How to Get a Job as a Cement Mason & Concrete Finisher
Masons can expect to work for both union and non-union contractors and can access job opportunities through either employment channel. Personal contacts and word-of-mouth are common entry points into the profession, usually after high school. Increasingly, specialized construction trades programs at high schools seek to interest future masons and provide them some of the employable skills they will need. Willingness to travel also may help, as some masonry contractors bid on work projects across a large geographic area. Better math skills are a growing priority for the industry.
What is the Job Like?
Work at construction sites tends to be 40 hours a week during daylight hours. Weather conditions and project timetables can drive longer work weeks. Most work is outdoors in natural conditions, and sites may be muddy, dusty, or both. Work sites can be dangerous and masons often wear protective gear, including kneepads and water-repellent gloves. Cement masons and, especially, concrete finishers, often do their work during early stages of a project and are most likely to be exposed to the elements and demanding working conditions. Except for high-rise buildings, masonry work is not done at great heights, but it often requires scaffolding systems to gain access to walls and other masonry working surfaces. Good physical skills, including strength and stamina, are needed as well as the ability to function effectively within a construction site's larger team of craftsmen.