What does a tiler do?

They provide the cosmetic and protective touches to a surface by adorning it with tiles. Some work is decorative, some purely functional and others a mix of the two. Once a tiler has received the brief for the intended job, they calculate the number and type of tiles needed, plan how they’ll be laid and execute the work, ensuring an even surface and watertight work. As they may use tiles in a variety of different sizes, shapes and materials for different areas and applications, tilers must know which materials are appropriate, how to properly prepare a surface and the right adhesives to hold everything in place. Particularly for highly patterned and technical work, collaborating closely with a client is important to ensure the job is completed as expected.

Tasks:

  • Cutting and shaping tiles
  • Removing old tiles and preparing surfaces
  • Making and applying cement and adhesives
  • Waterproofing and grouting tiles

What skills do I need to be a tiler?

Tilers need to possess a high level of physical fitness in order to meet the very strenuous physical demands of the job as it often requires lots of heavy lifting and working with your hands. A tiler must also have a thorough understanding of their craft, good spatial awareness and an ability to communicate and listen to clients. This is to ensure that each job is meeting the requirements of the clients.
Skills/attributes
  • Attention to detail
  • Eye for style and design
  • Ability to communicate clearly with clients
  • Comfortable working at heights or in small spaces

Specialisations

There are a number of varied career opportunities available for qualified tilers. Focussing your skills on a particular style of tiling, following an interest in ceramics to make your own tiles or using the skills gained in your experience as a tiler to pursue a new vocation.

Tiling with tessellated tiles

There are tiling specialists who work specifically with tessellated tiles that were typically used in Federation and Victorian era homes in Australia. As more homeowners are interested in preserving heritage aspects of their homes, tilers with this specialisation are becoming more sought after. Tilers that specialise in this area are knowledgeable of both the kinds of tiling materials they can work with and also the designs, styles and patterns popular at the time.

Stonemason

Although becoming a Stonemason would require additional specialised training, having experience as a tiler would demonstrate a level of understanding and practical knowledge pertaining to the use of some tools and processes involving working with stone and cement.

Self Employed Tilers

Once a tiler has gained enough experience they may elect to work for themselves on a freelance basis. They can elect to take on contract work from various companies or they may choose to start their own business. This would require not only the practical knowledge of tiling, but also administrative and procedural knowledge to run a profitable company.

Study pathways for pet groomers

Obtaining your Construction Induction Card is a prerequisite in every state in Australia to work on construction sites. There are a number of options available for those considering a career in tiling.

Getting Started

Take the first step in your tiling career and look for courses that help you gain trade experience

Skill Building

Work towards becoming a tiling professional with targeted study options

Professional Development

Demonstrate your skills and understanding of the tiling trade by completing a course of study

Industry Recognition

Obtaining your Construction Induction Car is a great place to start, as it will be a prerequisite for your employment on building sites. Joining a professional tiling association may also help you find employment.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your tiling career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

Strong growth is predicted in employment for wall and floor tilers over the next five years. Specialisation opportunities may vary by state.