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Working as a Drywall Hanger

What Does a Drywall Hanger Do

Drywall and ceiling tile installers hang wallboard and install ceiling tile inside buildings. Tapers prepare the wallboard for painting, using tape and other materials. Many workers both install and tape wallboard.

Duties

Drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers, typically do the following:

  • Review design plans to minimize the number of cuts and waste of wallboard
  • Determine the precise locations of electrical outlets, plumbing, and windows
  • Cut drywall or ceiling tiles to the right size, using utility knives and power saws
  • Fasten panels and tiles, using cement adhesive, nails, screws, or clips
  • Patch, trim, and smooth rough spots and edges
  • Apply tape and sealing compound to cover joints between wallboards
  • Add coats of sealing compound to create an even surface
  • Sand all joints and holes to a smooth, seamless finish

Drywall is the most commonly used interior wall covering. The ability to use a wide variety of finishes over properly prepared drywall, as well as low installation costs, drive its popularity. In addition to covering insulation, electrical wires, and plumbing pipes, drywall dampens sound and provides fire resistance.

To hang and prepare ceilings, workers may use mechanical lifts or stand on stilts, ladders, or scaffolds. Once wallboards are hung, workers use progressively wider trowels to spread multiple coats of sealing compound over cracks, indentations, and any remaining imperfections. Some workers may use a mechanical applicator, a tool that spreads sealing compound on the wall joint while dispensing and setting tape at the same time.

Drywall installers are also called drywallers or hangers. They cut and hang the panels of wallboard.

Ceiling tile installers hang ceiling tiles and create suspended ceilings. Tiles may be applied directly to the ceiling, attached to furring strips, or suspended on runners that are connected by wire to the ceiling. Workers are sometimes called acoustical carpenters, because they also install tiles that block sound.

Tapers are also called finishers, because they prepare the drywall for covering by plaster, paint, and wallpaper. Tapers apply paper or fiberglass mesh tape to cover drywall seams.

In addition to performing new installations, many installers and tapers make repairs such as fixing damaged drywall and replacing ceiling tiles. The wall coverings applied to the finished drywall are installed by painters, plasterers, and paperhangers.

How To Become a Drywall Hanger

Most drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers, learn their trade on the job.  A formal educational credential is typically not required to enter the occupation.

Education

Although there are no education requirements for becoming a drywall and ceiling tile installers, or taper, high school math and vocational technical courses are considered useful.

Training

Most drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers, learn their trade on the job by helping more experienced workers and gradually being given more duties. They start by carrying materials and cleaning up, and then learn to use the tools of the trade. They also learn to measure, cut, and install or apply materials. Employers usually provide some on-the-job training, lasting up to 12 months. 

A few drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers, learn their trade through a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship. For each year of the program, apprentices must have at least 144 hours of related technical work and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. During training, apprentices learn construction basics related to blueprint reading, mathematics, building code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices.

A few groups, including the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. The basic qualifications for entering such a program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Physically able to perform the work

After completing an apprenticeship program, they are considered to be journey workers and may perform duties on their own. 

Important Qualities

Balance. Drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers, often wear stilts. They must be able to move around and use tools overhead without falling.

Math skills. Drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers, use math skills for measurement on every job. For example, they must be able to estimate the quantity of materials needed and measure accurately when cutting panels.

Physical stamina. Drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers, constantly lift and move heavy materials into place, so workers should be in good physical shape.

Physical strength. Drywall and ceiling tile installers must often lift heavy panels over their heads to secure onto the ceiling.

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Average Salary$34,051
Job Growth Rate2%

Drywall Hanger Jobs

Drywall Hanger Career Paths

Top Careers Before Drywall Hanger

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Top Careers After Drywall Hanger

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Average Salary for a Drywall Hanger

Drywall Hangers in America make an average salary of $34,051 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $40,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Salary
$34,051

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Greenville, SC
Salary Range32k - 42k$37k$36,779
Yakima, WA
Salary Range25k - 37k$31k$30,866
Buffalo, NY
Salary Range25k - 33k$29k$29,173
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Salary Range25k - 32k$29k$28,937
Dallas, TX
Salary Range24k - 33k$28k$28,419
$24k
$42k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Drywall Hanger
Drywall Hanger
Tradesmen International, Inc.
Tradesmen International, Inc.
11/13/2020
11/13/2020
$35,47911/13/2020
$35,479
Drywall Hanger
Drywall Hanger
Tradesmen International, Inc.
Tradesmen International, Inc.
10/07/2020
10/07/2020
$35,47910/07/2020
$35,479
Drywall Hanger/Finisher
Drywall Hanger/Finisher
Tradesmen International, Inc.
Tradesmen International, Inc.
09/21/2020
09/21/2020
$37,56609/21/2020
$37,566
Drywall Hanger
Drywall Hanger
Tradesmen International, Inc.
Tradesmen International, Inc.
09/02/2020
09/02/2020
$35,47909/02/2020
$35,479
Drywall Hanger
Drywall Hanger
Tradesmen International, Inc.
Tradesmen International, Inc.
09/02/2020
09/02/2020
$35,47909/02/2020
$35,479
See More Recent Salaries

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Drywall Hanger Demographics

Gender

male

90.1 %

female

5.3 %

unknown

4.6 %

Ethnicity

White

61.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

23.7 %

Black or African American

9.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

88.9 %

Swedish

11.1 %
See More Demographics

Drywall Hanger Education

Majors

Business
14.3 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

62.4 %

Associate

12.3 %

Diploma

11.1 %

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Drywall Hanger

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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Drywall Hanger

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.3% of drywall hangers listed stud on their resume, but soft skills such as dexterity and math skills are important as well.

Best States For a Drywall Hanger

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a drywall hanger. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Drywall hangers make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $45,025. Whereas in Connecticut and Massachusetts, they would average $44,747 and $44,338, respectively. While drywall hangers would only make an average of $43,276 in New Hampshire, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Drywall Hanger Jobs:
2
Highest 10% Earn:
$56,000
Location Quotient:
6.8
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Delaware

Total Drywall Hanger Jobs:
1
Highest 10% Earn:
$57,000
Location Quotient:
3.04
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Rhode Island

Total Drywall Hanger Jobs:
0
Highest 10% Earn:
$59,000
Location Quotient:
0
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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How Do Drywall Hanger Rate Their Jobs?

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4.0

Back panelMay 2019

4.0

Zippia Official LogoBack panelMay 2019

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Top Drywall Hanger Employers

1. Tradesmen International
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$42,652
Drywall Hangers Hired: 
35+
2. Drywall Systems Inc
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$36,543
Drywall Hangers Hired: 
15+
3. Drywall Services
3.5
Avg. Salary: 
$40,590
Drywall Hangers Hired: 
13+
4. Contractors
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$58,313
Drywall Hangers Hired: 
5+
5. Carpenter Co.
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$41,176
Drywall Hangers Hired: 
3+
6. Raymond
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$43,533
Drywall Hangers Hired: 
3+

Drywall Hanger Videos

Recently Added Drywall Hanger Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020