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Cement Finisher Apprenticeship Program

Cement Finisher Apprenticeship Program

Concrete finishers place, finish and protect concrete surfaces. They work on a variety of vertical and horizontal surfaces and structures such as concrete floors, walls, sidewalks, stairs, driveways, curbs and gutters, stairs, dams, bridges and tunnels. They also texture, chip, grind and cure finished concrete work and are responsible for the repair and restoration of damaged concrete. They apply various finishes to concrete surfaces such as architectural, exposed, acid-stained, patterned, stamped, broomed overlays and smooth finishes. They install expansion joints and edge the concrete surfaces and install fixtures such as anchor bolts, steel plates and door sills. They also apply membranes and other waterproofing products to concrete. Concrete finishers must possess a sound knowledge of the properties of various types of concrete and how mixes, proportions and additives affect concrete strength, setting and curing times, finish and durability. Materials that concrete finishers work with include concrete, grouts, site-cured plastics, exotics, epoxies, polyurethanes and acrylic.

Much of concrete finishing has become mechanized with power screeds, power trowels, mechanical vibrators and pumps. Hand trowelling is still required for small jobs and to finish hard-to-reach spots in corners, edges and around obstacles such as pipes.

Concrete finishers work in the construction sector in both indoor and outdoor conditions. Outdoor work is weather-dependant and there may be less work available in the winter. Conversely, overtime is often required when the weather demands it.

Specialization in this trade is common. Concrete finishers may specialize in working with specific materials such as colored concrete, exposed aggregates and various epoxies, or specific techniques such as power trowelling and finishing curbs and gutters.

Key attributes for people entering this trade are stamina, spatial perception and hand-eye coordination. Artistic skills are also helpful in this trade. Some physical activities of this trade are heavy lifting, climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling and reaching. There is some risk of injury from working on uneven footing and from other construction site hazards.

Concrete finishers work with a variety of other trades people. Heavy equipment operators may prepare the sub-base for concrete, ironworkers may prepare and place the reinforcing material and carpenters may place the formwork. It is the concrete finishers' responsibility to inspect this work and ensure that it is suitable for receiving the concrete.

They also interact with plumbers and electricians when pipes and wires are embedded in the concrete. With experience, concrete finishers may move into supervisory, management or instructing roles.

Local 1089 Training Centre is a Training Delivery Agent (TDA) through The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) for the Cement Finishers Trade and all apprentices from Local 1089 will complete their in-school training sessions here. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) is involved in registering and tracking the progress of apprentices, their schooling, and their hours of on-the-job training hours. Apprentices who are Employment Insurance (EI) eligible will continue to collect during their training sessions at Local 1089.

The in-school apprenticeship program is the same one used at all other approved TDAs across Ontario and is approved by the MTCU. Courses taught in the sixteen week program include:

  1. History and Scope of the Cement (Concrete) Finisher Trades
  2. Communications and Presentation
  3. Trade Calculations and Quantities
  4. Blueprints, Specifications and Layout
  5. Construction Safety
  6. Hand Tools
  7. Power Tools and Equipment
  8. Concrete Technology
  9. Site Preparation
  10. Place and Level Concrete
  11. Finish Concrete
  12. Concrete Curing and Protection
  13. Cut Concrete
  14. Repair and Resurface
  15. Specialty Concrete
  16. Architectural Finisher
  17. Introduction to Epoxy Systems

CF in-school sessions are scheduled by the MTCU.

CF apprentices are awarded the Certificate of Apprenticeship by the MTCU when they have achieved the following:

  1. Successful completion of the two eight week in-school sessions;
  2. Successful completion of on-the-job training;
  3. MTCU Log book filled out;
  4. Local 1089 Business Manager signs off, confirming apprentice has met all requirements;
  5. Successful completion of the Provincial Examination (70% pass); and
  6. Notification by the apprentice to the MTCU that all requirements have been met, with documentation to prove this.

Concrete Finisher - Exam Counselling Sheet

A Red Seal exam is based on the National Occupational Analysis (NOA) for the trade. The analysis describes the skills and knowledge required to perform the duties of the trade. Each NOA consists of blocks (main subject areas), each block is divided into tasks, and each task is divided into sub-tasks. Not all areas are tested on the Red Seal examination as the analysis identifies all tasks performed in the trade by apprentices, tradespersons and journeypersons. Not all areas are tested on the Red Seal examination as the analysis identifies all tasks performed in the trade by apprentices, tradespersons and journeypersons.

To prepare for the Red Seal exam please use the NOA information below. To view the NATIONAL OCCUPATIONAL ANALYSIS click on the link below.

Percentage of questions on exam per blocs

Titles of blocks

Percentage (%) of questions on exam*