Tilers cover walls or floors with tiles to provide smooth hygienic surfaces.

This page has information on the role of a tiler in the NHS, including entry requirements and skills needed. 

Working life

It is important that NHS buildings are kept in good repair. This is so that NHS hospitals, clinics and headquarters buildings are safe and pleasant places for patients, staff and visitors.

As a tiler in the NHS, your work involves

  • advising on which tiles to use
  • measuring the area to be tiled
  • removing old tiles
  • preparing the surface to be tiled
  • cutting tiles
  • laying floor tiles and applying wall tiles
  • grouting tiles and applying sealant

You may work on existing buildings or on newly-constructed buildings. You may be replacing small areas of damaged tiling or working on large projects.

Who will I work with?

For small repairs, you may work alone. On larger projects you'll work in a team, typically alongside other estates team staff such as painters, plumbers and carpenters. You may have to travel between sites in an NHS vehicle or your own van.

When tilers are working in a building, there may be staff and patients there, but tilers do not have direct contact with patients.

Tilers may work for companies who provide services to the NHS.

Entry requirements

Tilers who work in the NHS have experience and may have a qualification such as an NVQ in tiling.

There are no set entry requirements to train as a tiler. Employers expect good numeracy and literacy and may ask for GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and maths. Employers may ask for experience in construction. An apprenticeship in estates maintenance can provide you with this.

Employers may ask for a driving licence.

Skills needed

Tilers need to be

  • interested in design and colour
  • methodical
  • able to work quickly and accurately
  • physically fit for lifting, standing, bending, etc
  • health and safety aware
  • able to work alone or in a team
  • practical skills
  • good manual (hand) skills
  • organisational skills
  • customer service skills

Training and development

When you start as a trainee tiler, your training will include

  • health and safety
  • how to use the tools and equipment
  • all aspects of tiling

You will be expected to study for qualifications such as NVQs. You may also be encouraged to become multi-skilled by training in, for example, painting and decorating or plumbing.

The Tile Association runs technical seminars so tilers can keep up to date with new techniques.

  • Estates staff working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. As an estates support worker, you would typically start on AfC band 2. As a qualified tiler you might start on AfC band 3. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions at bands 4 and above. 

    Tilers in the NHS are likely to work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. Some may work shifts including early starts, evenings and weekends.

    Terms and conditions will usually be different for tilers working outside of the NHS.

  • With experience, you could become a team leader, supervising the work of others. With further experience, you could become a manager, responsible for the maintenance and repairs service for a hospital, area or trust.

    There may be opportunities to move into other estates services roles.

    Some tilers become self-employed by setting up a business, either on their own or with one or more colleagues.

  • Most NHS trusts advertise their vacancies on NHS Jobs. Some advertise on their own websites. You can find a list of NHS organisations on NHS Choices.

    If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work.

    Find out more about NHS values.

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