How to become a tiler: Australian careers in building and construction

Like a cherry on top, tilers finish off a construction of a building by adding their skills and abilities to complete floors, walls or other decorative features. Tilers work meticulously with a range of materials, such as glass, slate, clay, ceramic and other supplies to complete a building’s design. Tilers must have an excellent eye for detail as well as understand flooring plans. You must also consider what surface your design is going on, prepare it appropriately and use a range of adhesives to ensure your work stays there a lifetime. Most tilers start out as apprenticeships, completing a vocational component as part of their learning.

  • Task Career in focus: What a tiler does

    As a tiler, you will first receive the plan for the flooring and walls, in which you will need to calculate how much material you will need, make suggestions for using different substances and adhesives and communicate any issues you may see with timing or other elements. Some work may be both decorative as well as practical so you will need to consider the patterns as well as the logical application of the product, such as ensuring watertightness and grouting.


    • Reading and understanding planning documentation
    • Calculating and sourcing the correct materials
    • Shaping and applying adhesive to tiles
    • Removal of old tiles and repair work
  • Skills Core qualities: Skills to succeed as a tiler

    If you love working with your hands and have a creative and analytical mind, working as a tiler may be perfect for you. To be a successful tiler, you should be able to quickly calculate spaces from plans and be confident in making suggestions or raising potential issues. Because the job is physically demanding, you will also need to possess a reasonable level of fitness.

    • Eye for detail
    • Artistic as well as mathematical way of thinking
    • Good customer service skills
    • Reasonable level of fitness
    • Well developed communication skills
  • Specialisations The field: Specialisations within tiling

    There are a few ways you can progress your tiling career, should you wish to specialise in a particular type of material. In order to gain work in a specialised area, you will most likely need to complete further study.

    Tiling with tessellated tiles

    If repair and conservation work interest you, there are those that specially focus on working with tessellated tiles, which were typically used in Australia when building homes in the Federation and Victorian era. This is a highly focused area of work and you will need an in-depth knowledge on past techniques used at this historical time. You may work with government or private homeowners, restoring parts of homes that have significant value to our country’s heritage.


    Stonemasons get to use their creativity and analytical mind to craft and cut different types of stones working in a lot of different areas like construction, sculpture, ornamental or heritage and restoration work.

    Self Employed Tilers

    Once you have gained good experience and a professional reputation, you can branch out on your own as a contracted or freelance worker. Many tilers decide to start their business after first gaining a good contact base. You will need to have some administrative skills, such as bookkeeping, as well as the ability to effectively bid for projects.
  • Pathways The right track: Find study options for becoming a tiler

    No matter which state or territory you work, anyone who works on a construction site must hold a Construction Induction Card, which means you know how to conduct yourself safely around a building site. There are also additional study courses to help bolster your knowledge.

    Starting Out

    Take the first step in your tiling career and look for courses that help you gain trade experience

    Building Skills

    Work towards becoming a tiling professional with targeted study options

    Developing Your Resume

    Demonstrate your skills and understanding of the tiling trade by completing a course of study

    Industry Recognition

    You will first need your Construction Induction Card to work on a building site. Check out our resource centre for more info on other associations you can reach out to for your state or territory.

    Entering the Workforce

    To get ahead of the game, you need a good resume and cover letter that is tailored to your strengths. Check out our example resumes and cover letters to get you started.

    Job Prospects in Tiling: Working life as a tiler

    Australia is experiencing a building boom and work in wall and floor tiling is expected to increase significantly in the next five years. Now is the time to start your career as a tiler.

Tiling Industry Resources:

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