Tilesetters

(NOC 7283)

in All Trades and Transportation

Tilesetters cover interior and exterior walls, floors and ceilings with ceramic, marble and quarry tile, mosaics, or terrazzo. They work for construction companies and masonry contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate 0 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Outlook: undetermined - an outlook was not determined for this occupation due to too few workers in Nova Scotia.
Size of the occupation in Nova Scotia: small with infrequent job opportunities.
Demand: A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements.
Work hours: full-time, usually. Jobs are typically permanent positions.

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$26,358

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$37.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Tilesetters cover interior and exterior walls, floors and ceilings with ceramic, marble and quarry tile, mosaics, or terrazzo. They work for construction companies and masonry contractors, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Tilesetters:

  • Prepare, measure, and mark surface to be covered.
  • Build underbeds and install anchor bolts, wires, and brackets.
  • Mix, apply and spread mortar, cement, mastic, glue, or other adhesives using hand trowel.
  • Set tiles in position and apply pressure to affix tiles to base.
  • Align and straighten tile using levels, squares, and straightedges.
  • Cut and fit tiles around obstacles and openings using hand and power cutting tools.
  • Pack grout into joints between tiles and remove excess grout.
  • Install tile strips.
  • Lay and set mosaic tiles to create decorative wall, mural and floor designs.
  • Mix, lay, and polish terra surfaces.
  • Cut, polish, and install marble and granite.
  • Remove and replace cracked or damaged tiles.
  • May prepare cost estimates and orders.

Sample job titles

  • ceramic tilesetter
  • marble mason
  • tile fitter
  • tile floor layer
  • tile installer
  • tile mason
  • tilesetter

Skills

  • A good knowledge of mathematics
  • Ability to read blueprints, shop drawings, and specifications
  • Planning and visual skills
  • A good eye for colour and layout
  • Manual and spatial dexterity
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Good balance
  • Good vision
  • Physical stamina and agility
  • Ability to do precise work
  • Ability to work with little supervision

Job requirements

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • A combination of over three years of work experience in the trade and some high school or college courses in tilesetting.
  • Trade Qualifier option, 8,100 hours, and other criteria.
  • Certification for tilesetters is voluntary in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for tilesetters.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.

Other considerations

  • Tilesetters use materials like ceramic, mosaics, glass, quarry tiles, slate, engineered stone, terrazzo, porcelain, and marble or granite slabs. They cover walls, floors, ceilings, fireplaces, swimming pools, saunas, showers, and other surfaces.
  • Tilesetters work mainly indoors. Some work like cladding and swimming pools may be outside exposing workers to the weather.
  • The work can be physically demanding, requiring bending, kneeling, reaching, heavy lifting, and working at heights.
  • Risks include injury from working with sharp edges and power tools, and due to heavy lifting.
  • They generally work a 40-hour week, but overtime is common to meet construction deadlines.
  • Jobs in the construction industry are affected by seasonal changes and economic conditions. Work may be on a project basis. Workers should be prepared for periods of unemployment.
  • Experienced tilesetters may advance to supervisory positions like foreperson, superintendent, and estimator.
  • Everyone has fair access to participate and succeed in the apprenticeship system. Everyone who develops the necessary skills and abilities should be able to succeed in the trades and trade qualification system. Work environments in the province support women and equity-seeking communities.

By the numbers

Quick look

185

employed in 2016

91.7%

employed full-time

27.8%

self employed

0.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
39.7

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

72.2%

Halifax

$32,850 median annual income
11.1%

Annapolis Valley

N/A
8.3%

North Shore

N/A
8.3%

Cape Breton

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

88.2%

Construction

5.9%

Manufacturing

5.9%

Real estate and rental and leasing

What is the age of Employment?

30.0%

35-44

24.0%

25-34

19.0%

45-54

11.0%

55-64

8.0%

65+

8.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

44.4%

High school

$32,807 median annual income
19.4%

Less than high school

N/A
13.9%

College Diploma

N/A
11.1%

Trade Certification

N/A
8.3%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Masonry - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs preapre students to apply technical knowledge and skills in the laying and/or setting of brick, concrete block, hard tile, marble and related materials, using trowels, levels, hammers, chisels, and other hand tools. They include courses in technical mathematics, blueprint reading, structural masonry, decorative masonry, foundations, reinforcement, mortar preparation, cutting and finishing, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Building Trades Advancement College of Nova Scotia

Lakeside, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Tilesetter

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Construction Association of Nova Scotia
Dartmouth, NS
BuildForce Canada
Ottawa, ON
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
Halifax, NS
Mainland Nova Scotia Building Trades
Lakeside, NS
Merit Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS
Cape Breton Island Building and Construction Trade Council
Sydney, NS