Terrazzo Worker: Job Description & Career Info

Learn what terrazzo workers do. See what kind of education and skills are required for employment. Get the details about career prospects to decide if this job is right for you.

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Career Definition for Terrazzo Workers

Terrazzo workers apply specialized surfaces and finishes to the interior and exteriors of buildings and grounds using applications of pigmented concrete that they stud or inlay with small pieces of marble, glass, granite or quartz, then typically seal, cure, and polish until smooth. The projects can be outdoors, like patios or walkways, or indoors, like flooring or countertops. Terrazzo workers must work quickly and accurately because of the speed at which concrete sets. They are commonly employed by specialty or general contractors or may be self-employed. Terrazzo workers are often union members. Qualified terrazzo workers may be eligible for membership in the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association.

Education On-the-job training or apprenticeship
Licensure Information Licensure may be required in some states
Job Skills Detail-oriented thinking, physical fitness and endurance, hand-eye coordination
Median Salary (2015)* $40,710 (for terrazzo workers and finishers)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 7% (for terrazzo workers and finishers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most terrazzo workers complete on-the-job training or a union-sponsored apprenticeship. Either program may take up to four years to complete. As part of their training, terrazzo workers learn how to use and care for terrazzo tools and the associated raw materials. They also learn the various terrazzo techniques, related OSHA safety regulations, how to read blueprints, business and computer skills, mechanical drawing, and mathematics.

Licensing Requirements

According to the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association, some states or localities require terrazzo workers to apply for licensing. The qualifications for licensing may vary by location.

Skills Required

Terrazzo work is physically demanding, often done on the ground or floor, so terrazzo workers must be physically fit, able to bend, kneel, lift, and manipulate tools. They should have an eye for detail and excellent eye-hand coordination.

Career and Economic Outlook

Terrazzo workers can expect a decent job outlook, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting potential growth of 7% from 2014-2024. The BLS also reported that, in May 2015, terrazzo workers and finishers had a median annual salary of $40,710.

Alternate Career Options

Related careers include:

Marble Setter

A marble setter uses special tools to cut pieces of marble according to the size needed for a project. Marble can be applied to all kinds of surfaces for practical and decorative use, like countertops, floors, and walls. Marble setters prepare the surface, apply the necessary adhesive, and place the marble and polish it. Additional anchors may be drilled in to complete the installation. New marble setters typically learn on the job or through apprenticeships. The BLS predicts that jobs in this field will increase 6% from 2014-2024. Marble and tile setters earned median pay of $39,400 in 2015.


Stonemasons use natural and man-made stones in interior and exterior projects, like walls, floors, and building surfaces. They read blueprints to determine the kind and size of stones needed. They cut stones, prepare the work surface, apply mortar and stones then clean, polish, and caulk to finish the job. Stonemasons can work with granite, marble, limestone, concrete, or other materials. Stonemasons have a high school diploma and either postsecondary technical training or apprenticeship training. According to the BLS, jobs for stonemasons are predicted to increase 14% from 2014-2024. This occupation paid a median salary of $38,630 in 2015.

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