Carpet fitter or floor layer

Construction and building

Career outlook for carpet fitter or floor layer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would go into people’s homes and to commercial buildings to lay and fix the floors. Depending on your job, you’d prepare the floors and measure, cut and fix carpets, vinyl tiles and wooden floors.

Carpet fitters install the floor coverings. Floor layers prepare or fit the floor base and sometimes install the coverings.

You would go to people’s homes, speak with them about what kind of floor they’d like to have. You’d advise them about the best options and how much it will cost.

You’d measure the space and estimate the quantity of materials you’ll need for the project, whether it’s carpet, vinyl tiles or sheet lino, laminate flooring or solid timber.

You would:

  • Move the furniture out of the room and take off doors
  • Remove the old flooring
  • Clean, level and seal the bare floor, using compound if required

Depending on what type of floor you are fitting you would:

  • Cut it to the required size and shape
  • Glue or nail floor coverings into place
  • Stretch carpet over spiked gripper rods and tape or heat-seal it
  • Spray or wax the floor covering to give it a protective coating

Once you’d finished you’d move the furniture back into the room. You might also need to cut a strip off the doors so they fit over the new floor before you re-hang them.

If you do commercial work, you’d normally fit larger floor areas. You’d work in places like shops, offices, hotels, pubs, schools and hospitals. You’d use a range of materials including specialist materials like welded sheet or safety flooring.

You’d co-ordinate your work with the manager or the main contractor for the project and you would need to work alongside other people on the site.

You would:

  • Remove old flooring
  • Clean, level and prepare the subfloor, using smoothing compounds if required
  • Glue or nail floor coverings into place
  • Lay large areas of carpet, making sure it is fully fixed
  • Use fast-track flooring systems such as resin or concrete, to quickly install floors

You might use different products together at the same location to create walkways and features on the floor.

Working conditions


You would normally work between 35 and 40 hours a week. As a commercial fitter. you may have to work evenings and weekends to limit the disruption to a client's business.


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.


You could be working at several different locations every week.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Verbal communication
  • Working with numbers
  • Observation
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Implementing ideas
  • Managing resources
  • Time management

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Entry is through a Modern Apprenticeship leading to relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Floorcovering Occupations  (SVQ Level 2/3) or industry accreditation from the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA).

There are no formal qualifications required to enter this apprenticeship but some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5. 

You usually need to pass an aptitude test to enter this role.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science subjects
  • Practical technologies subjects

You will also need

You must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to work and train on construction sites. You will also need to pass a health and safety test and have an Scottish Vocational Certificate.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show an understanding of the industry and practical ability such as Skills for Work Construction (SCQF level 4/5).

A driving licence can be useful.