Concrete Finishers (NOC 7282) may also be called:
- cement mason
- cement finisher apprentice
- concrete mason
- precast concrete finisher
What Would I Do?
You smooth and finish freshly poured concrete and apply curing or surface treatments. You also install and restore various masonry structures such as foundations, floors, ceilings, sidewalks, roads, patios and highrise buildings.
Some main tasks include:
- check formwork and steel reinforcement materials and direct placement of concrete into forms or surfaces
- fill hollows and remove high spots to smooth freshly poured concrete
- operate power vibrator to compact concrete
- level top surface of concrete according to grade and depth specifications using straightedge or float
- give desired finish to concrete surfaces using hand and power tools
- install anchor bolts, steel plates, door sills and other fixtures in freshly poured concrete
- apply hardening and sealing compounds to cure surface of concrete
Am I Suited For This Job?
- Are Physically Fit
- Are Able To Work Well As Part Of A Team
- Have Good Hand-Eye Coordination
- Have Good Communication Skills
An ability to work with tools and equipment along with artistic skills, creative thinking and problem solving ability are all assets.
You may work in an indoor environment or outdoors, so you may be exposed to various weather conditions, mud and dust. The work is often fast-paced and strenuous – you may have to lift heavy materials and spend long periods of time bending and kneeling.
What Are The Wages And Benefits?
In British Columbia, the average median salary for concrete finishers is $56,311. Your wages are affected by location, employer, and the amount of work you can find each year. Wages also depend on job requirements and work conditions.
In BC’s regions, you can expect to make:
Table from Job Bank Wage Report
If you are employed full-time, you usually receive benefits such as dental coverage, paid sick days, and vacation pay.
Sources: WorkBC Career Profile, Career Cruising database
What Is The Job Outlook In BC?
Between 2015-2017 the employment outlook is expected to be fair for concrete finishers. The Construction Sector Council predicts the job outlook for will range from ‘good’ to ‘balanced’ for years 2014 – 2023.
How Do I Become a Concrete Finisher?
In British Columbia, trade certification for concrete finishers is available, but not mandatory
You can find employment as a concrete finisher without formal training. However, most employers prefer to hire people who have completed a two- to four-year apprenticeship program and gained certification through BC’s Industry Training Authority.
Apprenticeship involves both classroom studies and on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified tradesperson, called a journeyperson.
To obtain a Certificate of Qualification as a concrete finisher, you write the Interprovincial Exam to qualify for the Interprovincial Standards’ Red Seal. With a Red Seal, you can work in this trade anywhere in Canada.
If you have significant work experience in the trade but have never been certified in Canada, you may apply to challenge the certification. Being approved to challenge means that if you meet the criteria for your trade, you will not be required to go through the full program. Instead, you are allowed to become certified by writing and passing the final exam(s).
For more information about apprenticeship programs and certification see:
How Do I Find A Job?
Where would I work?
Concrete finishers work in a variety of settings including:
- construction companies
- cement and concrete contractors
- manufacturers of precast concrete products
- you may be self-employed
Finding Advertised Jobs
Jobs are advertised in a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and online job sites.
You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and, in The Province on Sundays.
Online Job Postings
Finding “Hidden Jobs”
Many job vacancies are not advertised. The resources below help you with finding jobs in this “hidden” job market.
Using Directories to Create a List of Potential Employers
You can use company directories to produce lists of employers who hire concrete finishers in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.
- Reference Canada
Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
In the top search box enter “concrete contractors” and click LOOKUP.
Select the appropriate headings.
Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).
Networking, Volunteering and Temporary Agencies
Many positions are filled by people who have been recommended by someone they know. Networking, working as a volunteer or registering with a temporary employment agency are good ways of helping you find jobs and meet people in your industry.
Networking and the Hidden Job Market:
When looking for work, be sure to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. They may know someone who is hiring! Working as a volunteer, attending events, and joining clubs and associations are good ways to gain “Canadian experience.” They are also good ways to meet people to learn about the local job market.
For example, look for temporary employment agencies such as Pristine Labour Inc. or consider the following volunteer organizations:
- Habitat for Humanity (can volunteer at construction sites or at ReStores)
For additional tips see:
Applying for a Job
In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your experience.
Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.
For more information see:
Where Can This Job Lead?
With experience you can progress to supervisory positions. You can also become self-employed and start your own concrete finishing business.
Where Can I Find More Information?
STEP is a free employment program that helps you get jobs in the construction industry