Drywallers, also called drywall installers, work on restoration projects and home construction. They measure the spaces in which the building material is to be installed, cut it to fit these spaces, and attach the drywall to the wall. Some drywall installers learn informally through on-the-job training, while others join formal apprenticeships that might take 3-4 years to complete. Although no formal education is needed for this occupation, knowledge of basic math is necessary.
As per the U.S. BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), drywall installers earned a median annual salary of $47,360 as of May 2019. The average yearly wage for drywall and ceiling tile installers is $45,700, while the construction taper salary is about $59,070.
Generally, drywallers in the Northeast, West Coast, and Great Lakes states received the highest average earnings in the country. According to the BLS, those working in Hawaii earned the highest average annual wages of those in any state, at $75,310. Those in Washington noted the second-highest salaries: $64,150 yearly. California, Minnesota, and Oregon trailed closely behind on the BLS’s list of highest-paying states for drywaller work. The lowest paying states for this employment were in the South and Southeast.
Drywallers are in carpenters’ unions, and carpenters’ earnings vary in all regions of the U.S., depending on whether or not they hold union status. As per the sixth edition of the Construction Chart Book from the CCRT (Center for Construction Research and Training), carpenters’ salaries vary by region as follows:
Most drywall finishers were employed by building finishing contractors and attained an average of $50,710 yearly. Those hired by nonresidential building construction earned $56,430. Drywallers hired in residential building construction achieved an average of $43,700, less than those hired in nonresidential construction. Drywallers functioning as foundation, building, and structure exterior contractors earned an average annual wage of $51,570.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects below-average job growth for these experts in the coming decade, estimating a 2% increase in roles for drywallers from 2018-2028. Those with experience in the construction industry will have excellent job opportunities.
An entry-level drywall finisher with less than one year of experience can anticipate earning an average total compensation of $15.42. An early drywall career with one or four years of experience earns an average wage of $17.47. A mid-career drywaller with five to nine years of experience makes a total average wage of $21.54 based on one hundred and fifty salaries. An experienced drywaller with ten to nineteen years of experience earns an average salary of $23.01. Finally, in their late twenty-year or higher career, employees earn an average salary of $25.
Drywall installers work mainly for construction firms; some even run their drywall service as businesses to apply finish to the exterior or interior walls, ceilings, building partitions, etc. Candidates must know wall texture, taping, and sheetrock finishing and be able to utilize essential hand tools, and employers prefer those with prior construction experience. Relevant artistic talents may also help produce decorative surfaces.
Many drywall companies need their finishers to have a high school diploma. However, some will consider applicants with only work experience, and some prefer those who have followed a trade school and worked as an intern. They must pay close attention to detail, be physically fit, and have manual dexterity. In addition, they must be comfortable working in tight spaces and able to balance, climb, bend, crawl, crouch, or stand for long periods.
Drywall installers may require special protective gear, and employers frequently need them to wear work uniforms and specific shoes. In addition, they must follow all safety guidelines established by their companies and rules and regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Drywall finishers must be able to work in a team setting, and some may be needed to attend training classes and workshops or train and coach new workers.