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Career and Education Opportunities for Tile Setters in St. Louis, Missouri

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for tile setters in the St. Louis, Missouri area. About 670 people are currently employed as tile setters in Missouri. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 14% to about 770 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for tile setters are expected to grow by about 14.3%. Tile setters generally apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, and roof decks.

The income of a tile setter is about $26 per hour or $54,690 annually on average in Missouri. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 hourly or $39,210 annually on average. Earnings for tile setters are better than earnings in the general category of Home and Office Installation in Missouri and better than general Home and Office Installation category earnings nationally.

The St. Louis area is home to seventy-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can get a degree as a tile setter. 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 studying 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 St. Louis 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.
  • Painter. Paint walls, equipment, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns. May remove old paint to prepare surface prior to painting. May mix colors or oils to obtain desired color or consistency.


Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville, IL

Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, IL 62221-5899. Southwestern Illinois College is a large college located in Belleville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,308 students. Southwestern Illinois College has a less than one year program in Mason/Masonry which graduated one student in 2008.


St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.