How to Get a Concreter Apprenticeship: A Step-by-Step Guide
Updated 23 April 2023
Apprenticeships are useful programs for candidates that wish to gain practical experience while learning from seasoned professionals. Candidates who have the necessary hard and soft skills and enjoy working outdoors can benefit from a career as a concreter. Understanding how to apply for a concreting apprenticeship can help you fulfil the necessary criteria to become an apprentice and learn vital skills for your future career. In this article, we explain what concreting apprenticeships are, discuss how to get a concreter apprenticeship, provide tips for applying and describe candidate requirements.
What is a concreting apprenticeship?
Concreter apprenticeships are programs where trainee concreters work with fully qualified professionals to gain a comprehensive understanding of the trade. Through a mixture of practical work and observation, apprentices absorb their mentor's skills to fulfil the duties of a full-time concreter. These apprenticeships may be part or full-time positions where the candidate can work around study obligations. Apprenticeships are excellent options for visual learners or those who wish to have a career in the trades industry where they perform various technical tasks with their hands.
During a concreting apprenticeship, candidates accompany their supervisor to a site where they observe members of a concreting team, learn how to lay concrete, engage with customers, polish concrete and organise the workspace. These candidates work with various construction professionals and clients to gain confidence by liaising with third parties like builders, architects, suppliers and customers. Apprentices receive pay for their work, making this a good option for young candidates to learn while maintaining a steady salary.
How to get a concreter apprenticeship
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to get a concreter apprenticeship:
1. Finish your high school education
Although there are no formal educational requirements when applying for a concreter apprenticeship, it may be helpful to complete your high school studies first. A high school education may help you gain access to higher education qualifications that can help advance your career. High school certifications also demonstrate that you possess sufficient written and verbal communication skills that improve customer interaction and report writing. Having the option to access higher education may also help you qualify for higher-paying roles due to your in-depth subject knowledge.
2. Pursue formal certification
Certification is a practical way to reassure employers and clients that you possess comprehensive skills that enable you to get the job done well. Candidates for apprenticeships in the construction industry may consider a Certificate III in Concreting to gain an intensive understanding of working with concrete. This certification covers subjects such as working with technical briefs, workplace safety, repairing concrete, excavation and using industry equipment like oxy-LGP. It's important to note that this isn't a requirement to secure an apprenticeship but may demonstrate confidence and technical ability to a hiring manager, potentially increasing your chances of success.
3. Prepare your professional resume
Once you have finished your certification and researched the requirements for a specific apprenticeship program, you can now prepare your professional resume. Your resume is an opportunity to market yourself and express why you're a suitable candidate for a concreting apprenticeship role. Consider dedicating a section to your professional skills and how they relate to a concreting apprenticeship. If you have other industry experience and decided to change careers, consider including some employment history, including how your experience links to the necessary concreting skills.
4. Apply for a concreting apprenticeship
Once you've completed your resume and thoroughly proofread it, you can apply for apprenticeships. When applying, ensure that you familiarise yourself with the employer's working history and company portfolio to understand the projects you're likely to work on. Knowledge of the employer's history can also help you understand the quality standard of your potential employer. You may also consider logistical elements such as travel time, work hours, pay and how to fit the apprenticeship around any other obligations such as part-time employment or education.
Tips for applying for a concreting apprenticeship
Here are some tips for applying for a concreting apprenticeship:
Conduct careful research into your potential employers: It's important to conduct extensive research on potential concreting apprenticeship employers to ensure that their company culture aligns with your working expectations. This is also important for understanding their expectations of apprentices and the individual requirements for the role.
Thoroughly proofread your resume: Before submitting your resume, consider taking some time to proofread the contents thoroughly. Your resume is typically the first example of your communication skills, which is important when interacting with customers, so ensure no spelling or grammatical errors are present.
Talk to professionals in the concreting industry: Consider contacting industry professionals to gain a more comprehensive insight into what concreting apprenticeships involve. Through this, you may gain some useful advice that can help advance your application or help you choose the appropriate internship program for your career goals.
Consider a pre-trade training program: You can consider taking part in a pre-apprenticeship program such as a Certificate II In Building and Construction Pre-apprenticeship. This may give you a competitive edge during an application process as it provides you with basic knowledge of the construction and concreting industry, which may speed up your training.
Requirements for a concreting apprenticeship
There are typically no formal educational requirements for concreting apprentices, although this may vary depending on the employer. Candidates can benefit from understanding the hard and soft skills necessary for full-time employment after an apprenticeship program. These skills enable them to liaise with third parties like customers and suppliers while operating machinery and ensuring high-quality concrete laying. While candidates can learn hard skills through professional certification, supervisors may also teach them these skills. Candidates build confidence with soft skills through their daily activities.
Here are some relevant skills:
Hard skills are industry-specific skills that allow candidates to perform complex concreting duties. These hard skills are typically an employer's minimum expectation of candidates after finishing their apprenticeship. Here are some examples:
Stamina: Concreters spend a lot of their day on their feet travelling around a site. Stamina and good fitness levels ensure that professionals and apprentices stay energised throughout a shift.
Strength: Apprentices may carry heavy cement mix bags around the site for mixing or may operate heavy machinery. These activities require a good level of strength to ensure apprentices can lift materials without risking injury.
Customer service: Concreting apprentices may arrange appointments with clients on behalf of their supervisors. Good customer service skills allow them to build confidence in their interpersonal skills and maintain positive customer relationships.
Knowledge of mixing ratios: Apprentices may assist with concrete mixing so they can begin laying it. This requires a good understanding of appropriate ratios to use in conjunction with the size of the construction project.
Machinery skills: To lay the concrete, apprentices may use different machinery, like a concrete pump, to transport the concrete to high places. Machinery skills allow them to operate this and troubleshoot minor issues by conducting small repairs.
Interpretation of technical drawings: Concreters take a brief from their client that illustrates how they want the overall construction to look. Interpreting this brief requires good analytical skills and an understanding of technical drawings to ensure they produce results as close to the brief as possible.
Monitoring: Apprentices learn strong monitoring skills to ensure that the quality of the concrete work they undertake is up to industry standard.
Soft skills refer to general employability skills that enable apprentices to build their confidence in interacting with customers, improving their communication and adapting to new workplaces. While entry-level apprenticeship roles may require candidates to have a baseline understanding of these skills, candidates can typically develop these through experience. Here are some soft skill examples:
Communication: Communication is an important skill for apprentices to receive and understand working expectations from supervisors. Communication is also important for apprentices when they ask for guidance during a new task or in helping understand a customer's expectations regarding concrete design or colour.
Flexibility: Apprentices may work on different sites daily, each with different start times and working hours. This requires good flexibility skills to help them adapt to new working conditions and remain productive.
Collaborative skills: Concreting apprentices may work with several concrete professionals during their program. Collaboration skills help them work effectively with these professionals and absorb their teachings and skills while maintaining positive working relationships.
Technical skills: Apprentice concreters may conduct administrative duties, such as preparing invoices or helping their supervisor manage customer relationships with specialist software. This requires confident technical skills to ensure that apprentices can handle small data management duties and limit technical faults.
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