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Become An Installer

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Working As An Installer

  • Getting Information
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Make Decisions

  • $34,923

    Average Salary

What Does An Installer Do

Carpenters construct and repair building frameworks and structures—such as stairways, doorframes, partitions, rafters, and bridge supports—made from wood and other materials. They also may install kitchen cabinets, siding, and drywall.

Duties

Carpenters typically do the following:

  • Follow blueprints and building plans to meet the needs of clients
  • Install structures and fixtures, such as windows and molding
  • Measure, cut, and shape wood, plastic, and other materials
  • Construct building frameworks, including walls, floors, and doorframes
  • Erect, level, and install building framework with the aid of rigging hardware and cranes
  • Inspect and replace damaged framework or other structures and fixtures
  • Instruct and direct laborers and other construction helpers

Carpenters are one of the most versatile construction occupations, with workers usually doing many different tasks. For example, some carpenters primarily insulate office buildings and others install drywall or kitchen cabinets in homes. Those who help construct tall buildings or bridges often install the wooden concrete forms for cement footings or pillars and are commonly referred to as rough carpenters. Other carpenters erect shoring and scaffolding for buildings.

Carpenters use many different hand and power tools to cut and shape wood, plastic, fiberglass, or drywall. They commonly use hand tools, including squares, levels, and chisels, as well as many power tools, such as sanders, circular saws, nail guns, and welding machines. Carpenters fasten materials together with nails, screws, staples, and adhesives, and do a final check of their work to ensure that it is completed according to specifications. They use a tape measure on nearly every project to make sure that the pieces being cut are the proper size, which reduces waste and saves time. Many employers require applicants to supply their own tools.

The following are examples of types of carpenters:

Residential carpenters typically specialize in single-family, townhome, and condominium building and remodeling. As part of a single job, they might build and set forms for footings, walls, and slabs, and frame and finish exterior walls, roofs, and decks. They also frame interior walls, build stairs, and install drywall, crown molding, doors, and cabinets. In addition, residential carpenters may tile floors and lay wood floors and carpet. Fully trained carpenters can easily switch from new homebuilding to remodeling.

Commercial carpenters typically build and remodel commercial office buildings, hospitals, hotels, schools, and shopping malls. Some specialize in working with light-gauge and load-bearing steel framing for interior partitions, exterior framing, and curtain wall construction. Others specialize in working with concrete forming systems and finishing interior and exterior walls, partitions, and ceilings. Most commercial carpenters perform many of the same tasks as residential carpenters.

Industrial carpenters typically work on civil engineering projects and in industrial settings, where they build scaffolding and create and set forms for pouring concrete. Some industrial carpenters build tunnel bracing or partitions in underground passageways and mines to control the circulation of air to worksites. Others build concrete forms for tunnels, bridges, dams, power plants, or sewers.

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How To Become An Installer

Although most carpenters learn their trade through an apprenticeship, some learn on the job, starting as a helper.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is required. High school courses in mathematics, mechanical drawing, and general vocational technical training are considered useful.

Training

Most carpenters learn their trade through a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship program. For each year of a typical program, apprentices must complete at least 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. In the technical training, apprentices learn carpentry basics, blueprint reading, mathematics, building code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. They also may receive specialized training in creating and setting concrete forms, rigging, welding, scaffold building, working within confined workspaces, and fall protection. All carpenters must pass the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10- and 30-hour safety courses.

After finishing an apprenticeship, carpenters are considered to be journey workers and may perform tasks on their own.

Several groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. Some apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. The basic qualifications for a person to enter an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Physically able to do the work
  • U.S. citizen or proof of legal residency
  • Pass substance abuse screening

Some contractors have their own carpenter training program, which may be an accredited apprenticeship program.

Although many workers enter apprenticeships directly, some carpenters start out as helpers.

Some workers can earn certificates before entering an apprenticeship. The National Association of Home Builders offers Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) through the Home Builders Institute. PACT is available for several different groups, from youths to veterans, and covers information for eight construction trades, including painting.

Workers typically learn the proper use of hand and power tools on the job. They often start by working with more experienced carpenters and are given more complex tasks as they prove that they can handle simpler tasks, such as measuring and cutting wooden and metal studs.

A number of 2-year technical schools offer carpentry degrees that are affiliated with unions or contractor organizations. Credits earned as part of an apprenticeship program usually count toward an associate’s degree.

Advancement

Because they are involved in all phases of construction, carpenters usually have more opportunities than other construction workers to become first-line supervisors, independent contractors, or general construction supervisors.

Carpenters seeking advancement often take additional training provided by associations, unions, or employers. Communication in both English and Spanish also is helpful for relaying instructions to workers.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Self-employed carpenters must be able to bid on new jobs, track inventory, and plan work assignments. 

Detail oriented. Carpenters perform many tasks that are important in the overall building process. Making precise measurements, for example, may reduce gaps between windows and frames, limiting any leaks around the window.

Dexterity. Carpenters use many tools and need hand-eye coordination to avoid injury or damaging materials. Striking the head of a nail, for example, is crucial to not damaging wood or injuring oneself.

Math skills. Carpenters use basic math skills every day to calculate volume and measure materials to be cut.

Physical stamina. Carpenters need physical endurance. They frequently stand, climb, or bend for long periods.

Physical strength. Carpenters use tools and materials that are heavy. For example, plywood sheets can weigh 50 to 100 pounds.

Problem-solving skills. Because construction jobs vary, carpenters must adjust project plans accordingly. For example, if a prefabricated window arrives at the worksite slightly oversized, carpenters must shave framework to make the window fit.

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Installer Career Paths

Installer
Maintenance Technician Engineer Project Engineer
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Technician Foreman
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Foreman Construction Superintendent
Construction Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Mechanic Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
12 Yearsyrs
Electrician Field Service Technician Project Engineer
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Installation Technician Maintenance Technician Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician Field Technician
Field Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Foreman Machinist Carpenter
General Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Operator Foreman
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Driver Delivery Driver Installation Technician
Installation Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanic Forklift Operator Carpenter
Lead Carpenter
5 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Welder Foreman Estimator Project Manager
Owner/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operator Operations Manager Operations Vice President
President Of Operations
9 Yearsyrs
Technician Project Manager Program Manager
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Installation Technician Technician Foreman
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Service Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Equipment Operator Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Installer Demographics

Gender

Male

93.6%

Female

5.2%

Unknown

1.2%
Ethnicity

White

62.3%

Hispanic or Latino

17.3%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.9%

Carrier

5.4%

French

4.3%

Russian

2.7%

German

2.7%

Portuguese

1.8%

Polish

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Japanese

1.4%

Swedish

0.9%

Ukrainian

0.9%

Thai

0.9%

Dakota

0.9%

Italian

0.7%

Greek

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Hmong

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Danish

0.5%

Bosnian

0.5%
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Installer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.2%

Universal Technical Institute

11.8%

The Academy

5.7%

Greenville Technical College

4.6%

Palomar College

4.0%

Liberty University

4.0%

Community College of the Air Force

3.8%

Fresno City College

3.7%

Pima Community College

3.6%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.6%

Ferris State University

3.6%

Kaplan University

3.4%

Glendale Community College

3.4%

Anne Arundel Community College

3.4%

Sierra College

3.3%

Hudson Valley Community College

3.3%

Utah Valley University

3.3%

A-Technical College

3.3%

Lincoln Technical Institute

3.1%

Sinclair Community College

3.1%
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Majors

Business

17.5%

Electrical Engineering

7.9%

Automotive Technology

6.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.7%

General Studies

6.7%

Criminal Justice

6.5%

Heating And Air Conditioning

6.5%

Computer Science

4.9%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

4.3%

Information Technology

4.1%

Computer Networking

3.9%

Precision Metal Working

3.7%

Computer Information Systems

3.3%

Drafting And Design

2.8%

Graphic Design

2.6%

Communication

2.5%

Education

2.5%

Accounting

2.5%

Fine Arts

2.1%

Management

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

45.8%

Associate

19.4%

Bachelors

19.4%

Certificate

9.0%

Diploma

3.4%

Masters

2.4%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Installer Videos

So you want to be an Automotive Glass Installer

Floor Installer, Career Video from drkit.org

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Real Installer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Acrylic Bathroom Remodeling Installer New England Bath, Inc. Dba: Bay State Re-Bath Pembroke, MA Apr 02, 2016 $92,830
Drywall Installer Derby Dry Wall, Inc. Houston, TX Jun 06, 2008 $78,263
Low Voltage Installer Quality Integrated Solutions, Inc. Tinley Park, IL Apr 15, 2016 $75,650
Drywall Installer Excel Contractors, Inc. DBA. Progression Drywall Corp Los Angeles, CA Dec 30, 2016 $66,872
Drywall Installer Excel Contractors, Inc. DBA. Progression Drywall Corp Los Angeles, CA Dec 09, 2016 $66,872
Media Installer Preco, Inc. Burbank, CA Sep 02, 2015 $60,000
Drywall Installer John E Richardson Inc. Stamford, CT Oct 17, 2008 $59,438
Installer U. S. Floor, Kitchen & Bath, Inc. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA Feb 11, 2016 $58,033 -
$58,035
Centrifugal Installer Alma Plantation, LLC LA Jul 23, 2014 $54,262
Installer Reliant Electrical Contracting, Inc. New York, NY Nov 03, 2009 $54,199
Drywall Installer Madeira Drywall, Inc. Mamaroneck, NY Sep 13, 2010 $53,490
Drywall Installer Lindade Construction Inc. Bridgeport, CT Jul 16, 2015 $53,414
Drywall Installer Complete Drywall Services, L.L.C. Sulphur, LA Oct 02, 2007 $52,175
Capet Installer Flooring Installation System Old Bridge, NJ Dec 18, 2009 $51,194
Drywall Installer Complete Drywall Services White, GA Aug 22, 2008 $37,566
Drywall Installer Capitol Drywall Inc. Fairfax, VA Aug 18, 2008 $37,336
Drywall Installer Capitol Drywall Inc. Fairfax, VA Aug 14, 2008 $37,336
Drywall Installer Absolute Contracting Services, Inc. Clinton, MD Apr 21, 2010 $36,877
Tent Installer Nantucket Tents, LLC MA Apr 01, 2015 $36,856
Drywall Installer. Paul Johnson Drywall Inc. Prescott, AZ Jun 02, 2016 $36,815
Drywall Installer Roadrunner Drywall Corp. Phoenix, AZ May 31, 2016 $36,815
Drywall Installer Roadrunner Drywall Corp. Phoenix, AZ Jul 11, 2016 $36,815
Display Installer AMB Enterprises, Inc. DBA Trac Patterson, CA Oct 08, 2010 $30,616
Tent and Prop Installer Tremont Lumber NY Mar 24, 2014 $30,616
Tent Installer American Tent and Table, Inc. MA May 01, 2016 $30,595
Drywall Installer Gerald Briggs Drywall Dallas, TX May 29, 2008 $30,555 -
$32,000
Event Installer Knight Enterprises, Inc. Lansdale, PA May 10, 2016 $30,408
Oven Installer Darberg Stores LLC Westwood, NJ Sep 02, 2009 $30,262
Oven Installer Darberg Stores LLC Westwood, NJ Jul 03, 2008 $30,262
Installer Aber Fence and Supply Co. Inc. Houston, TX Apr 22, 2016 $30,035

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Top Skills for An Installer

  1. Windows XP
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Duct
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Repackaged various applications per specs provided by client to Windows XP desktop environment.
  • Adhere to company safety procedures and policy, including wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and operation of company vehicles and equipment.
  • Service Specialists Installation of duct work Air conditioner and furnace installation
  • Managed customer-installation projects of varying levels of difficulty, including custom-curved handrails and iron banisters, providing quality customer service.
  • Mount compressor, condenser, and other components in specified locations on frames, using hand tools and acetylene welding equipment.

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Top 10 Best States for Installers

  1. Hawaii
  2. Missouri
  3. Washington
  4. Connecticut
  5. New Jersey
  6. Wyoming
  7. Minnesota
  8. Alaska
  9. Indiana
  10. Illinois
  • (29 jobs)
  • (237 jobs)
  • (286 jobs)
  • (133 jobs)
  • (263 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (300 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (319 jobs)
  • (246 jobs)

Top Installer Employers

Jobs From Top Installer Employers

Installer Videos

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