Concrete Worker Job Description
Concrete Workers mix, pour and finish concrete for a variety of different construction jobs. This is a position that revolves around manual labor, so it is not a position for people who prefer to work at a desk. Concrete Workers often work outside or inside unfinished buildings, so they have to work in both the hot and cold weather. This is a position for those who have manual dexterity and average physical strength, as it involves using tools and lifting bags of concrete mix. As mentioned above, Concrete Workers are employed by the construction industry. The construction projects they work on include new building construction, sidewalks, parking lots and driveways. They usually work 40-hour workweeks and during the day, although evening and night projects are a possibility.
The role of Concrete Worker follows the hierarchy of many other trade professions. When they are first hired, Concrete Workers start out as apprentices. They work under the supervision of a Journeyman Concrete Worker as they learn everything they need to know about mixing and pouring concrete. Both levels of Concrete Worker answer to the project foreman. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Construction Laborers and Helpers, which includes Concrete Workers, is set to rise 13 percent through 2026.
Concrete Worker Duties and Responsibilities
Concrete Workers perform all of the tasks involved in the concrete installation process. We researched several Concrete Worker job descriptions to come up with the following list of Concrete Worker duties and responsibilities.
Read Blueprints and Determine Necessary Measurements
Before Concrete Workers touch concrete, they read the blueprints of a project and make the necessary measurements for placing forms. This requires basic knowledge of measurements and mathematics.
Mix and Pour Concrete
Concrete Workers have to be experts in the composition of concrete. They must know the right water-to-mix ratio required for the climate they are working in. They must also be able to lift 80-pound bags of concrete on a consistent basis.
Concrete Workers need a good eye and strong attention to detail to make sure wet concrete is level and free of depressions. They use tools such as groovers and hand trowels to smooth the concrete. They may also use machinery to remove air bubbles.
Shape Concrete with Wood or Plastic Forms
Not all jobs are perfect rectangles. Concrete Workers often have to shape corners and bends, and this is done by pouring concrete mix into wood or plastic forms. Concrete Workers are responsible for setting these forms according to the project blueprints.
Monitor the Drying Process
There are a variety of factors that affect the speed at which concrete dries. Concrete Workers have to take into consideration temperature, humidity and mixture ratio when monitoring the drying process. Sometimes this duty involves mixing in chemical additives to speed up the drying process.
Concrete Worker Skills
The role of Concrete Worker involves mostly skills that revolve around manual dexterity, as well as proficiency in certain areas of knowledge. Concrete Workers need to be proficient with measurement systems and tools, as well as basic geometry. Concrete Workers also need to be experts in mixing concrete and all of the various factors that affect the drying process. This includes expertise in the tools used to pour, shape and spread concrete. When it comes to character traits, Concrete Workers need to have a laser focus and meticulous approach to their work to make sure each pour and spread is perfect. In addition to these areas of knowledge and traits, the following skills are needed to succeed as a Concrete Worker.
- Mixing concrete in wheelbarrows sing knowledge of concrete composition
- Conducting and marketing angle and section measurements based on blueprints
- Preparing surfaces using chose and hammer
- Pouring and spreading concrete using groovers and hand trowels
- Ensuring concrete dries properly through proper consideration of all factors that affect the drying process
Concrete Worker Education and Training
When it comes to formal academic training, Concrete Workers only need a high school diploma or equivalent. Their training comes on-the-job with the Apprentice-Journeyman structure found in most trade professions. Typical apprenticeships last for the first three years of employment. In addition to 2,000 paid hours of work experience, Apprentice Concrete Workers complete 144 hours of technical classes a year.
Concrete Worker Salary
According to Payscale, the median hourly wage for Concrete Workers is $17.38. Those in the bottom 10 percent make below $12.24, while those in the top 10 percent make more than $25.82.
Concrete Worker Resources
Are you interested in learning more about working with concrete? If so, check out the list of Concrete Worker resources below.
Mason Contractors Association of America – Concrete Workers are also known as Concrete Masons, and this organization has several among its vast membership. Their website contains a plethora of educational and professional resources.
American Concrete Institute - the American Concrete Institute is the leading research and professional organization in the concrete industry. They offer a certification for Concrete Workers that is highly respected in the industry. They also offer local and national conferences that provide network opportunities for members.
Concrete Network – The Concrete Network is a website that features concrete design ideas of all kinds, as well as articles covering the latest industry news.
Concrete Decor Magazine – Concrete Decor is one of the most widely circulated print magazines in the concrete industry. They offer a digital edition of all print editions, as well as blog posts made up of articles that didn’t make the print edition.
Foundations and Concrete Work: Revised and Updated by Editors of Fine Homebuilding - This is an excellent reference books for both aspiring and current Concrete Workers. It is written by industry professionals, so the tips and advice are based on real-world experience.
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