Stonemason Career

A stonemason is a mason that specializes in building stone walls, floors, exteriors of building and general constructions that utilize stone. These will include constructing arches, stone piers, hearths and stone steps. A stonemason works with both natural and artificial stones. Natural stones are stones like granite, marble, sandstone and limestone while artificial stones are made of cement mixed with marble chips. Some tools used by a stonemason are chisels, hammers, trowels, wedges, mallets, pneumatic drills and brushes.

Stonemasons work from plans that number each piece of stone. A cement-like material called mortar is spread between each row of stones using a trowel then the stone position is checked using a plumb line to ensure alignment. At times, stonemasons work with derricks operators who operate hoist that lift and place large stones in place.

How to Become a Stonemason

The best method to enter into this profession is by joining an apprentice program. Information about training, requirements and any other information vital to starting up in this career can be found in industry groups or local union offices. It is also a possibility to dive into a stonemason career by learning as a stonemason’s helper. Information about any job openings as a stonemason’s helper can be found at Local contractors for those who wish to join this career.

Types, Description, Information

As a starter in this business, your career should begin with hard work and mainly assisting the stonemason. However, with time, as you learn more skills, you will get to climb the professional ladder and possibly work less but earn more. Since most of the stonemason work is outdoors, you may expect to lose work in bad weather or during winter. Generally, you may put in about 40 hours weekly but you may get paid as overtime for any extra work done. Most masons are self employed but some work under contractors, big construction companies or are employed by other stonemasons.

Qualifications: Courses, Training, Certification

It is preferable that you hold a high school diploma though it is not mandatory. Most stonemasons start out as assistants of experienced stonemasons while others learn the craft at vocational colleges or technical schools.

Schools, Colleges, Universities

The most marketable and recommended training is a three-year apprenticeship sponsored by industry groups or labor unions This involves on-the-job training as well as over four hundred classroom instructional training. In these classes, you learn variety of stonemason-related fields such as using tools and materials, mathematics, blueprint reading and other subjects.  Popular colleges for stone masons include:

  1. Construction craft academy, Macedonia, OH
  2. Florida Technical College, FL
  3. Kaplan Career institute – Charlestown, MA
  4. Western Technical College – El Paso, TX
  5. Southwest Florida College – Fort Myers, FL

Job opportunities, Salaries and Recruitment

In 2008, the median earning of a stonemason was $19.36 an hour. Workers affiliated to a union often earn much more than their non-union counterparts. An apprentice usually starts off at fifty percent of an experienced stonemason’s wage but progressively get increases through the training. Stonemasons who are in unions often receive paid holidays, pension plans and medical insurance depending on the union and contracts.

Category: Construction Careers

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  1. Construction Careers, Careers in Construction | Career Guidance | October 14, 2009

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