California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers in California

May also be called: Acoustical Carpenters; Ceiling Installers; Drywall Finishers; Drywall Hangers; Metal Framers

Specialties within this occupation include: Lathers

What Would I Do?

Drywall Installers hang drywall panels on metal framework in offices, schools, and other large buildings. They check plans for the location of rooms and hallways; then, cut and screw together metal channels to make floor and ceiling frames. The Installers then screw the drywall panels to the framework.

Ceiling Tile Installers, or acoustical carpenters, mount acoustical tiles, blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce sound reflection or decorate rooms.

Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers spend most of the day on their feet, either standing, bending, stretching, or kneeling. Installers lift and maneuver heavy, cumbersome drywall panels. They generally work a 40-hour week, but hours may fluctuate depending on the workload.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installer will appeal to those who enjoy working on projects that require practical, hands-on problems and solutions. Many of these occupations do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

Wages for Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers in California differ widely depending on job duties, work experience, type of industry, and location of the work. Workers in large cities usually earn higher wages than those who work in smaller towns and rural areas.

The median wage in 2020 for Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers in California is $56,936 annually, or $27.37 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2020Low
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(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Benefit packages vary widely from company to company. Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers generally receive health insurance, vacation, and holidays. The type of benefit package is determined by company policy or union contract. Self-employed Drywall Installers need to purchase their own benefits.

What is the Job Outlook?

Employment of Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers is expected to grow as new residential and commercial building increases. Most installation work is done indoors; therefore, these workers lose less work time due to severe winter weather conditions than other construction workers.

How Do I Qualify?

Most employers prefer to hire applicants with a high school diploma. Some employers are willing to train entry-level helpers on the job. However, completion of a formal apprenticeship, trade, or vocational training program is the usual entry method for this occupation. Also, applicants must be physically able to perform all phases of the work.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Jobs may also be found through registration with temporary employment agencies and through classified advertisements in newspapers, trade publications, and Internet job listings. Union members generally 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 Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers