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What Is the Average Wage for a Tile Setter?

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Tile setters are skilled workers who install ceramic, wood and marble tiles and marble slabs. Most work in the building finishing industry and learn through on-the-job apprenticeship training. To do their jobs properly, tile setters need to be physically fit and agile because the job requires a lot of stooping and kneeling. As of 2013, the average annual salary of tile and marble setters exceeded $40,000 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Typical Pay and Range

Tile setters earned average pay of $20.68 an hour or $43,010 a year in 2013, according to the BLS. Their median hourly pay was $18.06, for a full-time annual salary of $37,570. The top-earning 10 percent took home $73,510 per year or more, while the lowest-earning 10 percent received $22,510 annually or less. Most tile setters have full-time jobs, and some are self-employed. Jobs in commercial buildings sometimes offer higher pay to work after normal business hours.

Finishing Contractors vs. Other Industries

Out of more than 30,000 tile setters nationwide in 2013, 22,710 worked for finishing contractors, where they averaged $42,340 per year, according to the BLS. This was the top pay reported among major industries. The second-place industry for jobs was nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing, which employed 1,690 tile setters and paid an average of $36,700 per year. The 50 tile setters working for local government earned the highest average wages of any industry at $60,910 per year.

State Statistics for Pay and Employment

California had 6,300 jobs for tile setters in 2013, the most of any state, and reported average annual wages of $42,320 to the BLS. Utah had the highest concentration of tile setting positions, or 0.61 per thousand jobs, and reported average pay of $38,210 per year. Tile setters in Massachusetts had the highest pay of any state by a large margin, reporting average annual wages of $78,390. New York ranked second among the states at an average of $64,480 per year.

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