Concreter

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Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Concreters place, spread, compact, finish and cure concrete for buildings and other structures, using hand tools and automated machinery.

Concreters mix, lay, spread, compact and finish concrete for building and construction work. They mix cement with other materials such as gravel, sand and water, and pour the concrete, usually over steel reinforcement, moving it into position using a pump. They also prepare and move boxing, or formwork,Future Growth Strong so that it contains the concrete in the right shape and dimensions. Once the concrete has been poured, concreters level the concrete, clean and seal it. They might also create decorative surfaces on the concrete prior to cleaning and sealing. They may also spray concrete onto retaining walls, swimming pools or other surfaces that require rendering.

ANZSCO description: Pours, spreads, smoothes and finishes concrete for structures such as floors, stairs, ramps, footpaths and bridges.

Alternative names: Concrete Worker

Specialisations: Decorative concreter

Concreters may specialise as concrete finishers, concrete cutters, or concrete slab layers. There are large differences in the work done by concreters working on high-rise buildings and those working on smaller residential and commercial buildings.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A concreter needs:

  • practical and manual skills
  • physical fitness and stamina
  • problem solving skills
  • to enjoy working outdoors
  • basic maths skills
  • to be safety conscious and accurate in their work.

Duties and Tasks

Concreters may perform the following tasks: Concrete mixer

  • mix cement, gravel, sand and water to make concrete on site
  • move concrete into position using a concrete pump
  • place concrete into the formwork (usually temporary wood or steel moulds), making sure that it is spread and levelled, then compacted using vibrators
  • operate paving and trowelling machines to float, trowel and polish the concrete surface
  • create different surface textures by tamping, smoothing and shaping the concrete surface with a variety of hand tools
  • cut joints into hardened concrete
  • mix and apply pigments when a coloured surface is required
  • dig foundation trenches if working on residential or small commercial projects.
  • erecting concrete form work and laying steel reinforcing
  • pouring, spreading and levelling concrete using screeds and templates
  • tamping, smoothing, shaping and sealing concrete
  • operating trowelling machines to float, trowel and polish concrete surfaces
  • forming expansion joints and edges using edging tools, jointers and straight edges
  • installing fixtures in concrete such as anchor bolts, steel plates and door sills
  • wetting concrete and rubbing with abrasives to finish vertical surfaces
  • covering concrete with plastic sheeting and sand to cure it
  • cutting lines in concrete using power cutters
  • may cover freshly poured concrete with colouring powders and other materials

Working conditions:

For most jobs, concrete is mixed at a pre-mix concrete supplier's factory and delivered to the site in a pre-mix concrete truck.

Concreters usually work outdoors on building and construction sites as well as infrastructure such as bridges and roads. Conditions can be dirty and noisy, and they may have to work at heights or underground, depending on the nature of the work. Much of their time is spent standing or kneeling and they may also have to work at heights or underground in tunnels. They are often required to spend large amounts of time on their feet, and their work often involves heavy lifting and other manual labour. Concreters may travel from job to job and usually begin work very early in the morning.

  They usually work regular hours; however in hot weather they may begin earlier in the day to avoid the heat. In winter they may need to begin later as early morning frost makes concreting difficult.

There is a growing industry in pre-cast concrete where concrete elements are cast and cured in factories and then transported to the site for use.

Tools and technologies

Concreter at workConcreters need to be familiar with the various types of concrete, as well as the materials that go into its making. They use concrete mixers as well as hand and power tools such as shovels, edging tools, concrete vibrators and trowels. They use wheelbarrows and boxing (formwork), as well as concrete pumps. They drive large vehicles that may be fitted with industrial cement mixers, or pump trucks. They are usually required to wear protective clothing such as steel-capped gumboots and gloves.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a concreter without any formal qualifications and get training on the job.

You may improve your employment prospects by doing an apprenticeship to become a concreter. The apprenticeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

​Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a “white card”).


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