Tile and Stone Setters

Apply hard tile, stone, and comparable materials to walls, floors, ceilings, countertops, and roof decks.

Sample of reported job titles: Ceramic Tile Mechanic, Ceramic Tile Setter, Marble Mason, Tile and Marble Installer, Tile and Marble Setter, Tile Finisher, Tile Installer, Tile Mason, Tile Mechanic, Tile Setter

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Cut and shape tile to fit around obstacles and into odd spaces and corners, using hand and power cutting tools.
  • Lay and set mosaic tiles to create decorative wall, mural, and floor designs.
  • Align and straighten tile using levels, squares, and straightedges.
  • Determine and implement the best layout to achieve a desired pattern.
  • Measure and mark surfaces to be tiled, following blueprints.
  • Finish and dress the joints and wipe excess grout from between tiles, using damp sponge.
  • Cut, surface, polish, and install marble and granite or install pre-cast terrazzo, granite or marble units.
  • Mix, apply, and spread plaster, concrete, mortar, cement, mastic, glue or other adhesives to form a bed for the tiles, using brush, trowel and screed.
  • Apply mortar to tile back, position the tile, and press or tap with trowel handle to affix tile to base.
  • Level concrete and allow to dry.
  • Prepare surfaces for tiling by attaching lath or waterproof paper, or by applying a cement mortar coat to a metal screen.
  • Mix and apply mortar or cement to edges and ends of drain tiles to seal halves and joints.
  • Remove and replace cracked or damaged tile.
  • Apply a sealer to make grout stain- and water-resistant.
  • Remove any old tile, grout and adhesive using chisels and scrapers and clean the surface carefully.
  • Prepare cost and labor estimates, based on calculations of time and materials needed for project.
  • Study blueprints and examine surface to be covered to determine amount of material needed.
  • Spread mastic or other adhesive base on roof deck to form base for promenade tile, using serrated spreader.
  • Cut tile backing to required size, using shears.
  • Install and anchor fixtures in designated positions, using hand tools.
  • Assist customers in selection of tile and grout.
  • Select and order tile and other items to be installed, such as bathroom accessories, walls, panels, and cabinets, according to specifications.
  • Measure and cut metal lath to size for walls and ceilings, using tin snips.
  • Build underbeds and install anchor bolts, wires, and brackets.
  • Brush glue onto manila paper on which design has been drawn and position tiles, finished side down, onto paper.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 63% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 58% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 66% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 62% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 48% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure — 51% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 56% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 44% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 47% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 42% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 51% responded “Very important results.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 37% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 31% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Physical Proximity — 59% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Deal With External Customers — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 27% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 47% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Very important.”
  • Level of Competition — 30% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 42% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 65% responded “40 hours.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 39% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 28% responded “Every day.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Knowledge

  • Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 51%
     
    responded: Less than high school diploma required
  • 31%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 17%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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Interests

Interest code: RCA
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

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Work Values

  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$22.99 hourly, $47,810 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
54,100 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Faster than average (10% to 15%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
5,400
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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