Concrete Finishers

(NOC 7282)

in All Trades and Transportation

Concrete finishers place, finish, cut, and repair concrete floors, driveways, sidewalks, curbs, bridge decks, and other concrete structures. They work for construction companies, cement and concrete contractors, and manufacturers of precast concrete products, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 20 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Outlook: good, a better than average chance of qualified individuals finding work.
Size of occupation: small with infrequent opportunities.
Demand: Employment growth will lead to several new positions. Some positions become available due to employee turnover. A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements. There are a moderate number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.
Work hours: full-time, usually. Both permanent and temporary positions are common. Employment can be seasonal with more opportunities available in the summer months.

Hourly Pay

$17.50

Minimum

$22.00

Median

$27.94

Maximum

Annual Pay

$12,514

Minimum

$35,681

Median

$55,763

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$37.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Concrete finishers place, finish, cut, and repair concrete floors, driveways, sidewalks, curbs, bridge decks, and other concrete structures. They work for construction companies, cement and concrete contractors, and manufacturers of precast concrete products, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Concrete finishers:

  • Check formwork, granular base and steel reinforcement materials and direct placement of concrete into forms or onto surfaces according to grade.
  • Fill hollows and remove high spots to smooth freshly poured concrete.
  • Use power vibrator to compact concrete.
  • Level top surface of concrete according to grade and depth specifications using straightedge or float.
  • Apply 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.
  • Waterproof, damp-proof and restore concrete surfaces.
  • Repair, resurface and replace worn or damaged sections of floors, walls, roads, and other concrete structures.

Sample job titles

  • cement finisher
  • cement mason
  • concrete finisher
  • concrete floor finisher
  • concrete mason
  • concrete polisher
  • concrete smoother-finisher
  • highway and street cement mason

Skills

  • Strength and stamina
  • Spatial perception and hand-eye coordination
  • Agility and coordination
  • Ability to work as a team

Job requirements

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • Over three years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college, or industry courses in cement finishing.
  • Trade Qualifier option, 5,400 hours, and other criteria.
  • Certification for concrete finishers is voluntary in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for concrete finishers.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.

Other considerations

  • Concrete finishers work on a variety of surfaces like concrete floors, walls, sidewalks, stairs, driveways, curbs and gutters, and overlays. They also work on many types of structures like buildings, dams, bridges, and tunnels.
  • Concrete finishers work in both indoor and outdoor conditions. Outdoor work is weather-dependent and there may be less work available in the winter. Overtime is often required when the weather demands it. Travel may be required to get to construction sites.
  • Jobs in the construction industry are affected by seasonal changes and economic conditions. Work may be on a project basis. Workers should be prepared for periods of unemployment.
  • Risks include working on uneven footing and from general construction site hazards. The work involves bending, stooping, and kneeling and may involve heavy lifting.
  • Much concrete placing and finishing are now done using machines. Hand troweling is still necessary for small jobs and to finish hard-to-reach spots in corners, edges, stairs, and around obstacles like pipes.
  • Specialization is this trade is common. Concrete finishers may specialize in working with specific materials like coloured concrete, exposed aggregates, and various epoxies. They may specialize in specific techniques like diamond-polishing concrete, power trowelling, and finishing curbs and gutters.
  • Experienced concrete finishers may move into supervisory, management, training roles, or become contract estimators.
  • Concrete finishers work with a variety of tradespeople like heavy equipment operators, ironworkers, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians.
  • Everyone has fair access to participate and succeed in the apprenticeship system. Everyone who develops the necessary skills and abilities should be able to succeed in the trades and trade qualification system. Work environments in the province support women and equity-seeking communities.

By the numbers

Quick look

190

employed in 2016

86.8%

employed full-time

15.8%

self employed

0.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
48.6

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

38.9%

Halifax

$31,929 median annual income
19.4%

North Shore

$37,688 median annual income
19.4%

Cape Breton

$27,892 median annual income
16.7%

Annapolis Valley

$39,428 median annual income
5.6%

Southern

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

100.0%

Construction

What is the age of Employment?

33.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

15.0%

35-44

13.0%

15-24

13.0%

25-34

8.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

39.5%

Less than high school

$28,328 median annual income
31.6%

High school

$37,156 median annual income
15.8%

College Diploma

N/A
13.2%

Trade Certification

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Concrete Finishing

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to prepare, construct, and finish buildings, components, and related structures using masonry mixtures of stone, gravel, sand, cement, and water. They include courses in site preparation, applied mathematics, mixing formulas and applications, job estimation, concrete design, finishing techniques, mold preparation, reinforcement installation, site safety, and equipment operation and maintenance.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Concrete Finisher

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts