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

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 school.

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
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
HIGH
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
MED
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
Daily tasks

Clean chipped area, using wire brush, and feel and observe surface to determine if it is rough or uneven.

Build wooden molds, and clamp molds around area to be repaired, using hand tools.

Cut out damaged areas, drill holes for reinforcing rods, and position reinforcing rods to repair concrete, using power saw and drill.

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.

Set the forms that hold concrete to the desired pitch and depth, and align them.

Chip, scrape, and grind high spots, ridges, and rough projections to finish concrete, using pneumatic chisels, power grinders, or hand tools.

Operate power vibrator to compact concrete.

Mix cement, sand, and water to produce concrete, grout, or slurry, using hoe, trowel, tamper, scraper, or concrete-mixing machine.

Wet surface to prepare for bonding, fill holes and cracks with grout or slurry, and smooth, using trowel.

Apply hardening and sealing compounds to cure surface of concrete, and waterproof or restore surface.

Direct the casting of the concrete and supervise laborers who use shovels or special tools to spread it.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
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.
Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
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.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
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.
TOP SKILLS
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
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.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.