Drywall installers, as their name aptly describes, install drywall. This position is ideal for the individual who loves to work with his or her hands but would prefer to avoid working outdoors in the elements, especially in the Midwest winter. But while the work may be completed indoors, this is no desk job. A drywall installer’s work is physically demanding, requiring full days of standing, bending, reaching, lifting, and maneuvering.
To be a successful drywall installer, the following skills are helpful:
- Math Skills and Strategic Thinking: This profession requires accuracy in measuring and quick problem-solving. Drywall installers need to assess the amount of materials needed, cut each to size, and pivot when problems arise.
- Dexterity and Hand-Eye Coordination: Drywall installers rarely do one thing at a time. At any given moment, drywall installers might be holding a panel in place while hammering in nails to secure the panels. Skilled awareness and an expert touch serve drywall installers well.
- Balance and Mobility: Excellent footing and maneuverability through a range of positions prove beneficial in the daily life of drywall installers. Stilts are a regular part of the uniform and working from every upper corner to bottom edge are part of every day, so the stiff and clumsy often struggle with the average job’s required steps.
- Physical Strength & Stamina: Day-to-day tasks include heavy lifting, maneuvering, and setting in place, oftentimes overhead for ceiling work and for an extended length of time on large jobs. This is no position for the weak and is best for those with excellent endurance.
While there is no formal training required to become a Drywall Installer, the majority learn on the job, helping more senior team members who have learned the tricks of the trade complete challenging tasks and owning less visible areas like the closets. From simple cleaning of materials to important safety lessons that follow standardized practices established by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), drywall installers leave the guided training prepared for any number of projects. This training can last for any length of time, but most feel ready to take on jobs on their own after one year of on-the-job learning.
Of course, we highly encourage completing an apprenticeship, which offers unparalleled education. Apprenticeships add to on-the-job learning with thorough classroom education and proven structure. Visit our apprenticeship page to get started.
As of 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, once an apprentice becomes a full-fledged drywall installer, he or she can expect to earn about $21.72 per hour or about $45,180 per year. While job growth is only projected to follow a 2% increase through 2028, drywall is the most commonly used interior wall covering in buildings. So, as demand rises for new construction of residential and commercial buildings as well as the renovation of existing structures, job security is more or less guaranteed.