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Career and Education Opportunities for Tile Setters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for tile setters in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. About 170 people are currently employed as tile setters in Iowa. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 16% to 200 people employed. 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. In general, tile setters apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, and roof decks.

The income of a tile setter is about $17 per hour or $35,400 annually on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 per hour or $39,210 per year on average. Incomes for tile setters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Home and Office Installation in Iowa, and better than the overall Home and Office Installation category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can study to be a tile setter, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Cedar Rapids area. Given that the most common education level for tile setters is less than a high school diploma, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Cedar Rapids 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.


Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has a one to two year program in Mason/Masonry which graduated eight students in 2008.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.