Cement Mason apprenticeship

Description of an apprenticeship as a Cement Mason

Cement Mason apprenticeship

DOT code: 844.364-010

Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook for a detailed description of this trade. Type the trade name in the search box and hit enter.


Smooths and finishes surfaces of poured concrete floors, walls, sidewalks, or curbs to specified textures, using handtools or power tools, including floats, trowels, and screeds: Signals concrete deliverer to position truck to facilitate pouring concrete. Moves discharge chute of truck to direct concrete into forms. Spreads concrete into inaccessible sections of forms, using rake or shovel. Levels concrete to specified depth and workable consistency, using hand held screed and floats to bring water to surface and produce soft topping. Smooths, and shapes surfaces of freshly poured concrete, using straightedge and float or power screed. Finishes concrete surfaces, using power trowel, or wets and rubs concrete with abrasive stone to impart finish. Removes rough or defective spots from concrete surfaces, using power grinder or chisel and hammer, and patches holes with fresh concrete or epoxy compound. Molds expansion joints and edges, using edging tools, jointers, and straightedge. May sprinkle colored stone chips, powdered steel, or coloring powder on concrete to produce prescribed finish. May produce rough concrete surface, using broom. May mix cement, using hoe or concrete‑mixing machine. May direct subgrade work, mixing of concrete, and setting of forms.

Work process schedule

Task Hours
A. First year - Fundamentals: setting screeds to line; tamping of rodding of concrete; use of float and trowel; use of edgers and jointer; chipping of concrete; patching of concrete; rubbing and brushing of concrete; establishing grade lines and heights; setting expansion joints, curb and gutter screeds; finishing of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, driveways, steps, basement floors, and exposed aggregates; setting screeds for floors where top-coating is used; finishing foundations, walls, and ceilings; dry packing and grouting; use of machines; safety; epoxy applications, use of laser or transit. 200
B. Second year - Advanced fundamentals and specialties: layout of joints in special designs; forming valley and summits; layout of riser and treads; pouring and finishing steps plan, or with nosing or overhang; base, plain and coved, flush and projecting; bush hammering and acid wash of concrete; pointing around steel encased in concrete; copings, porches, patios; window sills, thresholds, plinth blocks; heavy duty floors; use of color; magnesite and composition installations; asphalt and mastic installations; gunite and sandblasting; waterproofing; renovation of concrete; architectural and ornamental concrete; safety; advanced use, laser, transit; advance applications of epoxies. 200
  (Every 2,000 hours = one year) TOTAL HOURS: 4000
C. Third year (optional): The third year of apprenticeship is optional, depending on local autonomy, and therefore will emphasize supervisor training.

On-the-job supervisor training: establishing grade lines and heights; setting screeds to line; setting expansion joints; setting curb and gutter screeds; finishing of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, driveways, garages, basement floors, and wash paves; finishing of foundations, walls, ceilings; use of machines; layout of joints in special designs; use of colors; architectural and ornamental concrete; blueprint reading; estimating; planning and scheduling; surveying; safety; epoxy applications; laser instrumentation.

  A very detailed description and work process schedule for this trade can be downloaded by clicking on the work process folder shown above.  

Related technical instruction

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires 150 hours each year of related technical instruction which must be mastered by the apprentice in order to successfully complete the program. A summary of the related technical instruction for the cement mason trade is as follows. For further information, please call the Division of Apprentice Standards at (617) 626-5409.

1. First year

a. Related mathematics
b. Plan reading and freehand sketching
c. Estimating
d. Related science
e. Trade theory
f. Industry history
g. Safety and hygiene

2. Second year

a. Related mathematics
b. Architectural drawing
c. Estimating
d. Building codes and legislation
e. Trade practice
f. Films and visual aids on related subject matter
g. Safety and hygiene

3. Third Year (Optional)

a. Related mathematics
b. Surveying and blueprint reading
c. Estimating
d. materials for concrete
e. Principles of quality concrete
f. Decorative concrete
g. Leadership training
h. Communication skills
i. Films and visual aids on related subject matter
j. Safety and hygiene