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Carpet Fitter-Floor Layer

Source of Information: Next Step / DirectGov / Careers Advice Service

Carpet Fitter-Floor Layer

The Work

As a carpet fitter or floor layer, your work could range from fitting carpeting and floor tiles in shops and offices, to laying laminate floorboards in people’s homes.

Each job would depend on the size of the area and the type of floor covering required. Your duties could include:

  • measuring up floor space and estimating the amount of material needed
  • drawing up plans to make the best use of materials
  • clearing the work area of furniture and taking off doors
  • removing old flooring
  • cleaning, levelling and sealing the bare floor with compound if required
  • taping, heat-sealing, gluing or nailing floor coverings into place
  • stretching carpet over spiked gripper rods
  • spraying or waxing the floor covering to give it a protective coating
  • replacing furniture and re-hanging doors.

You would normally work as part of a small team of two to three people.

Hours and Environment

Your working week would be around 40 hours. You may have to work evenings and weekends to limit the disruption to a client's business. You could be working at several different locations every week.

The job is physically demanding, and you would spend much of your time kneeling down, lifting and carrying heavy flooring materials and moving furniture.

You may come into contact with chemical adhesives and sprays, which must be handled safely.

Skills and Interests


  • excellent practical skills
  • good maths skills to measure floor areas and work out costs
  • good fitness levels
  • a polite and pleasant manner for dealing with customers
  • the ability to work quickly and accurately
  • an awareness of health and safety.

Entry

Most carpet fitters start out by joining a company and training on the job. You may not need any qualifications, but employers will expect you to show evidence of your maths skills and practical ability.

You may be able to get into this career by completing an Apprenticeship. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. For more information on Apprenticeships, visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk.

Alternatively, you could take a college course, such as the BTEC First Certificate in Construction, which would give you some of the skills needed. Contact local colleges for course availability and entry requirements.

You may need a driving licence to travel between jobs.

See the ConstructionSkills website for more details about careers in carpet fitting and floor laying. The Know Your Place campaign aims to promote the construction industry as a career choice for women.

Training

When you start work you would normally receive training from an experienced fitter. You could also complete the NVQ in Floorcovering at levels 1 to 3.

The NVQ has options for:

  • Textiles – tufted and woven carpeting, carpet tiles and sheeting
  • Impervious coverings – tiles and sheeting
  • Wood – block flooring and timber strip flooring.

Your employer may also send you on short courses offered by the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA) and the UK Flooring Academy (UKFA). See the FITA and UKFA websites for more details.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
Many building contractors now insist that you have a CSCS card to work on their sites. The card is proof of your skills and competence. To get your card you must:

  • pass a health and safety assessment
  • have an NVQ or equivalent qualification.

If you are working without qualifications, you may be able to use On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) or Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA) to get your NVQ and card. Contact CSCS or SkillsDirect for further details.

Opportunities

You could find work with specialist flooring firms, carpet showrooms and carpet/flooring manufacturers.

With experience and a Level 3 NVQ, you could be promoted to supervisory, product sales or contract management roles. You could also set up your own carpet fitting business.

You may find the following useful for job vacancies and general reading: (links open in new window)

Contract Flooring Association (directory of flooring companies)
Carpetfitters.biz (job vacancies and lists of companies in the flooring businesses section)
Directgov (Jobseekers page)

We do not accept responsibility for the content of external sites.

Annual Income


  • Starting salaries can be between £12,000 and £16,500 a year.
  • With experience this can rise to around £20,000 to £25,000.
  • Specialist floor layers may earn up to £30,000.

Some companies will offer a vehicle as part of the salary package.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Further information

If you would like to discuss your career options with a learning advisor at the Careers Advice Service advice line, call 0800 100 900 or use our online enquiry form.
 
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