint while dispensing and setting tape at the same time.

Careers for Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers, and Tapers

  • Acoustical carpenters
  • Acoustical ceiling installers
  • Ceiling tile installers
  • Drywall applicators
  • Drywall finishers
  • Drywall hangers
  • Drywall installers
  • Drywall sanders
  • Drywall strippers
  • Drywall tapers
  • Drywall workers
  • Drywallers
  • Finishers
  • Framers
  • Hangers
  • Sheet rock appliers
  • Sheet rock hangers
  • Sheet rock installers
  • Sheet rock tapers
  • Sheet rock workers
  • Tapers
  • Wall tapers

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