Are you comfortable working with heavy objects and mixing and laying concrete? Then, consider working as a concreter in Australia.
Concreters are trained workers who use concrete bricks to build robust building structures. They operate various manual and automated tools to level off, smoothen, and seal concrete surfaces for a finished look.
You don't need any formal education to work as a concreter. Completing a Certificate III in Concreting at TAFE or RTO and obtaining a CIC card is a great way to begin your career journey in this industry. Alternatively, you can complete a traineeship or an apprenticeship with an employer within your area.
This article is for you if you are still determining whether working in the concrete industry is right for you. Here you will learn everything you must know about becoming a concreter in Australia.
1. What Is A Concreter?
Qualified concreters are skilled workers who use automated machinery and hand tools to create robust commercial and residential structures, including roadways, paths, bridges, and buildings.
Concreters do the following: assembling building elements, laying the foundation, installing formwork, doing concreting work, strengthening work, and providing solutions to practical issues relating to building and construction works.
2. What Does A Concreter Do?
Concreters perform a wide range of tasks and duties while working in the construction industry, including infrastructure and commercial or residential buildings:
Excavate foundation trenches
Mix gravel, cement, sand, and water to create the concrete on site
Spread, tamp, smoothen, polish, seal and cure concrete for varying structures and surfaces such as floors, marine structures, roads, tunnels, ramps, footpaths, and other facilities.
Cut lines in concrete with the help of power cutters.
Create the concrete surface in various shapes and textures using specialized machinery or exposing the aggregate.
Use concrete pumps to mix, pour, and direct concrete from a truck.
Operate trowels, paving machines, templates, and screeds to float, smooth, and finish concrete surfaces.
Use cutting tools to cut joints into toughened concrete.
Damp concrete and scrub it with abrasives to create upright surfaces.
Erect concrete structure and lay steel reinforcing.
Install concrete fixtures such as steel plates, door sills, anchor bolts, etc.
Use a jointer, edging tools, and straightedge to create expansion joints, edges, or seams in concrete.
Set up a supportive wire mesh and spread a protective layer of sand and plastic on the concrete as it sets.
Lift heavy objects while doing the concreting work
Oversee weather conditions and ways in which they can impact the curing of the concrete
Implement necessary measures to eliminate defects
3. Skills To Become A Concreter In Australia
The job of concrete is physically demanding and purely outdoor work.
Employers look for physically fit, hardworking concreters who can work independently. They have good knowledge of materials, methods, machines, and tools needed to accomplish the construction work.
Here are the concrete skills for a successful career:
Enjoy doing practical, hands-on, and outdoor work
Good level of physical fitness
In-depth knowledge of concrete characteristics
Understanding of mathematics and measurement skills
Good hand-eye coordination
Able to work independently and in a team
Good understanding of onsite safety issues
Able to follow directions diligently
4. Qualifications To Become A Concreter In Australia
Entry-level requirements may differ from one employer to another.
Here is the general qualification needed to become a concreter in Australia:
Year 10 education
Complete a Certificate III in Concreting (CPC30318) at a TAFE or registered training organization. Alternatively, you can undertake a traineeship or apprenticeship in Concreting or train under the direction of a registered building practitioner.
Construction industry workers must undertake safety induction training to obtain a Construction Induction Card to get accredited to enter a construction site in Australia.
Concreters working at heights must complete the short course "Work Safely at Heights".
5. Steps To Become A Concreter In Australia
So, now that you have learned about the job description and qualifications let us find out how you can launch a career as a concreter.
Step 1: Obtain The CIC Card
In Australia, you must complete safety induction training and obtain a Construction Induction Card to be eligible to work in the construction industry.
This card is a mandatory requirement for all construction workers. Owning this card proves that you have undergone the necessary training to work safely on a construction site. It is also a prerequisite to undertake any concreting course.
Step 2: Study Concreting
You don't require formal or tertiary qualifications. Still, apprenticeship programs in concreting will help you gain job-specific skills via onsite experience.
A Certificate III in Concreting is the most common training course designed to enter a role in this industry. It offers fundamental knowledge in the following areas such as:
Planning and organization
Placement of concrete
Understanding specifications and building plans
Performing concreting to simple forms
Implementing OHS necessities, procedures, and policies in the construction industry
Communicating in the workplace
This qualification helps students gain the necessary experience and skills to meet the requirements of concreters employed in the operations of commercial and residential projects.
You can take this course at the following institutions across Australia:
North Metro TAFE
Step 3: Enroll In Apprenticeships
Concreters can even enrol themselves in on-the-job apprenticeships or training through construction firms or subcontractors.
You can contact associations like the ABN Group or Australian Apprenticeships Pathways.
A combination of onsite and formal training programs is an excellent option to gain experience and abilities to work as an independent concrete.
Step 4: Complete The Work Safely At Heights Training
If your work involves working at raised sites and heights, you may also need to undertake a "work safely at heights" training course.
It is a nationally accredited height safety training course that helps participants to build skills to choose and implement appropriate height safety equipment for specific tasks.
The course also teaches students the right ways to work while conforming to Australian height safety regulations and codes of practice.
By completing this qualification, participants understand the risk evaluation procedures and work permits to engage in concreting work at elevated spaces.
Fire and Safety Australia and Training are the two reputed registered training organizations where you can avail of this course.
Step 5: Start Your Job Search
After completing the necessary training and requirements to work in the concreting business, you are all set to apply for jobs and begin your career in concreting business.
6. How To Become A Concreter In NSW?
In NSW, general concreting is a trade work. All those workers who engage in general concreting work of over $5000 (including GST) in labour and materials must have a license to work in residential and commercial buildings and other workspaces.
Three licenses are available based on the type of concreting work you wish to perform in NSW:
Qualified Supervisor Certificate
Endorsed Contractor License
Click here to find the right type of license for your work needs.
Candidates who meet the requirements for this license need to submit the completed application with a passport-sized photograph, ID proof, past employment details, and relevant certification documents. They also must pay the applicable fee at a Service NSW Centre.
7. Work Conditions For A Concreter
Concreters in Australia generally work standard hours. Full-time employees work for 45 hours per week, and it may include working on weekends.
Nature of Employment
Based on Job Outlook, around 79% of employed concreters work full-time compared to the industry's average of 66%.
This makes it a favourable career option for full-time job seekers.
It is a purely outdoor and functional job where concreters carry out a variety of practical tasks with their hands or as a group.
The job requires them to work in all weather conditions, including filthy and loud environments.
When working on construction sites, they may even stand for a prolonged time or work underground in tunnels or at altitudes.
Based on the project needs, a concreter may require to travel to remote job sites.
The average age of the employed concreter workforce in Australia is 36 years.
Only 1 per cent of the total employed workforce comprises females.
This shows that it is a male-dominated profession and a favourable career path for aspiring male concreters.
Tools and Technologies
Concreters use manual tools and automated machinery to cut concrete and build sturdy structures and surfaces.
They work with cutting tools, jointers, straightedge, edging tools, etc., to cut joints and create expansion edges in concrete.
The other tools include screeds, floats, portable mixers, laser level, retarders, plate compactors, saws, vibrators, water pumps, power hammers and drills, polishers, and grinders.
Concreters are susceptible to injuries and illnesses.
Concreters must know and implement the health and safety instructions properly while onsite.
It includes wearing eye protection when mixing and pouring concrete as the high content in the cement can burn the eyes.
Hearing protection is another requirement when operating power tools such as power mixers, plate compactors, power saws, etc.
A concreter must have inhalation protection accessories to avoid breathing in dirt particles and cement lime when building or pouring sand.
Contractor-grade synthetic latex or fleece-lined rubber gloves are a general requirement while engaging with hands work on construction sites. It is because concrete contains chemicals that can cause skin irritation and mild to extensive skin damage.
Waterproof and chemical-resistant Rubber boots with drawstring tops and steel toes enable a concreter to do concrete work while standing in the concrete.
8. Job Opportunities And Prospects for Concreters in Australia
A career as a concreter offers excellent job security and steady job opportunities. Based on Job Outlook, job openings for concreters will grow compared to the average growth rate of other occupations.
However, the availability of employment opportunities may vary based on the changes in the supply and demand of construction materials and the introduction of new technologies in the sector.
Though concreters work throughout Australia, most (28.9%) work in New South Wales. Victoria and Queensland are the other top Australian cities that constitute 28.3% and 23.5% of the total concrete workforce in Australia.
The construction industry is the top recruiter for concreters, with 91.2% working in the industry.
Building and construction firms, group training organizations (GTO), or subcontractors hire concreters. A small percentage of concreters also work in manufacturing, public administration and safety, and administrative services.
9. How Much Do Concreters Make A Year In Australia?
The job openings for concreter roles range between $70k to $100k in Australia.
The average annual and weekly concreter salary in Australia is $85,488 and $1,564. Based on Indeed, the average concreter hourly rate in Australia is $34.43.
Where an entry-level concreter earns $59,475 per year, highly experienced ones make up to $100,000.
Top paying Australian cities for Concreter are:
Perth, WA: $110,524 per year or $44.52 per hour
Brisbane QLD: $93,154 per year or $37.52 per hour
Newcastle NSW: $90,483 per year or $36.45 per hour
Maroochydore QLD: $87,795 per year or $35.36 per hour
Sydney NSW: $86,920 per year or $35.01 per hour
Rockhampton QLD: $86,126 per year or $34.69 per hour
Melbourne VIC: $81,760 per year or $32.93 per hour
Darwin NT: $81,370 per year or $32.77 per hour
A career in concreting is excellent for those interested in doing practical outdoor work that may require them to work out of their comfort zone.
The profession offers exciting opportunities to work as an independent contractor or in a private company.
You can begin working as a full-fledged concreter after you complete your apprenticeship.
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