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Average Salary
$38,636
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
6,510
Job Openings

Concrete Finisher Careers

The job of a concrete finisher seems pretty self-explanatory. I mean, aside from finishing the concrete, there's not a whole lot more to it. Just to clarify, by finishing the concrete, they are in charge of making sure it's smooth and aligned.

The concrete work they focus on can be anything from floors, sidewalks, roads, or even curbs. Concrete finishers look for voids in the concrete to make sure no one steps on a crack and breaks their mother's back.

What Does a Concrete Finisher Do

Masonry workers, also known as masons, use bricks, concrete blocks, concrete, and natural and manmade stones to build walls, walkways, fences, and other masonry structures.

Duties

Masons typically do the following:

  • Read blueprints or drawings to calculate materials needed
  • Lay out patterns, forms, or foundations according to plans
  • Break or cut materials to required size
  • Mix mortar or grout and spread it onto a slab or foundation
  • Clean excess mortar with trowels and other hand tools
  • Construct corners with a corner pole or by building a corner pyramid
  • Align structure vertically and horizontally
  • Clean and polish surfaces with hand or power tools
  • Fill expansion joints with the appropriate caulking materials

Masonry materials are some of the most common and durable materials used in construction. Brick, block, and stone structures can last for hundreds of years. Concrete—a mixture of cement, sand, gravel, and water—is the foundation for everything from decorative patios and floors to huge dams or miles of roadways.

Brickmasons and blockmasons—often called bricklayers—build and repair walls, floors, partitions, fireplaces, chimneys, and other structures with brick, terra cotta, precast masonry panels, concrete block, and other masonry materials. Pointing, cleaning, and caulking workers are brickmasons who repair brickwork, particularly on older structures on which mortar has come loose. Refractory masons are brickmasons who specialize in installing firebrick, gunite, castables, and refractory tile in high-temperature boilers, furnaces, cupolas, ladles, and soaking pits in industrial establishments.

Cement masons and concrete finishers place and finish concrete. They may color concrete surfaces, expose aggregate (small stones) in walls and sidewalks, or make concrete beams, columns, and panels. Throughout the process of pouring, leveling, and finishing concrete, cement masons must monitor how the wind, heat, or cold affects the curing of the concrete. They must have a thorough knowledge of the characteristics of concrete so that they can determine what is happening to the concrete and take measures to prevent defects. Some small jobs may require the use of a supportive wire mesh called lath. On larger jobs, reinforcing iron and rebar workers install the reinforcing mesh.

Segmental pavers—also referred to as patio pavers—install interlocking masonry walkways, driveways, and patios. Workers need to prepare the site carefully to ensure the masonry units connect properly without gaps or ridges.

Stonemasons build stone walls, as well as set stone exteriors and floors. They work with two types of stone: natural-cut stone, such as marble, granite, and limestone; and artificial stone, made from concrete, marble chips, or other masonry materials. Using a special hammer or a diamond-blade saw, workers cut stone to make various shapes and sizes. Some stonemasons specialize in setting marble, which is similar to setting large pieces of stone.

Terrazzo workers and finishers, also known as terrazzo masons, create decorative walkways, floors, patios, and panels. Much of the terrazzo preliminary work of pouring, leveling, and finishing concrete is similar to that of cement masons. Epoxy terrazzo requires less base preparation and is significantly thinner when completed. Terrazzo workers create decorative finishes by blending fine marble chips into the epoxy or cement, which is often colored. Once the terrazzo is thoroughly set, workers correct any depressions or imperfections with a grinder to create a smooth, uniform finish. Terrazzo workers also install decorative toppings and/or polishing compounds to new or existing concrete.

How To Become a Concrete Finisher

Most masons have a high school diploma or equivalent and learn either on the job or through an apprenticeship program. Others learn through masonry programs at technical schools.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for most masons. High school courses in mathematics, mechanical drawing, and vocational education are considered useful.

Many technical schools offer programs in basic masonry. These programs operate both independently and in conjunction with apprenticeship training. The credits earned as part of an apprenticeship program usually count toward an associate’s degree. Some people take courses before being hired, and some take them later as part of on-the-job training.

Training

A 3- to 4-year apprenticeship is how most masons learn the trade. For each year of the program, apprentices must complete at least 144 hours of related technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. In the future, apprenticeships are expected to focus more on proven competencies than time-in-training and therefore the duration of apprenticeships may decrease.

Apprentices learn construction basics such as blueprint reading; mathematics, including measurement, volume, and mixing proportions; building code requirements; and safety and first-aid practices. 

Several groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. Some apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. The basic qualifications for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Physically able to do the work

Some contractors have their own training programs for masons. Although workers may enter apprenticeships directly, some masons start out as construction helpers. The Home Builders Institute and the International Masonry Institute offer pre-apprenticeship training program for eight construction trades, including masonry.

After completing an apprenticeship program, masons are considered journey workers and are able to perform tasks on their own.

Important Qualities

Color vision. Terrazzo workers must be able to distinguish between small variations in color when setting terrazzo patterns in order to produce the best looking finish.

Hand-eye coordination. Workers must be able to apply smooth, even layers of mortar, set bricks, and remove any excess before the mortar hardens.

Math skills. Cement masons use their knowledge of math—including measurement, volume, and mixing proportions—when they mix their own mortar.

Physical stamina. Brickmasons must keep a steady pace while setting bricks all day. Although no individual brick is extremely heavy, the constant lifting can be tiring.

Physical strength. Workers must be strong enough to lift more than 50 pounds. They must also carry heavy tools, equipment, and other materials, such as bags of mortar and grout.

Visualization. Stonemasons must be able to see how stones fit together in order to build attractive and stable structures.

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Average Salary
$38,636
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
6,510
Job Openings

Concrete Finisher Career Paths

Top Careers Before Concrete Finisher

Top Careers After Concrete Finisher

Carpenter
10.5 %
Foreman
7.1 %

Concrete Finisher Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for a Concrete Finisher

Concrete Finishers in America make an average salary of $38,636 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $48,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $30,000 per year.
Average Salary
$38,636
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Eugene, OR
Salary Range41k - 55k$48k$48,258
Lancaster, PA
Salary Range39k - 56k$48k$47,562
Buffalo, NY
Salary Range39k - 56k$47k$47,494
Cincinnati, OH
Salary Range38k - 53k$45k$45,329
Pleasant Grove, UT
Salary Range36k - 49k$42k$42,052
Manassas, VA
Salary Range35k - 50k$42k$41,990
$25k
$56k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Concrete Finisher
Concrete Finisher
Brightview Landscape Development
Brightview Landscape Development
06/30/2021
06/30/2021
$37,56606/30/2021
$37,566
Concrete Finisher Journeyman
Concrete Finisher Journeyman
Mastec
Mastec
06/30/2021
06/30/2021
$50,08806/30/2021
$50,088
Concrete Laborers & Finishers Needed Immediately
Concrete Laborers & Finishers Needed Immediately
Aerotek
Aerotek
06/28/2021
06/28/2021
$31,30506/28/2021
$31,305
Concrete Finisher
Concrete Finisher
Aerotek
Aerotek
06/28/2021
06/28/2021
$37,56606/28/2021
$37,566
Bricklayer/Caulker/Concrete Finisher/Waterproofer/Skilled General Labor
Bricklayer/Caulker/Concrete Finisher/Waterproofer/Skilled General Labor
Western Construction Group
Western Construction Group
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$31,30506/25/2021
$31,305
See More Recent Salaries

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Concrete Finisher Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Concrete Finisher. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Concrete Finisher Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Concrete Finisher resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Concrete Finisher Demographics

Gender

male

91.3 %

female

5.7 %

unknown

3.0 %

Ethnicity

White

65.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

20.7 %

Black or African American

8.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

73.1 %

French

3.8 %

Polish

3.8 %
See More Demographics

Concrete Finisher Education

Majors

Business
18.1 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

42.1 %

Certificate

31.3 %

Diploma

10.1 %
See More Education Info

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Top Skills For a Concrete Finisher

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 29.2% of concrete finishers listed hand tools on their resume, but soft skills such as color vision and unafraid of heights are important as well.

Best States For a Concrete Finisher

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a concrete finisher. The best states for people in this position are Connecticut, California, Vermont, and New York. Concrete finishers make the most in Connecticut with an average salary of $54,929. Whereas in California and Vermont, they would average $52,439 and $51,660, respectively. While concrete finishers would only make an average of $50,846 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Vermont

Total Concrete Finisher Jobs:
23
Highest 10% Earn:
$69,000
Location Quotient:
1.73
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Ohio

Total Concrete Finisher Jobs:
242
Highest 10% Earn:
$65,000
Location Quotient:
1.37
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Concrete Finisher Jobs:
89
Highest 10% Earn:
$61,000
Location Quotient:
1.24
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Concrete Finisher Employers

1. Tradesmen International
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$42,677
Concrete Finishers Hired: 
232+
2. Fluor Corporation
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$41,716
Concrete Finishers Hired: 
38+
3. Aerotek
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$34,610
Concrete Finishers Hired: 
29+
4. Custom Concrete Co
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$37,471
Concrete Finishers Hired: 
23+
5. KBR
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$44,303
Concrete Finishers Hired: 
21+
6. Quality Paving Co.
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$33,380
Concrete Finishers Hired: 
17+

Concrete Finisher Videos

Updated October 2, 2020