Tilers apply the artistic and functional coverings of interior and exterior walls and floors, according to design specifications.

A tiler examines the design plans, measures and marks the surfaces to be tiled and does the layout of the work. Lathing is fixed to the wall and then a plaster base spread over with a trowel and the plaster levelled to a specified thickness.

The tiles, once they have been cut and shaped with tile-cutters and biters, are positioned and tapped with a trowel handle to affix them to the plaster or adhesive base. The gaps between the tiles are filled with cement and the tiles then cleaned.

A tiler may also measure metal laths and cut them with tin snips to size for walls and ceilings. These are tacked to surfaces with a staple-gun or hammer.

Personal Requirements

  • at least 16 years old
  • accurate, neat and orderly worker
  • manual dexterity
  • able to work alone without supervision
  • arithmetical and three-dimensional abilities
  • good health and physical stamina
  • good eyesight and colour perception


  • trade, building or general contractors
  • government concerns
  • businesses that do their own construction and alterations
  • self-employment, with enough experience, can practise this trade on a private basis or start own business

Getting Started

  • try to obtain part-time or vacation work as a helper to a tiler
  • make an appointment to speak to a tiler about this type of career
  • obtain information on learnership programmes in your area


Boston City Campus and Business College does not offer a programme that leads directly to this occupation. Please take a look at the related occupations below to see whether any of these appeal to you. Alternately, please send an email to taryn@boston.co.za and a Student Advisor will call you back.

Related Occupations

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