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Career and Education Opportunities for Tile Setters in Charleston, West Virginia

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for tile setters in the Charleston, West Virginia area. The national trend for tile setters 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.

A person working as a tile setter can expect to earn about $22 hourly or $47,490 annually on average in West Virginia and about $18 per hour or $39,210 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for tile setters are better than earnings in the general category of Home and Office Installation in West Virginia and better than general Home and Office Installation category earnings nationally.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including two within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as a tile setter. Tile setters usually hold less than a high school diploma, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a tile setter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Tile Setter

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 Charleston 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.
  • Carpet Installer. Lay and install carpet from rolls or blocks on floors. Install padding and trim flooring materials.
  • Insulation Installer. Line and cover structures with insulating materials. May work with batt, roll, or blown insulation materials.
  • Plasterer. Apply interior or exterior plaster, cement, or similar materials. May also set ornamental plaster.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Tile Setter Training

Fayette Institute of Technology - Oak Hill, WV

Fayette Institute of Technology, 300 West Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill, WV 25901. Fayette Institute of Technology is a small school located in Oak Hill, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 24 students. Fayette Institute of Technology has a one to two year program in Mason/Masonry.

Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV

Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Mason/Masonry.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.