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Details for Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers


Apply plasterboard or other wallboard to ceilings or interior walls of buildings. Apply or mount acoustical tiles or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce or reflect sound. Materials may be of decorative quality. Includes lathers who fasten wooden, metal, or rockboard lath to walls, ceilings or partitions of buildings to provide support base for plaster, fire-proofing, or acoustical material.


  • Apply cement to backs of tiles and press tiles into place, aligning them with layout marks or joints of previously laid tile.
  • Apply or mount acoustical tile or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce reflection of sound or to decorate rooms.
  • Assemble and install metal framing and decorative trim for windows, doorways, and vents.
  • Cut and screw together metal channels to make floor and ceiling frames, according to plans for the location of rooms and hallways.
  • Cut fixture and border tiles to size, using keyhole saws, and insert them into surrounding frameworks.
  • Cut metal or wood framing, and trim to size, using cutting tools.
  • Fasten metal or rockboard lath to the structural framework of walls, ceilings, and partitions of buildings, using nails, screws, staples, or wire-ties.
  • Fit and fasten wallboard or drywall into position on wood or metal frameworks, using glue, nails, or screws.
  • Hang dry lines (stretched string) to wall moldings in order to guide positioning of main runners.
  • Hang drywall panels on metal frameworks of walls and ceilings in offices, schools, and other large buildings, using lifts or hoists to adjust panel heights when necessary.
  • Inspect furrings, mechanical mountings, and masonry surface for plumbness and level, using spirit or water levels.
  • Install horizontal and vertical metal or wooden studs to frames so that wallboard can be attached to interior walls.
  • Measure and cut openings in panels or tiles for electrical outlets, windows, vents, and plumbing and other fixtures, using keyhole saws or other cutting tools.
  • Measure and mark surfaces to lay out work according to blueprints and drawings, using tape measures, straightedges or squares, and marking devices.
  • Mount tile, using adhesives, or by nailing, screwing, stapling, or wire-tying lath directly to structural frameworks.
  • Nail channels or wood furring strips to surfaces to provide mounting for tile.
  • Read blueprints and other specifications to determine methods of installation, work procedures, and material and tool requirements.
  • Scribe and cut edges of tile to fit walls where wall molding is not specified.
  • Seal joints between ceiling tiles and walls.
  • Trim rough edges from wallboard to maintain even joints, using knives.
  • Coordinate work with drywall finishers who cover the seams between drywall panels.
  • Install blanket insulation between studs and tack plastic moisture barriers over insulation.
  • Install metal lath where plaster applications will be exposed to weather or water, or for curved or irregular surfaces.
  • Remove existing plaster, drywall, or paneling, using crowbars and hammers.
  • Suspend angle iron grids and channel irons from ceilings, using wire.
  • Wash concrete surfaces before mounting tile to increase adhesive qualities of surfaces, using washing soda and zinc sulfate solution.


  • 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.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • 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.


Related Careers

  • Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters
  • Construction Carpenters
  • Helpers--Painters, Paperhangers, Plasterers, and Stucco Masons
  • Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers
  • Tapers
  • Tile and Marble Setters
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