Cement Mason/Concrete Finisher  What They Do

Just the Facts


Smoothes and finishes surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, sidewalks, roads or curbs using a variety of hand and power tools. Aligns forms for sidewalks, curbs or gutters; patches voids; uses saws to cut expansion joints.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Sets the forms that hold concrete to the desired pitch and depth, and aligns them.
  • Checks the forms that hold the concrete to see that they are properly constructed.
  • Spreads, levels, and smooths concrete, using rake, shovel, hand or power trowel, hand or power screed, and float.
  • Monitors how the wind, heat, or cold affect the curing of the concrete throughout the entire process.
  • Directs the casting of the concrete and supervise laborers who use shovels or special tools to spread it.
  • Produces rough concrete surface, using broom.
  • Molds expansion joints and edges, using edging tools, jointers, and straightedge.
  • Cleans chipped area, using wire brush, and feels and observes surface to determine if it is rough or uneven.
  • Signals truck driver to position truck to facilitate pouring concrete, and moves chute to direct concrete on forms.
  • Applies hardening and sealing compounds to cure surface of concrete, and waterproofs or restores surface.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



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Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Whole body vibrations, such as when operating a jackhammer
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Using muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Column Precaster -- Performs a combination of duties concerned with making concrete columns to be used as wall panel and ceiling supports in concrete buildings.
  • Curb Builder --