California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Tile and Marble Setters in California

May also be called: Ceramic Tile Installers; Marble Finishers; Tile and Marble Installers; Tile Finishers; Tile Mechanics

What Would I Do?

Tile and Marble Setters install tile and marble on floors, walls, ceilings, countertops, patios, and roof decks. Tile Setters prepare the surface to be tiled, set the tile, and apply grout and sealer.

Tile and Marble Setters usually work indoors either in buildings that are under construction or those being remodeled. The work is strenuous and involves a great deal of prolonged standing, reaching, bending, kneeling, and heavy lifting. Most Tile and Marble Setters work about 40 hours a week.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Tile and Marble Setter may appeal to those who enjoy working independently while performing physical activities.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Earnings of Tile and Marble Setters vary greatly by geographic location and by union membership status. Apprentices and other trainees usually start out earning about half of what an experienced worker earns. Their wage rates increase as they advance through the training program.

The median wage in 2016 for Tile and Marble Setters in California is $45,555 annually, or $21.90 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Benefits may be provided by either company or trade union arrangements and generally include medical, dental, life, and vision insurance as well as vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans. Those who are self-employed are responsible for purchasing their own insurance and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

Employment of Tile Setters is slightly less sensitive to changes in construction activity than most other construction occupations because much of the work involves replacing materials in existing buildings. However, workers in these trades may still experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls.

Job growth for Tile and Marble Setters is impacted by population and business growth which results in more construction of shopping malls, hospitals, schools, restaurants, and other structures in which tile is used extensively. New materials have both changed the demand for Tile and Marble Setters and affected what they do on the job, such as installing granite composites. Tiles, including those made of glass, slate, mosaic, marble, and less traditional materials are becoming more popular in expensive homes.

How Do I Qualify?

Tile and Marble Setters usually pursue one of the following training paths: formal apprenticeship, vocational school, community college program, certificate program, or extensive on-the-job training. Employers usually prefer to hire high school graduates.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Construction job sites, housing developments, and commercial building projects are places to look. Those working within the industry may recommend an interested candidate for jobs. Newspaper classified ads and the Internet provide additional sources for job listings. Union members search for work by registering with their local hiring hall. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Learn More About Tile and Marble Setters