How to become a carpet fitter

A tradesman using a carpet tucking tool to fit a carpet under a skirting board.

Carpet fitting is a physically demanding job that requires a sharp eye for detail. However, a career in this field can also be pretty lucrative.

Like many trades, there is no one definitive way to start a career as a carpet fitter. This means, there are no career barriers and anyone can try their hand at this skilled profession. That being said, if this career appeals to you, there are a few tried and tested ways you may want to consider.

In this guide, we take a look at different carpet fitting career paths. This includes exploring how long it usually takes to become qualified, as well as what specialist insurance policies you may need to take out before trading.

How to become a carpet fitter in the UK

Unlike some trades in the UK, carpet fitting is not regulated. This means there are no formal career pathways that all individuals need to follow. With this in mind, there are a range of ways to get into carpet fitting. Below we take a look at two of the most popular ways of becoming a carpet and flooring specialist.

Are carpet fitter qualifications required?

No, in the UK there are no formal qualification requirements when it comes to carpet fitting. However, formal training is recommended. This is because the trade requires a range of specialist skills, and without proper training and on-the-job experience, you may find it difficult to find work. Gaining trade-specific qualifications can also come in handy later down the line if you have ambitions of starting your own carpet fitting business.

There are two popular gateways into this profession - college training courses and apprenticeships.

College/adult training courses

Training courses are a great way to gain the knowledge you need to succeed as a carpet fitter. These courses are available to anyone, and those still at school may even be able to pick up a college qualification in carpet fitting without having to pay.

For complete novices, courses include the Level 1 & 2 National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) in Floor Covering. For those with some experience already, a Level 3 Floor Covering NVQ may be more appropriate. These qualifications combine classroom-based teaching with hands-on practical learning. This means they have the potential to provide a great foundation for any aspiring carpet fitter.


Carpet fitting apprenticeships are another well-trodden career path into this industry. Apprenticeships incorporate part-time employment alongside an experienced tradesperson with trade-specific classroom learning. As a carpet fitting apprentice, you will spend the majority of time on-site with your mentor, learning the tricks of the trade first-hand. You will even be paid for your work, meaning you are ‘earning to learn’. The rest of your week (a minimum of 20% of your time) is spent in the classroom gaining an accompanying qualification.

The ability to earn a wage while learning this profession is a huge opportunity. Whether you’re a student earning for the first time or an adult changing careers, apprenticeship wages make becoming a skilled tradesperson a realistic possibility for many who may not otherwise have been able to afford the training process.

How long does it take to become a carpet fitter?

It generally takes between 2 and 3 years to become a fully-trained carpet fitter. For example, college courses usually take 2 years to complete. Similarly, the Level 2 flooring and carpeting apprenticeship takes up to 36 months. Of course, this can vary depending on which career path you opt for and the provider of your formal training.

Do carpet fitters need insurance?

Employers' liability insurance is the only type of insurance self-employed carpet fitters are legally required to have, if they employ staff. This law applies to self-employed carpet fitters who employ staff to help them on the job.

On the other hand, third party liability policies are optional for carpet fitters. However, this doesn’t mean they are not important. On the contrary, public liability insurance can be the difference between a self-employed carpet fitter staying afloat or going out of business in the event of a claim being made against them. As with any trade, accidents can happen, and it pays to be protected against them. For example, if a client falls over a tool you’ve left out and injures themselves, or you accidentally damage a client’s skirting board while fitting a carpet, public liability insurance will cover any legal costs/compensation you may be ordered to pay.

Similarly, tool and equipment cover will protect your business in the event any tools or equipment are lost, stolen or damaged. Any payout can help you purchase replacements and cover any loss of earnings that result from your lack of tools.

At Markel Direct, we offer all-in-one, specialist carpet fitter insurance packages. This allows tradespeople to combine several types of cover together into one tailor made policy.

Business insurance from £5 a month