What Does a Cement Mason Do?

A Cement Mason (419A) directs the pouring of concrete and smoothes and finishes freshly poured concrete.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • learning about and applying safety legislation on the job, such as the Occupational Health & Safety Act, Environmental Protection Act, and the Construction Safety Act.
  • checking formwork, granulate base and steel reinforcement
  • directing the placement of the concrete into forms or on surfaces
  • operating hand and power tools to compact and level concrete and to create the desired finish
  • installing fixtures including anchor bolts, steel plates and door sills
  • repairing and replacing worn or damaged sections of concrete
  • applying curing and surface treatments
  • exposing and finishing aggregate in precast and architectural concrete
  • waterproofing, damp-proofing and restoring concrete surfaces
  • keeping pace with work scheduling requirements
  • completing work documentation such as time sheets, work orders, in a clear accurate way to company standards
  • communicating with customers, co-workers, supervisors and sub-trades personnel

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

Cement Mason is a voluntary certified trade which means that it does not require a valid Certificate of Apprenticeship to work in the trade. However, apprenticeship training is recommended.

Grade 12 may be required by employers and unions but grade 8 is required as the legal minimum requirement to be apprenticed in this trade. Completion of a 6000 hour apprenticeship will include a combination of on-the-job and in-school training.  To be a success in this trade you will need communication skills, manual dexterity, good colour vision, blueprint reading and analytical skills.

Visit the Essential Skills homepage to find and select relevant information about this and other skilled trades:


What’s Your Future as a Cement Mason?

Cement Masons are employed in the construction sector. They could work on a project-by-project basis or be employed by a construction company. Cement Masons may work indoors and outdoors and may be required to bend or stoop repeatedly and lift and carry heavy objects. They may be exposed to a variety of weather and high noise levels. Cement Masons generally work a 35-40 hour week, often in shifts and must be prepared to travel to where work is available. Many Cement Masons have their own business.

Small, medium and large companies, unionized or non-unionized, employ masons for many projects in residential, commercial and industrial areas. Employers in this field include construction companies, bricklaying contractors and manufacturers of precast concrete. Employment in this field is expected to grow faster than average for most occupations through the year 2007 due to trends in housing, commercial and industrial construction. Also, due to the aging workforce, this field will experience significant retirements over the next few years. As a journeyperson you may:

  • Work as a Cement Mason
  • Progress to a supervisory position
  • Become a foreperson or inspector
  • Work in a related occupation (see below)

Wage Rate

  • Apprentices progress from 60%-90% of a journey person's wage over time
  • Fully qualified Cement Masons earn in a range of $16.00-$32.00 per hour depending on what geographic area they live in
  • Potential for overtime exists during busy times


Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Cement Mason for You?

Do you have good hand-eye coordination, some artistic ability, and enjoy working with different types of hand tools?

Yes     No

Do you enjoy working outdoors in changeable weather?

Yes     No

Can you plan and organize tasks and manage your time effectively? 

Yes     No

Can you stand on your feet for long periods of time?

Yes     No

Are you in good physical condition?

Yes     No

Do you enjoy working in a hectic team environment, sometimes working overtime or weekends to get the job done just right?

Yes     No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, working as a Cement Mason may be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Cement (Concrete) Finisher
  • Construction Craftworker
  • Bricklayer
  • Stone Cutter
  • Marble Mason


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