Drywall and ceiling tile installers
Choose Speciality
Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers
Sign In
Overview
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.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for drywall and ceiling tile installers are expected to grow by 1%, and should have about 11,200 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Drywall and ceiling tile installers are more likely to be automated than 60% of other careers.
Workforce size
Drywall and ceiling tile installers, with 119,500 workers, form a larger workforce than 68% of careers.
Education
Only 3% of drywall and ceiling tile installers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by drywall and ceiling tile installers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer drywall and ceiling tile installers have bachelor's degrees than 95% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 57% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for drywall and ceiling tile installers. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most drywall and ceiling tile installers.
This job's median $44KAll jobs' median $39K$41K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 3% of drywall and ceiling tile installers -- that's a smaller percentage than 90% of other jobs.
Gender of drywall and ceiling tile installers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For drywall and ceiling tile installers, the median men's salary was 18% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 11% of drywall and ceiling tile installers are minority, and 55% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of drywall and ceiling tile installers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (55%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 19% of drywall and ceiling tile installers, and 25% have company-sponsored health insurance (11% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for drywall and ceiling tile installers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of drywall and ceiling tile installers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (59%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (58%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (53%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (47%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (40%)
  • Exposed to High Places (33%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do drywall and ceiling tile installers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. In particular, the ACS data is reported for the larger career group drywall and ceiling tile installers, which combines the data for 2 careers, including drywall and ceiling tile installers. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data is classified by SOC specialty, and excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for drywall and ceiling tile installers, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for drywall and ceiling tile installers compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for drywall and ceiling tile installers (BLS Salary Data)
$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. Additionally, we only have ACS survey data for the larger career category and not for the specialty level. We first show the full salary distribution for all drywall and ceiling tile installers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for drywall and ceiling tile installers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for drywall and ceiling tile installers (ACS Salary Data)
$29K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$29K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where drywall and ceiling tile installers work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Drywall and ceiling tile installers (ACS)
Private for-profit (77.1%)
Private not-for-profit (1.4%)
Local government (0.2%)
State government (0.2%)
Federal government (0.1%)
Self-employed incorporated (4.8%)
Self-employed not incorporated (16.2%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of drywall and ceiling tile installers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of drywall and ceiling tile installers, which combines the 2 specialties for this career.
$29K$29K$27K$30K$35K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of drywall and ceiling tile installers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty drywall and ceiling tile installers, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$44K$44K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000PrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for drywall and ceiling tile installers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$27K$32K$28K$31K$21K$27K$36K$36K$29K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
05K10K15K20K25KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Drywall and ceiling tile installers and gender

With 3% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 90% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
3%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Drywall and ceiling tile installers
Men (98%)
Women (3%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for drywall and ceiling tile installers, with the median salary for men 18% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$25K$29K$0$20K$40K$60KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Drywall and ceiling tile installers have one of the middle percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job higher than that for 54% of other jobs.

18%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of drywall and ceiling tile installers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority drywall and ceiling tile installers than for 88% of other careers. Although this career does not include a large percentage of minorities, it does hire more foreign-born people that most other careers.

Race/origin of drywall and ceiling tile installers
White (69% )
Other (20% )
Black (4% )
Hispanic (3% )
Multiracial (2% )
American Indian (2% )
Asian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
11%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
55%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for drywall and ceiling tile installers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$25K$26K$27K$27K$30K$30K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAmerican IndianHispanicMultiracialOtherBlackWhite
Distribution: Salaries for drywall and ceiling tile installers by nativity
$27K$31K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by drywall and ceiling tile installers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), drywall and ceiling tile installers typically hold no formal educational credential.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as drywall and ceiling tile installers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for drywall and ceiling tile installers.

Education attained by drywall and ceiling tile installers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for drywall and ceiling tile installers

There are no educational credential requirements for becoming a drywall and ceiling tile installer, or taper.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for drywall and ceiling tile installers? Below we see the distribution of drywall and ceiling tile installers salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as drywall and ceiling tile installers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$26K$31K$32K$33K$32K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KNone (45%)High School (39%)Some College (11%)Associate's Degree (2%)Bachelor's Degree (2%)
Certificate/degree pathways

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Program
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Less than bachelor's
bachelor's degree
Higher than bachelor's
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Drywall Installation/Drywaller
118
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for drywall and ceiling tile installers

What jobs will most drywall and ceiling tile installers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of drywall and ceiling tile installers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Drywall and ceiling tile installersConstruction laborersCarpentersManagers (specialized areas)Painters and paperhangersConstruction managersInsulation workersProduction workersFirst-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workersCooksCarpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for drywall and ceiling tile installers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as drywall and ceiling tile installers as well as 1% of respondents after working as drywall and ceiling tile installers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for drywall and ceiling tile installers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Construction laborers
153,300
$0$200K$30K
Carpenters
113,800
$0$200K$34K
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
70,600
$0$200K$56K
Painters and paperhangers
39,300
$0$200K$29K
Construction managers
34,800
$0$200K$66K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for drywall and ceiling tile installers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as drywall and ceiling tile installers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of drywall and ceiling tile installers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for drywall and ceiling tile installers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Grounds maintenance workers
191,100
$0$200K$23K
1.3%
Construction laborers
153,300
$0$200K$30K
10.9%
Carpenters
113,800
$0$200K$34K
5.2%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
5.6%
First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
70,600
$0$200K$56K
2.4%
Painters and paperhangers
39,300
$0$200K$29K
2.6%
Construction managers
34,800
$0$200K$66K
1.5%
Drywall and ceiling tile installers
13,400
$0$200K$29K
43.2%
Plasterers and stucco masons
2,800
$0$200K$28K
1.2%
No occupation
14.8%
Read about drywall and ceiling tile installers
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

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.

Drywall installers are also called drywallers or hangers. They cut and hang the panels of wallboard.

Ceiling tile installers hang ceiling tiles and create suspended ceilings. Tiles may be applied directly to the ceiling, attached to furring strips, or suspended on runners that are connected by wire to the ceiling. Workers are sometimes called acoustical carpenters, because they also install tiles that block sound.

Tapers are also called finishers, because they prepare the drywall for covering by plaster, paint, and wallpaper. Tapers apply paper or fiberglass mesh tape to cover drywall seams.

In addition to performing new installations, many installers and tapers make repairs such as fixing damaged drywall and replacing ceiling tiles. The wall coverings applied to the finished drywall are installed by painters, plasterers, and paperhangers.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of drywall and ceiling tile installers? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Balance
Drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers often wear stilts. They must be able to move around and use tools overhead without falling.
Dexterity
Drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers work with hand tools on every job. For example, they must be able to lift panels and use hammers and nails to secure the panels.
Math skills
Drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers must be able to estimate the quantity of materials needed and measure accurately when cutting panels.
Physical stamina
Drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers constantly lift and move heavy materials into place, so workers should be in good physical shape.
Physical strength
Drywall and ceiling tile installers must often lift heavy panels over their heads to secure onto the ceiling.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for drywall and ceiling tile installers
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 57% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for drywall and ceiling tile installers. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $44KAll jobs' median $39K$45K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for drywall and ceiling tile installers are anticipated to grow by 1% over the next decade; 76% of jobs are projected to grow more.

The projected employment for drywall and ceiling tile installers is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030050,000100,000150,000200,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most drywall and ceiling tile installers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as drywall and ceiling tile installers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all drywall and ceiling tile installers, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.01.02.03.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where drywall and ceiling tile installers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for drywall and ceiling tile installers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for drywall and ceiling tile installers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all drywall and ceiling tile installers, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Median salary ratio: Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers to all workers (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which drywall and ceiling tile installers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.02.5
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Drywall and ceiling tile installers (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
Jobs that are similar by Interests and Salary (All education levels)
Filter for this education level
All education levels
Filter for any of these broad categories
Select...
Higher PayLower PayMore SimilarLess Similar
Major Occupation
Management
Business & Financial
Computer & Mathematical
Architecture and Engineering
Life, Physical, & Social Science
Farming, Fishing, & Forestry
Healthcare Practitioners & Technical
Healthcare Support
Community and Social Service
Protective Service
Legal
Education, Training, & Library
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, & Media
Office & Administrative Support
Sales & Related
Personal Care & Service
Building and Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance
Food Preparation and Serving Related
Military-Specific
Transportation & Material Moving
Production
Installation, Maintenance, & Repair
Construction & Extraction
Ⓒ 2019 RipeData LLC. All Rights Reserved.