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Concrete Finishing Work in BC

Concrete work is in high demand in BC, making it a great trade to get into. Find out what concrete finishers do, what types of concrete jobs are available through our union, and why you should consider a career in concrete work.

What Do Concrete Finishers Do?

The term ‘finisher’ can be misleading, as there are many aspects to concrete work. Concrete finisher work involves the placing and spreading of concrete inside formwork, or moulds. In addition, concrete finishers are responsible for the consolidation, curing, and finishing of the concrete.

Also, concrete finishers are trained to apply a variety of finishes to concrete surfaces, depending on the project. Types of finishes include smooth, patterned, broomed, and exposed, among others. An artistic element can be involved because some buildings have elements where the concrete is left exposed.

Concrete workers are also skilled at repairing and restoring concrete surfaces, including doing repair work on architectural components of buildings to fix imperfections.

Types of Concrete Work Available Through Our Union

Concrete finishers who are members of our union typically work on residential commercial/institutional (C/I) sector projects.

Residential Concrete Jobs

Residential concrete work is performed during the construction of homes and includes smoothing and finishing freshly poured concrete for foundations. It also includes the hardscaping of driveways, patios, and walkways.

C/I Concrete Jobs

Concrete finishing in this sector involves concrete work on projects such as malls, office spaces, schools, and hospitals. The skills and techniques used in the C/I sector are similar to the residential sector, but on a larger scale.

Given the sectors our members work in, the majority of concrete work available through our union is in the Lower Mainland and on southern Vancouver Island.

How Is Concrete Finishing Different from Other Skilled Trades?

Concrete finishing is a physically demanding trade. It involves a lot of kneeling, bending, and heavy lifting. An advantage to performing concrete work is that a significant amount of overtime hours are often involved compared with other skilled trades, which is great for skilled concrete workers who want more work.

Timing is incredibly important when working with concrete, and concrete finishers are skilled at applying certain techniques at specific times depending on the desired results. Concrete work needs to be done right the first time because once it’s cured, fixing it is extremely difficult.

Why Find Concrete Work Through Our Union?

Concrete finishing is a Red Seal trade and follows the same apprenticeship requirements as many other trades. However, most of your training as a concrete finisher would be acquired on site while working. By joining our union and finding concrete work through us, you would be getting paid to learn and hone your trade.

Unions use collective agreements to establish the terms and conditions between employees, whom the union represents, and employers. Collective agreements dictate wage rates that are scaled to apprenticeship levels so that concrete finishers can expect regular wage increases as they progress through their apprenticeship. Collective agreements determine the employer-paid contributions that provide healthcare for members and their families, the pension contributions that allow members to retire with dignity, and the training funds that foster career advancement. These benefits improve quality of life and are some of the ways that unions aim to grow the middle class. Moreover, our training programs create safer working conditions to help ensure that everyone goes home after a hard day’s work.

In the non-union sector, the wages and compensation packages aren’t standardized and therefore can vary between two employees of the same skill level and experience. Moreover, because much of the construction industry is unregulated, employees are often paid cash or misclassified as ‘independent operators,’ which can allow employers to avoid paying health benefits, payroll taxes, and Workers’ Compensation premiums.

Representation is another benefit of joining a union. In the non-union sector, if you have a disagreement with your employer, don’t get paid, or are dismissed unfairly, you may have no recourse or support. Conversely, as a union member, union representatives act on your behalf to solve issues that arise in the workplace.

Career Advancement Training for Concrete Finishers in BC

In addition to safety training, equipment training, and specialized skills training, we offer programs at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters International Training Center in Las Vegas that take our members’ careers to the next level. Beginning in the third year of apprenticeship, members are offered courses to develop:

  • Leadership skills
  • Relationship management and conflict-resolution skills
  • Communication skills
  • Empathy skills
  • Self-awareness skills

...and more!

These skills help you become a more effective concrete finisher by enhancing your ability to integrate into a team, communicate effectively, and contribute to a healthy, productive jobsite culture. This not only reduces costly staff turnover but also helps contractors succeed and bid on more projects, thus providing more work for our members.

Join Us and Find Concrete Finishing Jobs in BC

Current openings

Have a look at our job board to get an idea of current concrete finishing jobs available through our contractors.

See the Latest BCRCC News

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