Drywall Installer, Ceiling Tile Installer, Taper Career Description


Drywall and ceiling tile installers hang wallboard and install ceiling tile inside buildings. Tapers prepare the wallboard for painting, using tape and other materials.

What they do

Many workers both install and tape wallboard.

Drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers typically do the following:

  • Measure, mark, and cut panels according to design plans by using tape measures, straightedges, utility knives, and power saws
  • Fasten panels and tiles by using glue, nails, or screws
  • Patch, trim, and smooth rough spots and edges
  • Apply tape and sealing compound to cover joints between wallboards
  • Add coats of sealing compound to create an even surface
  • Sand all joints and holes for a smooth, seamless finish


Work Environment

Drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers work indoors. As in many other construction trades, the work is physically demanding. Workers spend most of the day standing, bending, or reaching, and they must often lift and maneuver heavy wallboard.

How to become a Drywall Installers, Ceiling Tile Installers or Tapers

Most drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers learn their trade on the job. A formal educational credential is typically not required to enter the occupation.

There are no educational credential requirements for becoming a drywall installer, ceiling tile installer, or taper.

Most drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers learn their trade on the job by helping more experienced workers and gradually being given more duties. They start by carrying materials and cleaning up and then learn to use the tools of the trade. They also learn to measure, cut, and install or apply materials. They may start out working on less visible areas like closets. The on-the-job training received typically lasts up to 12 months.



The median annual wage for drywall and ceiling tile installers was $45,700 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,490, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $85,090.

Job Outlook

Employment of drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers is projected to show little or no change from 2019 to 2029.  Despite limited growth, about 11,800 openings for drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and tapers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Nearly all of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Similar Job Titles

Acoustical Carpenter, Ceiling Installer, Dry Wall Installer, Drywall Finisher, Drywall Hanger, Drywall Installer, Drywall Mechanic, Drywaller, Exterior Interior Specialist, Metal Framer, Metal Stud Framer


Related Occupations

Brickmason, Blockmason, Construction Carpenter, Rough Carpenter, Insulation Worker, Sheet Metal Worker


More Information

The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field.  Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas.  As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.

Magazines and Publications

Video Transcript

Beneath the surface of the rooms we inhabit are the materials that make up walls and ceilings. The exacting workers who construct these interior surfaces are drywall and ceiling tile installers, and tapers. Drywall installers attach wallboard to create walls in new construction, or to remodel existing spaces. They measure and cut wallboard with exacting precision, and hang the panels on wooden or metal framing. Tapers cover drywall seams with paper or fiberglass mesh tape so walls are ready for the final coating of plaster, paint, or wallpaper. They sand joints and holes as needed to create a seamless finish. Ceiling tile installers create the framework for suspended ceilings, cut ceiling tiles to size, and insert them in the frames. These workers spend hours each day standing, bending, climbing up and down ladders, and lifting materials. Skilled with both manual and power tools, they may use mechanical lifts for ceiling work, or stand on stilts or scaffolds to reach the work surface. They wear protective masks, goggles, and gloves as needed. Most drywall and ceiling tile installers and tapers work for drywall contractors, and learn their trade on the job. Knowledge of basic math is helpful, but there are no formal education requirements. In this field, when your back is up against the wall… the job is done.

Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org