Brick, block and stone masons earn an hour wage of $13.26 to $35.63. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, this averages out to be approximately $21.94 an hour. Individuals who work through a masonry apprenticeship program earn approximately half of the average wages that an experienced stone or brick mason earn. These rates vary depending on the skills, training and experience that the individual mason has, the geographical area in which they work, the exact field of masonry that they work in and the company they work for.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Outlook
Masons are responsible for the construction of structures such as buildings, walls, floors, patios, driveways and walkway areas that are constructed out of bricks, blocks or stone. They work with specialized tools that are designed for cutting and shaping these materials to create specific designs. These workers are also responsible for the repair of brick, block and stone structures that are cracked or have imperfections. Block masons work more in the area of setting concrete block foundations for the support of buildings and residential homes.
Despite whether an individual works in the area of block, brick or stone masonry they must be able to work well with various customers who have diverse personalities, they need to be able to read blueprints and follow diagrams with precision and they need to be able to do a great deal of physical labor work.
In order to provide the best results in the area of masonry, an individual must be able to work in a variety of outdoor weather conditions. These individuals must also have good strength and endurance. Working in hazardous conditions such as heights and with tools that can be dangerous, these individuals must have the training and knowledge to work in a safe manner. Most masons work a forty hour work week, however, these hours may vary depending on the time of year it is and the need for new construction within their geographical area.
Stone, brick and block masons can expect to see an increase of 12% by the year 2018. This means that this career field will stay steady with a slight increase over the next eight years. Masons who have a diverse amount of education and knowledge in various areas of masonry will have the best opportunities for employment.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
An individual must attend either an informal or formal training program before they can work as a brick, block or stone mason. These programs are available through technical schools, community colleges and on-the-job training experience. The skills and experience that is required for this type of career field can also be obtained through apprenticeship programs. Regardless of the option an individual selects to gain their skills and knowledge, they will start their learning process as a mason tender. This is a person who helps the mason do his or her work and learns skills such as how to set stone, mix and layout the mortar and set the bricks and blocks correctly. They will also learn repairing, pointing and reporting as it is related to masonry work.
If the individual selects the option of learning the trade through an apprenticeship program, they will work through a union and employer for a period of three to four years. The individual will get hands on experience in the field of masonry while they work to complete at least a total of 144 hours of academic work each year that they are in the apprenticeship program. While in the classroom, the individual will gain the skills and knowledge in the area of sketching, math and blueprint reading. In order to be eligible for an apprenticeship program, the individual must be at least seventeen years old, be in good physical health and have a high school diploma.
There are no specific cortication or licenses that a stone, brick or block mason are required to have. However, they do choose to increase their knowledge and training in their specified area of profession, they can receive a diploma through their community college, technical school or an apprenticeship program. This will show potential employers that they are competent to work in their field. Often times Union and company training programs are available for the professional mason to complete to help them increase their level of skills and knowledge base where their profession is concerned.
There are a few associations that are set up to offer the professional brick mason, block mason and stone mason support in their professional.
The National Concrete Masonry Association was first established in 1918. This association helps their members in the areas of technical research and legislation. They are located in Herndon, Virginia.
The International Union of Brickmakers and Allied Craftworkers was first established in 1865. This organization offers their members who work in all areas of masonry the opportunity to obtain safety information and training opportunities. This association is deeply involved in the political aspects of legislation as it deals with the career field of masonry.