Concrete Worker Kaimahi Raima

Concrete workers make, pour, spread, finish, reinforce and cut concrete for construction projects such as buildings and footpaths.

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Concrete workers may do some or all of the following:

  • read and interpret plans or drawings
  • weigh and mix concrete materials (gravel, sand, cement and water)
  • sample and test the mix
  • prepare boxing (formwork) and/or lay reinforcing
  • pour, spread, compact, smooth and polish concrete, by hand or machine
  • drive heavy vehicles such as concrete trucks.

Specialised concrete workers may also:

  • install items such as anchor bolts into concrete
  • spray concrete on areas such as retaining walls and swimming pools
  • cut concrete using power cutters.

Physical Requirements

Concrete workers need to have a good level of fitness, strong arms and a strong back as they have to do heavy lifting and climbing. They also need to be comfortable working at heights.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for concrete workers includes:

  • paving
  • bricklaying
  • work in the construction industry.

Personal Qualities

Concrete workers need to be:

  • careful and accurate
  • responsible and reliable
  • hard-working and practical
  • able to follow instructions
  • able to work well in a team.


Concrete workers need to have:

  • knowledge of concrete types and different ways of using them
  • knowledge of concrete-setting times
  • knowledge of how to lay and finish concrete and operate the machines that are involved
  • basic carpentry skills.


Concrete workers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may also work early mornings, evenings and weekends
  • work on buildings and construction sites, roads, bridges, and other structures
  • work in most weather, in conditions that can be hazardous, dusty, dirty and noisy
  • travel locally to construction sites.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a concrete worker, but maths, physical education, English and construction and mechanical technologies to at least NCEA Level 1 are useful. 

Year 11 and 12 learners can find out more about the construction industry, and gain relevant skills, by doing a National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trades (Levels 1 and 2) through the BConstructive programme.

For Year 11 to 13 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain relevant experience and skills.

These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

Concrete Workers can earn around $23-$30 per hour.

Pay for concrete workers varies depending on skills and experience.

  • Concrete worker apprentices may start on the apprentice training rate.
  • Unqualified concrete workers usually earn between minimum wage or a little above, depending on their experience.
  • Qualified concrete workers usually earn up to $30 an hour.
  • Experienced qualified concrete workers and those in team leader roles may earn more than this.

Source: Seek and Trade Me Jobs, 2018.

Concrete workers can progress to become team leaders or may start a business and manage their own team of concrete workers. They may also move into construction project management. 

They may specialise in:

  • manufacturing concrete products
  • producing cement and concrete as a raw material
  • constructing buildings out of concrete.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become a concrete worker. However, once you are employed it is useful to complete an apprenticeship and gain a National Certificate in precast concrete, concrete product manufacture, or concrete construction.

The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO) oversees concrete apprenticeships.

Concrete Worker