Is becoming a drywall installer right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do drywall installers do?
Career Satisfaction
Are drywall installers happy with their careers?
What are drywall installers like?

Still unsure if becoming a drywall installer is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a drywall installer or another similar career!

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How to become a Drywall Installer

To become a drywall installer, follow these detailed steps:

  • Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent: A high school diploma or GED is typically required for entry into a drywall installer training program or apprenticeship. While in high school, consider taking courses in construction, carpentry, or related fields to develop a foundation of knowledge. Additionally, gaining practical experience through part-time jobs or internships in construction or related trades can be beneficial.
  • Complete a Drywall Installer Training Program: Enroll in a vocational school, community college, or trade school that offers a drywall installation or construction program. These programs provide classroom instruction and hands-on training in areas such as blueprint reading, safety protocols, material handling, installation techniques, and finishing methods.
  • Join a Drywall Installer Apprenticeship Program: Consider entering a drywall installer apprenticeship program, which combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction. Apprenticeships allow you to earn a wage while gaining practical experience under the guidance of experienced professionals. You can find apprenticeship opportunities through trade associations, labor unions, or contractor organizations.
  • Obtain OSHA Certification: Consider obtaining certification from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA offers safety training programs specific to the construction industry, including courses on hazard recognition, fall protection, and general construction safety.
  • Seek Employment: Once you have completed your training and acquired the necessary skills, start seeking employment as a drywall installer. Look for job openings with construction companies, drywall contractors, or subcontractors in your area. Networking within the industry and reaching out to local trade associations or labor unions can also help in finding job opportunities.
  • Gain Experience and Advance: As you gain experience and proficiency in drywall installation, you can pursue opportunities for career advancement. This may include becoming a lead installer, supervisor, or starting your own drywall contracting business.

While there are no specific national certifications exclusively for drywall installers, there are several certifications and credentials that can enhance your skills and marketability as a construction professional. Here are a few certifications that can be valuable for drywall installers:

  • National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Certification: NCCER offers a range of certifications in the construction industry, including credentials related to drywall installation. These certifications validate your knowledge and skills in areas such as safety, tools and equipment, material handling, and installation techniques.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Certification: OSHA provides various training courses related to construction safety. Obtaining OSHA certification, particularly the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety Training or OSHA 30-Hour Construction Safety Training, demonstrates your commitment to workplace safety and familiarizes you with safety regulations specific to the construction industry.
  • Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI) Certification: The AWCI offers a voluntary certification program known as the Certified EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) Mechanic. While focused on EIFS installation, this certification demonstrates your expertise in working with exterior wall systems, which can be relevant for drywall installers involved in exterior applications.
  • Manufacturer-Specific Certifications: Some drywall product manufacturers offer their own certifications to installers who are experienced and knowledgeable in using their specific products. These certifications can showcase your proficiency in installing and finishing their materials, which can be advantageous when working with contractors or clients who have specific product preferences.
  • Local or State Licensing: Depending on your location, there may be local or state licensing requirements for drywall contractors or subcontractors. These licenses often include demonstrating knowledge of construction codes, regulations, and safety standards. While not specific to drywall installation, these licenses may be necessary to legally operate as a drywall installer.