What is a Cement Mason?

A cement mason is a construction tradesperson who pours concrete for everything from backyard patios to sidewalks to airport runways. He or she could also be referred to as a concrete mason. Cement masons work for government transportation agencies, construction contractors, and other businesses in the public and private sectors. A cement mason is usually a skilled worker who learned the trade on the job or through an apprenticeship program.

A cement mason, at its most basic level, uses forms to place and shape concrete to various levels and consistencies, then spreads and smooths it with straight-edge and float tools. He or she then uses a power trowel or a hand trowel to finish the concrete surface. The cement mason may do it all, including planning, setting up, and cleaning up, or he may supervise less-skilled workers in some areas of the process, depending on the job and its size and complexity.

Because the cement mason is ultimately responsible for the quality of the concrete project’s completion, he or she must be an expert in concrete characteristics. One of the most important considerations for cement masons is how weather conditions such as heat and cold affect the concrete curing process. To avoid cracking and to ensure that the final product is strong, smooth, and even, the cement mason must take steps to ensure that the concrete dries in just the right amount of time.

Concrete can be finished in a variety of ways, including rough and nonskid rather than smooth. To coarsen the finish, cement masons may use a broom or other tool. Colorants are used to add color to projects, and small gravel pieces or colored chips may be added for different pebbled finishes.

A cement mason works on new construction projects as well as concrete surface repairs. To maintain previously laid concrete projects, he or she may remove bumps and cavities, resurface, clean, reseal, and more. Cement masons require a great deal of physical strength and ability, regardless of the project they’re working on.

Cement masons work for long periods of time on their feet. They must spend days stooping, bending, kneeling, and squatting throughout their careers. It is also common to lift heavy materials weighing up to 100 pounds (45 kg). Cement masons must be able to tolerate loud noises because construction sites are noisy. Because they frequently work outside, inclement weather can be a factor in their work.