Overall employment of cement masons and terrazzo workers is projected to grow 34 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Although employment growth will vary by specialty, both specialties’ growth will depend on the number of heavy construction and civil construction projects, including roads, bridges, and buildings.
Employment of cement masons is projected to grow 35 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations. More cement masons will be needed to build new highways, bridges, factories, and residential structures to meet the demands of a growing population.
In addition, cement masons will be needed to repair and renovate existing highways and bridges and other aging structures.
The use of concrete for buildings is increasing because its strength is an important asset in areas prone to severe weather. For example, residential construction projects in Florida are using more concrete as building requirements change in reaction to the increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes. The use of concrete is likely to expand into other hurricane-prone areas as the durability of the Florida homes becomes more established.
Employment of terrazzo workers is projected to grow 15 percent, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Terrazzo is a durable and attractive flooring option that is often used in schools, government buildings, and hospitals. The construction and renovation of such buildings will spur demand for these workers.
Job opportunities for cement masons and terrazzo workers are expected to be good, particularly for those with more experience and skills. During peak construction periods, employers report difficulty in finding workers with the right skills, because many qualified jobseekers often prefer work that is less strenuous and has more comfortable working conditions.
Applicants who take masonry-related courses at technical schools will have the best job opportunities.
As with many other construction workers, employment of cement masons and terrazzo workers is sensitive to the fluctuations of the economy. On the one hand, workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition