Cement Finishing Contractor (General/Commercial)

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing


License required in 29 states
26th most burdensome licensing requirements
33rd most heavily regulated occupation

(Last updated April 24, 2012)


Cement finishing contractors, also known as concrete mason contractors, contract with clients to smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, sidewalks, roads or curbs, using a variety of hand and power tools and align forms for sidewalks, curbs or gutters; patch voids; and use saws to cut expansion joints.

Typically, only contractors require licenses, not cement finishers who work for them. Licensing requirements differ based on the scope of the work. Those with a residential license may work only on residential properties, while those with a commercial license may work on commercial properties. In some states, work on commercial properties requires a general contractor's license that is not specific to cement finishing; the requirements are generally the same as a commercial license, and they are treated the same here.


Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia require a general contractor or commercial license for cement finishing contractors working on commercial properties. Ten states require experience -- effectively an apprenticeship working for an already licensed contractor -- ranging from two years in New Mexico, South Carolina and Utah to five years in Arkansas. With additional requirements of one to two exams and fees up to $1,030 in the case of Nevada, cement finishing contractors are ranked as having the 26th most burdensome licensing requirements. Kansas is the least burdensome, only requiring registration.

(Last updated May 3, 2012)

State Licensing Requirements

Burden RankStateFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age

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