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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

  • $40,000

    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
Technician Team Leader Manager
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Assistant Manager
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Superintendent
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Technician Electrician
Lead Electrician
6 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Superintendent
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Electrician Maintenance Supervisor
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Driver Specialist Consultant
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Driver Foreman Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Electrician Supervisor Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Field Service Technician Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Field Service Technician Owner/Operator
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Team Leader Warehouse Manager
Warehouse Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Painter Carpenter Carpenter Foreman
Lead Carpenter
5 Yearsyrs
Hvac Technician Maintenance Supervisor Facilities Manager
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Welder Shop Foreman Service Manager
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Painter Carpenter Construction Foreman
Construction Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Technician
Lead Installer
5 Yearsyrs
Hvac Technician Supervisor Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sheet Metal Mechanic Supervisor Field Supervisor
Project And Field Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Installer Demographics

Gender

Male

86.7%

Unknown

8.6%

Female

4.7%
Ethnicity

White

62.7%

Hispanic or Latino

17.0%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

5.7%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

75.7%

Carrier

3.7%

French

3.5%

Portuguese

2.6%

German

2.3%

Russian

2.1%

Polish

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Japanese

1.0%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Dakota

0.7%

Swedish

0.6%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Thai

0.6%

Italian

0.6%

Hindi

0.4%

Hmong

0.4%

Greek

0.4%

Chinese

0.4%

Korean

0.3%
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Installer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.2%

Universal Technical Institute

12.3%

The Academy

10.7%

A-Technical College

4.6%

Lincoln Technical Institute

4.5%

Salt Lake Community College

4.0%

Houston Community College

3.9%

Kaplan University

3.8%

Full Sail University

3.6%

Ashford University

3.6%

Pima Community College

3.5%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.2%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

3.0%

Glendale Community College

3.0%

Sinclair Community College

2.9%

Liberty University

2.9%

Miami Dade College

2.9%

Northern Virginia Community College

2.9%

Strayer University

2.8%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

2.8%
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Majors

Business

16.8%

Heating And Air Conditioning

7.7%

Electrical Engineering

7.5%

General Studies

7.3%

Automotive Technology

7.1%

Criminal Justice

6.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.4%

Computer Science

4.9%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

4.8%

Precision Metal Working

3.8%

Computer Networking

3.4%

Information Technology

3.4%

Computer Information Systems

2.8%

Education

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.7%

Drafting And Design

2.6%

Accounting

2.5%

Communication

2.4%

Psychology

2.1%

Management

2.1%
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Degrees

Other

45.9%

Associate

19.3%

Bachelors

19.0%

Certificate

8.9%

Diploma

4.2%

Masters

2.1%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$40,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$24,000
Min 10%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Sacramento, CA
Highest Paying State
Oregon
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does an Installer make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Installer in the United States is $40,481 per year or $19 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $24,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $66,000.

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 Roadrunner Drywall Corp. Phoenix, AZ Jul 11, 2016 $36,815
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
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. Air Compressors
  2. Door Installation
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Examined heating and refrigeration systems, air-conditioning and air compressors for signs of defects or malfunction.
  • Performed quality garage door installation and completed other work orders.
  • Managed customer-installation projects of varying levels of difficulty, including custom-curved handrails and iron banisters, providing quality customer service.
  • Follow safety procedures in accordance with approved training.
  • Install and build cabinets, Customer service, Travel to various job sites, Also install tile, counter top etc.

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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

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