How to become a Concreter

Concreters place, spread, compact, finish and cure concrete for buildings, roads, tunnels, bridges and marine structures, using hand tools and automated machinery.

Personal requirements of a Concreter

  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Able to lift heavy objects
  • Enjoy practical and outdoor work

Education & Training for a Concreter

You can work as a concreter without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a concreter through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Concreting. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Concreter

Concreters may perform the following tasks:

  • 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), ensuring it is spread and levelled, then compacted
  • 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.

Working conditions for a Concreter

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 outside on construction sites that may be dusty and noisy. Much of their time is spent standing or kneeling and they may also have to work at heights or underground in tunnels. They may travel from job to job and usually begin work very early in the morning. There is a growing industry in precast concrete where concrete elements are cast and cured in factories then transported to the site for use.

Employment Opportunities for a Concreter

Most concreters are employed on building and construction sites by building and construction companies, or by subcontractors or Group Training Organisations. A small amount of work is generated by other uses of concrete, such as kerbing, driveways, paths and retaining walls. With experience or further training, labourers may progress to skilled positions. Due to changing conditions within the construction industry, including differences in the demand and supply of various construction materials and the use of new technologies, the availability of work may vary.

Additional Information
You may need to be accredited as, or work under the supervision of, a registered building practitioner if carrying out work above a certain value. Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC). Training is conducted by Registered Training Organisations.
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