Tile Setter/Tile Layer

Starting Wage


Journey-Level Wage


Tile Finisher

Starting Wage


Journey-Level Wage


***The listed wages may vary by state and county.***

Rock-Solid Benefits

  • Retirement And Pension Funds

  • Wellness Program

  • Health Care

  • Vacation Fund

Career Requirements

  • Must Be 18 Years Old For Hire

  • High School Diploma or GED

  • Driver's License

Tile setters, also known as tile installers, lay tile in homes and buildings, including the floors in bathrooms and kitchens. Laying tile requires applying adhesive to sub flooring, walls and other surfaces, as well as cutting the tile to fit the designated area. Protective gear for eyes and knees may be necessary to prevent injuries from airborne particles and hours spent kneeling on the job. Tile setters should have customer service and time management skills as well as experience with computer-aided design, cost estimating and project management software.

Tile layers and finishers are skilled craftworkers in the masonry trades. Setters lay out and install various types of tile, including ceramic, marble and granite. Finishers supply and mix construction material, apply grout and finish and clean surface areas. They assist layers by prepping work areas with supplies, installation materials and tools. As they gain experience, they are given more complex tasks, such as cutting tile.


Enroll in a Tile apprenticeship program through BAC Local 1, here.

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The recommended prerequisites for high school students include construction courses, shop courses, and multiple math courses. Knowledge of geometry, algebra and calculus are all applied to the tile trades almost every day.

Tile setters and layers apply math to real-world problems and use fractions, read tape measures and calculate area at most job sites.

Completion of high school classes does not count for hours in the apprenticeship program, but the experience and classes taken are valuable in building students skill set.


A two-year diploma is not required to qualify for a tile apprenticeship.


Though some individuals learn their trade by working as helpers to experienced tile setters, a common path to start this career is a formal apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship programs are available through community and technical colleges and are sponsored by unions and contractor organizations.

Tile apprenticeships are paid career training that lasts approximately two-to-four years. Apprentices receive both on-the-job practical training and classroom instruction. The apprenticeship requires participants to complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 classroom-training hours each year.

Apprenticeship candidates can apply in March through the website. Candidates will be evaluated on job readiness skills, interviewed by a panel, and take math and reading comprehension aptitude tests.


The application process for tile apprenticeships begins in June, where potential candidates can enroll in a 6-week pre-apprenticeship program. This program is not a paid experience and participants can expect to purchase books for about $600. The program is geared toward recent high school graduates. Basic math, relationships, trade history, terminology, tools and union safety are covered.

Contacts for more information:
Barry Blazevic, Manager of Operations at 763-404-8345 or bblazevic@bactraining.org
Jayson Moore, Tile-Terrazzo Coordinator at 763-404-8345 or jmoore@bactraining.org

By the end of their training, tile setters are able to handle a wide variety of tiling jobs on their own. After completing an apprenticeship, a tile setter can assume the title of ‘journey worker’ and begin to work independently.

CCF Career Spotlight Tile Layer Jesse

No college debt. No regrets. Listen to Jesse Stonehouse’s construction career experience.


Customer service and time management skills are important for a tile apprentice’s success. Tile setters and layers also must be experienced with a variety of tools, including floats, levels, and power saws. They may need experience with computer-aided design (CAD) cost estimating, and project management software depending on the project.
Endurance and strength are needed to perform repetitive bending and lifting movements on the job.

High school students preparing to become a tile apprentice should seek out part-time jobs that require being physically fit such as landscaping. Knowledge of tools such as the experience one gets working at a local hardware store is beneficial to a future tile apprentice’s experience.


Military members applying for a tile apprenticeship should reach out to Jayson Moore, Tile-Terrazzo Coordinator for BAC 1. Veteran’s can also search job opportunities at www.helmetstohardhards.org.

Local Offices

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local Union 1 Minnesota/North Dakota

312 Central Ave., Rm. 328
Minneapolis, MN 55414

New Hope

MN/ND Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Journeyman and Apprentice Training Center

5420 International Parkway
New Hope, MN 55428

Drug Testing

An employer/contractor/apprenticeship instructor may require drug and alcohol testing of employees and applicants for employment, including random testing.

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