Career Advice on How to Become a Carpet Installer

General Career Information

Right off the bat, something needs to be cleared up and fast. They don’t just let anyone install carpet. The ancient tradition of installing carpet and hanging drapes is one whose secrets are carefully guarded and with good reason. If anyone was just allowed to come in off the street and start installing carpet, well, how long would society last? 
Okay, that really isn’t the case; as you probably figured, we are being sarcastic, and pretty much anyone can install carpet. In fact, before the advent of PETA, there was a movement to actually use monkeys and lemurs to install carpets. But primates, hammers and demanding foremen just don’t mix, just ask the foremen. 
All right, that isn’t true either, and installing carpet isn’t quite that easy either. Now, while installing carpet might not be rocket science, it definitely has a few things going for it that might make it worthy of putting on your career planning and job search list when you are evaluating careers if you are not planning to get a college education.

Career Facts:

One key factor that makes carpet installing a potentially attractive career is that about forty-percent of carpet installers are actually self-employed. This is a rather high number, and it could make the career of carpet installer an attractive one for those looking to be self-employed. As a carpet installer you can look forward to spending a lot (and we do mean a lot) of time on your knees installing carpet. Many in the profession do actually develop knee problems, and the work can be very demanding.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Poor:

However, the career outlook for carpet installers isn’t so great. In 2006, there were 73,000 people working in the industry, and that number is expected to contract by roughly 1,000 by 2016.
Job Outlook is Poor    

A Day in The Life:

Most work takes place inside of homes and offices, so at least carpet installers don’t have to worry about the elements and being outdoors. 
However, the trade off is a bit harsh, in that carpet installing is a very physically demanding job. After all, the furniture you might find on a job site doesn’t move itself, nor does the carpet. 
One of the first things carpet installers discover is that carpet is really, really heavy. Carpet is indeed much heavier than the “average Joe” suspects. Imagine a dead gorilla rolled up in a fuzzy burrito, and you’re beginning to get the idea of what carrying a roll of carpet around is like. 
Oh and did we mention that some people want carpet on the eight floor of an apartment complex that does not have a large or working elevator and could be ninety-eight degrees? Yeah, carpet installing is a hoot! The day often ends with an ice packet and some painkillers. Live the dream!

Average Salary:

For all of this manual labor, expect to earn between $16 and $17 per hour. The top ten percent can earn up to $32 per hour, which is over $60,000 a year. That of course, is not bad pay for a career that does not require a college education. But be warned the bottom ten-percent earn less than $10 an hour, which considering the physical demands of the job is a bit depressing.

$20k - $60k


Career Training and Qualifications:

Most carpet installers get their training on the job working for contractors. Often apprentices can expect to do a lot of the “heavy lifting” involved in the career in order to learn the “ropes.” Those interested in this exciting field with endless opportunities to carry carpet should expect to, well, carry lots and lots of heavy carpet from Point A to Point B. It’s really not as glamorous as it sounds.
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