Drywall/Ceiling Tile Installer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers and Tapers Career Video



Applies plasterboard or other wallboard to ceilings or interior walls of buildings. Applies or mounts acoustical tiles or blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing materials to ceilings and walls of buildings to reduce or reflect sound. Materials may be of decorative quality.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Measures and marks surfaces to lay out work, according to blueprints or drawings, using tape measures, straightedges or squares, and marking devices.
  • Reads blueprints or other specifications to determine methods of installation, work procedures, or material or tool requirements.
  • Fits and fastens wallboard or drywall into position on wood or metal frameworks, using glue, nails, or screws.
  • Hangs dry lines to wall moldings to guide positioning of main runners.
  • Measures and cuts openings in panels or tiles for electrical outlets, windows, vents, plumbing, or other fixtures, using keyhole saws or other cutting tools.
  • Hangs drywall panels on metal frameworks of walls and ceilings in offices, schools, or other large buildings, using lifts or hoists to adjust panel heights when necessary.
  • Assembles or installs metal framing or decorative trim for windows, doorways, or vents.
  • Coordinates work with drywall finishers who cover the seams between drywall panels.
  • Trims rough edges from wallboard to maintain even joints, using knives.
  • Cuts and screws together metal channels to make floor or ceiling frames, according to plans for the location of rooms or hallways.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves keeping or regaining your balance more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupations requires climbing things such as ladders, scaffold, and poles more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Maintaining a body position that prevents falling when in an unstable position
  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Acoustical Ceiling Installer --
  • Drywall Finisher --
  • Drywall Taper --