Fence installers literally install fences, usually around the perimeter of a property. This may include administrative functions such as meeting with the home or business owner, taking measurements, estimating costs and presenting pricing in addition to performing the actual manual labor of installing the fencing. A fence installer will often work with power and hand tools, and may need to be proficient with computer estimating software and/or a calculator.
Fencing comes in a wide variety of materials. In most cases, installers are able to work with all of the most common types, including chain link, picket, split rail and privacy. In some cases, a fence installer will specialize in one particular type of fence. This is especially true for specialty fencing, such as electrified, secure or barbed-wire fences. These specialty projects may also require that the installer be trained and certified in additional areas such as electricity or electronics.
Manual labor makes up a substantial portion of the job duties of a fence installer. This can include cutting down underbrush along the fence line, driving fence posts, constructing and hanging fence panels and stretching wire or chain link mesh. Installers should be comfortable with both hand tools such as hammers and post hole diggers and with power tools including air compressors, saws, nail guns and screw guns. They may also need to know how to prepare and pour concrete.
A fence installer should also be able to take accurate measurements and to read plans and diagrams. In some cases, he may need to be able to draw the plans as well. Installers who are also responsible for the planning portion of a fence project will need to understand the way that different types of fencing are installed so that he can provide enough support posts and plan for adequate materials. He may also need to be familiar with local codes and permitting procedures as they apply to fences.
It is not unusual for a fence installer to be involved in the sales phase of the project, particularly in small companies. In these cases, the installer should have good communication skills so he can communicate with the customer about what type of fencing is desired. He may need to be knowledgeable about heights, styles and local restrictions. He may also need to prepare and present proposals, including estimates for supplies and labor. He may be the official contractual representative of the fence company.