Flooring installers lay, replace and repair floor coverings such as carpet, linoleum, vinyl and timber.
New flooring installers usually earn
$21-$22 per hour
Experienced flooring installers usually earn
$25-$35 per hour
Source: Floor NZ, 2019.
Pay for flooring installers varies depending on experience.
Flooring installers may receive an hourly rate, but are often paid a contract rate per metre of flooring installed.
- Apprentice floor covering installers usually start on the training rate or minimum wage, but earn more as they gain experience and unit standards.
- Newly qualified flooring installers usually earn between minimum wage and $22 an hour.
- Experienced flooring installers usually earn between $25 and $35 an hour.
Source: Floor NZ, 2019.
- PAYE.net.nz website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Flooring installers may do some or all of the following:
- check customers' requirements
- prepare quotes for jobs
- measure and prepare areas to be covered
- measure, cut, apply and secure floor coverings
- mix and apply resin flooring
- repair damaged floor coverings
- install and/or sand timber floors.
Skills and knowledge
Flooring installers need to have knowledge of:
- how to prepare floors for installation
- different types of flooring materials and how to cut and fit or apply them
- technical skills such as knowing how to measure a floor's moisture content
- skill in using specialised equipment such as floor sanders
- health and safety equipment and processes.
Flooring installers who are self-employed also need business skills.
- usually work regular business hours, but may have to work long or irregular hours
- work in homes and other buildings that are being refurbished or built
- work in conditions that may be hazardous, dusty or contain adhesive fumes
- travel locally and occasionally between towns.
What's the job really like?
Flooring installer video
Find out about a career in flooring (Video courtesy of BCITO)
There are two different career paths that you can choose from: flooring installation, and floor planning and design.
Work as a flooring installer is mostly indoor based and can involve new building projects, renovations, or when customers just want a room rejuvenated. They install and replace flooring products from carpet, laminates, wood and veneer finishes.
At the moment there's huge demand for qualified flooring installers, and there are companies out there looking to take people on to train.
There's also opportunities within a retail environment. Floor planning and design specialists help suggest flooring options and then suggest, estimate and order flooring.
Careers in the industry can progress to managing teams, retail management, and owning your own business, and it's a great qualification to travel with.
If you've already been working in the trade for some time, and or you've been trained and worked professionally overseas BCITO offers excellent opportunities to recognise your skills and get qualified.
A good attitude will take you a long way in this industry, and no day is ever the same. Check if you're eligible. Getting qualified could be fees free.
There are no specific entry requirements to become a flooring installer.
To become a qualified flooring installer you need to complete an apprenticeship and gain one of these qualifications:
- National Certificate in Flooring (Level 4) – for installing floor coverings
- National Certificate in Resin Flooring Application (Level 4) – for installing resin flooring
- National Certificate in Flooring Planning & Design (Level 4) – for working in retail flooring sales.
The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) oversees flooring installation apprenticeships.
- Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) - information on flooring apprenticeships
No specific secondary education is required for this job, but construction and mechanical technologies, maths and physical education to at least NCEA Level 1 are useful.
Year 11 and 12 learners can find out more about the construction industry, and gain relevant skills, by doing a National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades (Level 1 and 2) through the BConstructive programme.
For Year 11 to 13 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain industry experience.
These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.
Flooring installers need to be:
- careful and accurate, with an eye for detail
- able to follow instructions
- able to work well under pressure
- able to work well with others
- good at basic maths
Useful experience for flooring installers includes:
- work as a flooring salesperson
- work as a storeperson in a flooring warehouse
- work in a carpet factory
- building work.
Experience in joinery or woodworking is useful for flooring installers who work with timber floors.
Flooring installers need to:
- be reasonably fit
- have strong arms and a strong back
- be able to work in dusty conditions and not suffer from respiratory diseases.
Find out more about training
- Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO)
- 0800 422 486 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.bcito.org.nz
- (03) 352 1409 - email@example.com - www.floornz.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Growth in building work means good opportunities for flooring installers
Chances of getting a job as a flooring installer are good due to:
- a regional shortage of flooring installers in Auckland, Queenstown and Waikato
- vacancies occurring when experienced flooring installers progress into sales or business ownership
- moderate growth in construction predicted to extend until at least the end of 2023, meaning more flooring installation work
- the Government’s KiwiBuild programme, involving the building of quality affordable homes over the next decade
- building work needed to upgrade leaky homes and earthquake-prone building.
The Christchurch post-earthquake rebuild is ongoing but most of the remaining work is in the non-residential (commercial) sector.
Shortage of flooring installers
Floor finisher (flooring installer) appears on Immigration New Zealand's construction and infrastructure skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled flooring installers from overseas to work in New Zealand.
However, like many building jobs, this role can be affected by economic conditions. A downturn in the economy can lower demand for flooring installers.
Decreasing number of flooring installer apprentices but strong demand
There has been a decreasing supply of new flooring installers over the last few years. There are not enough qualified flooring installers to meet demand.
You can increase your chances of getting a flooring installer apprenticeship if you have:
- a good attitude to work, good time management skills, and are willing to learn
- completed a Gateway or pre-trade programme
- experience in flooring installation
- a tertiary qualification but want to retrain in flooring installation.
Most flooring installers run their own business
Most flooring installers are self-employed contractors. Other flooring installers work for small businesses that employ only a few staff.
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'National Construction Pipeline Report 2018', July 2019, (www.branz.co.nz).
- Pearcey, K, chief executive officer, Floor NZ, careers.govt.nz interview, July 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Flooring installers may progress to set up their own flooring business, or become flooring sales representatives.
Flooring installers may specialise in:
- installing certain products such as vinyl, carpet or timber overlay
- applying resin
- processes such as preparing floors or sanding.
Last updated 1 April 2022