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Career and Education Opportunities for Tile Setters in Birmingham, Alabama

Tile setter career and educational opportunities abound in Birmingham, Alabama. Currently, 670 people work as tile setters in Alabama. This is expected to grow 19% to 800 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for tile setters, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.3% over the next eight years. Tile setters generally apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, and roof decks.

A person working as a tile setter can expect to earn about $13 per hour or $27,480 yearly on average in Alabama and about $18 per hour or $39,210 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for tile setters are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Home and Office Installation in Alabama and better than general Home and Office Installation category earnings nationally.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including one within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as a tile setter. The most common level of education for tile setters is less than a high school diploma. It will take only a short time to learn to be a tile setter if you already have a high school diploma.


Tile Setter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, tile setters apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, and roof decks.

Tile setters clear away and remove cracked or damaged tile. They also mix and spread plaster, concrete, mortar, cement, mastic, glue or other adhesives to fashion beds for tiles, using brushes, trowels and screeds. Equally important, tile setters have to finish and dress the joints and wipe excess grout from between tiles, using damp sponges. They are often called upon to lay and set mosaic tiles to generate decorative wall, mural and floor designs. They are expected to trim and shape tile to fit around obstacles and into odd spaces and corners, using hand and power cutting tools. Finally, tile setters ready surfaces for tiling by attaching lath or waterproof paper, or by applying a cement mortar coat onto a metal screen.

Every day, tile setters are expected to be able to visualize how things come together and can be organized. They need to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done.

It is important for tile setters to level concrete and allow to dry. They are often called upon to measure and mark surfaces to be tiled, following blueprints. They also mix and apply mortar or cement to edges and ends of drain tiles to seal halves and joints. They are sometimes expected to trim tile backing to required size, using shears. Somewhat less frequently, tile setters are also expected to finish and dress the joints and wipe excess grout from between tiles, using damp sponges.

and decide on and implement the best layout to attain a desired pattern. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on and order tile and other items to be installed, such as bathroom accessories and cabinets, according to given requirements.

Like many other jobs, tile setters must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Brick and Block Mason. Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls, partitions, and other structures.
  • Bricklayer Helper. Help brickmasons, blockmasons, or tile and marble setters by performing duties of lesser skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.


Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus - Birmingham, AL

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus, 3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, AL 35221-1717. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,507 students. Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus has a less than one year program in Mason/Masonry which graduated two students in 2008.


Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.