CONCRETE MASONS work with concrete, which is a mixture of Portland cement, sand, gravel, and water. It is the foundation for everything from decorative patios and floors to huge dams and highways. Concrete masons set forms for holding concrete, direct the casting of concrete, and supervise laborers who spread and level it. Finishers complete the work by making joints and then smoothing the surface. Concrete masons must monitor how the wind, heat, or cold affects the curing of the concrete. They must have a thorough knowledge of concrete characteristics so they can determine what is happening to the concrete and take measures to prevent defects.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $41,000 average per year ($19.75 per hour)
- A medium occupation (141,000 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.3% per year)
CONCRETE MASONS learn their trade either through on-the-job training as helpers to experienced workers or through 3-year apprenticeship programs. Local unions and contractors usually jointly sponsor the apprenticeship programs that provide on-the-job training in addition to a recommended minimum of 144 hours of classroom instruction each year. When hiring helpers and apprentices, employers prefer high school graduates who are at least 18 years old and have a license to drive. Many masons first gain experience as construction laborers. No special licensing or certification is required for concrete masons.