Custom tile design is a difficult craft that can be rewarding financially and personally. This quick guide will explain the tile and marble setting professions.

What Tile and Marble Setters Do

Tile and marble setters apply hard tile and marble to walls, floors, and other surfaces. Industry operators install tile such as ceramic, interior stone, and mosaic. They can also install marble particles that are mixed with cement to create terrazzo.

Work Environment

Installing tile and marble is physically demanding, with workers spending much of their time reaching, bending, and kneeling. Those in commercial settings may work evenings and weekends. About a third of all tile and marble setters were self-employed in 2012.

How to Become a Tile and Marble Setter

Although some tile and marble setters learn their trade through an apprenticeship, most learn on the job, starting as a helper.


The median annual wage for tile and marble setters was $37,040 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of tile and marble setters is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Population growth and business growth, coupled with the continuing popularity of tile and marble, will require more workers. Overall job prospects should improve over the coming decade as construction activity continues to rebound.

Quick Facts: Tile and Marble Setters
2012 Median Pay $37,040 per year
$17.81 per hour
Entry-Level Education Less than high school
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Long-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2012 39,200
Job Outlook, 2012-22 15% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 5,900

*Table and information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Industry Products

Ceramic and concrete tile installations

Marble, granite and slate contracting

Terrazzo contracting

Other construction services

Non-construction activities (e.g. retailing)


Industry Activities

Installing ceramic tiles

Installing interior granite tiles (wall and floor)

Installing mosaic work

Installing mantel, marble and stone tiles

Setting and laying tiles (except resilient tiles)

Installing terrazzo

Refinishing set tiles