Career and Education Opportunities for Cement Masons in St. Louis, Missouri
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for cement masons in the St. Louis, Missouri area. There are currently 6,090 working cement masons in Missouri; this should grow 11% to 6,780 working cement masons in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for cement masons, which sees this job pool growing by about 12.9% over the next eight years. In general, cement masons smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, or curbs using a variety of hand and power tools.
Income for cement masons is about $16 per hour or $34,860 annually on average in Missouri. Nationally, their income is about $16 per hour or $35,080 yearly. Incomes for cement masons are not quite as good as in the overall category of Carpentry and Masonry in Missouri, and not quite as good as the overall Carpentry and Masonry category nationally.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can study to be a cement mason, among seventy-one schools of higher education total in the St. Louis area. Cement masons usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so you can expect to spend a short time training to become a cement mason if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Cement Mason
In general, cement masons smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, or curbs using a variety of hand and power tools. They also align forms for sidewalks, curbs, or gutters; patch voids; use saws to cut expansion joints.
Cement masons mold expansion joints and edges, using edging tools and straightedges. They also spread and smooth concrete, using rakes, shovels, hand or power trowels, hand or power screeds, and floats. Equally important, cement masons have to direct truck drivers to enable pouring concrete, and move chutes to direct concrete on forms. They are often called upon to check the forms that hold the concrete to see that they are properly constructed. They are expected to produce rough concrete surfaces, using brooms. Finally, cement masons trim out damaged areas, drill holes for reinforcing rods, and position reinforcing rods to repair concrete, using power saws and drills.
Every day, cement masons are expected to be able to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. They need to use lower back and abdominal strength. It is also important that they twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done.
It is important for cement masons to clean chipped area, using wire brush, and feel and observe surface to establish if it is rough or uneven. They are often called upon to apply hardening and sealing compounds to cure surface of concrete, and waterproof or restore surface. They also monitor how the wind or cold affect the curing of the concrete throughout the entire process. They are sometimes expected to chip and grind high spots and rough projections to finish concrete, using pneumatic chisels or hand tools. Somewhat less frequently, cement masons are also expected to set the forms that hold concrete to the desired pitch and depth, and align them.
Cement masons sometimes are asked to push roller over surface to embed chips in surface. They also have to be able to sprinkle colored marble or stone chips, powdered steel, or coloring powder over surface to produce prescribed finish and fabricate concrete beams and panels. And finally, they sometimes have to polish surface, using polishing or surfacing machine.
Like many other jobs, cement masons must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and have exceptional integrity.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in St. Louis include:
- Brick and Block Mason. Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls, partitions, and other structures.
- Bricklayer Helper. Help brickmasons, blockmasons, or tile and marble setters by performing duties of lesser skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Cement Mason Training
Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville, IL
Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, IL 62221-5899. Southwestern Illinois College is a large college located in Belleville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,308 students. Southwestern Illinois College has a less than one year program in Concrete Finishing/Concrete Finisher which graduated seven students in 2008.
Concrete Flatwork Finisher & Technician: A Concrete Flatwork Finisher/Technician is a craftsman who has demonstrated the ability to place, consolidate, finish, edge, joint, cure and protect concrete flatwork.
For more information, see the American Concrete Institute International website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.
The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.
Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.
St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.