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Floor finisher

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Summary of occupation

A floor finisher measures, cuts, installs and repairs soft and resilient floor coverings. There are around 665 floor finishers in Western Australia, most of whom work in the Perth metropolitan area. Tasks include:

  • measuring and consulting plans to estimate quantities of floor covering materials required

  • preparing surfaces for covering and removing baseboard trims
  • measuring, cutting and fixing underlay materials
  • laying, fitting and securing coverings, such as carpets, linoleum, parquetry blocks, cork tiles and other flooring materials
  • sanding, staining and applying finishing coatings to timber floors
  • may also install wall, ceiling, counter and bench coverings.
ANZSCO description: Measures, cuts, installs and repairs soft and resilient floor coverings. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Floor Coverer
Specialisations: Carpet Layer, Parquetry Layer
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Relevant knowledge, skills and attributes include:
• good athematics and problem solving
• the ability to determine the most appropriate equipment to            undertake the task
• good communication skills.

You'll need to enjoy dealing with people as it's a job that involves contact with the public, as well as builders, retailers and other tradespeople.

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Working conditions

Floor finishers generally work indoors in small teams. The majority of these tradespeople are employed in the construction industry. A number of positions exist in the retail trade; however, a large number are self-employed and work as sub-contractors. Typically, floor finishers work a 40-hour week with some overtime required to meet construction deadlines.
Conditions can be dusty and because the work requires a great deal of kneeling, twisting and lifting of heavy carpets and furniture, there is some risk of knee and back injury. Risks can be significantly reduced through the use of correct lifting techniques.

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Salary details

On average, floor finishers can earn $765 per week ($39 775 per year), depending on their level of experience and the type of organisation they work for.

​Many floor finishers are self-employed and/or work as part of a team as an individual sub-contractor. Earnings for sub-contractors or small business operators will depend on their level of skill and experience, the level of demand for their services, as well as the amount of work completed.

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Tools and technologies

Depending on the specific task or specialist area, floor finishers will use a variety of tools and technologies, such as sanders, abraders, staplers, hammers, knives, knee kickers, seaming cutters, seam irons, wall trimmers, safety glasses, knee pads and hammer tackers.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a floor finisher, you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. The floorcovering apprenticeship takes 36 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship. ​

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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