Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers

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Also known as:  Cement Mason, Cement Patcher, Concrete Finisher, Concrete Floor Installer, Concrete Mason, Concrete Smoother, Concrete Swimming Pool Installer

ABOUT CEMENT MASON OR CONCRETE FINISHER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Concrete and terrazzo finishers work with cement masons to lay durable, lasting, and often decorative concrete surfaces. A small project might be to apply cement, sand, pigment, and marble chips or stone to floors and stairways. A big job could be the final touch for the stairs or entrance of a scho ...
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Concrete finishers are generally responsible for finishing the surface of freshly poured concrete projects to remove imperfections, and edge or groove the surface to prevent chipping or cracking. Terrazzo finishers blend and press marble chips into the top layer of a project, then grind, clean, polish and seal the surface.

The work is often fast-paced, and often involves a lot of bending and kneeling. Work tends to be seasonal, as warm, dry weather is best for concrete curing. Without indoor jobs, these workers may face periods of unemployment during the winter months.

The workweek is not the common 40 hours. Overtime is common, as once concrete has been poured, the job must be completed. Competition for jobs in this field will increase as technology makes these workers more productive.

Beginners can start as helpers or train on the job through apprenticeships sponsored by unions or contractors.

SNAPSHOT Expand
Smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, sidewalks, roads, or curbs using a variety of hand and power tools. Align forms for sidewalks, curbs, or gutters; patch voids; and use saws to cut expansion joints.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Install anchor bolts, steel plates, door sills and other fixtures in freshly poured concrete or pattern or stamp the surface to provide a decorative finish.
Build wooden molds, and clamp molds around area to be repaired, using hand tools.
Wet concrete surface, and rub with stone to smooth surface and obtain specified finish.
Wet surface to prepare for bonding, fill holes and cracks with grout or slurry, and smooth, using trowel.
Monitor how the wind, heat, or cold affect the curing of the concrete throughout the entire process.
Chip, scrape, and grind high spots, ridges, and rough projections to finish concrete, using pneumatic chisels, power grinders, or hand tools.
Clean chipped area, using wire brush, and feel and observe surface to determine if it is rough or uneven.
Produce rough concrete surface, using broom.
Cut out damaged areas, drill holes for reinforcing rods, and position reinforcing rods to repair concrete, using power saw and drill.
Set the forms that hold concrete to the desired pitch and depth, and align them.
Operate power vibrator to compact concrete.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Manual Dexterity The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Arm-Hand Steadiness The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Trunk Strength The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Multilimb Coordination The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Visualization The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Control Precision The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
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