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Become A Mason

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Working As A Mason

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $57,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Mason Do

Masonry workers, also known as masons, use bricks, concrete blocks, concrete, and natural and manmade stones to build walls, walkways, fences, and other masonry structures.

Duties

Masons typically do the following:

  • Read blueprints or drawings to calculate materials needed
  • Lay out patterns, forms, or foundations according to plans
  • Break or cut materials to required size
  • Mix mortar or grout and spread it onto a slab or foundation
  • Clean excess mortar with trowels and other hand tools
  • Construct corners with a corner pole or by building a corner pyramid
  • Align structure vertically and horizontally
  • Clean and polish surfaces with hand or power tools
  • Fill expansion joints with the appropriate caulking materials

Masonry materials are some of the most common and durable materials used in construction. Brick, block, and stone structures can last for hundreds of years. Concrete—a mixture of cement, sand, gravel, and water—is the foundation for everything from decorative patios and floors to huge dams or miles of roadways.

Brickmasons and blockmasons—often called bricklayers—build and repair walls, floors, partitions, fireplaces, chimneys, and other structures with brick, terra cotta, precast masonry panels, concrete block, and other masonry materials. Pointing, cleaning, and caulking workers are brickmasons who repair brickwork, particularly on older structures on which mortar has come loose. Refractory masons are brickmasons who specialize in installing firebrick, gunite, castables, and refractory tile in high-temperature boilers, furnaces, cupolas, ladles, and soaking pits in industrial establishments.

Cement masons and concrete finishers place and finish concrete. They may color concrete surfaces, expose aggregate (small stones) in walls and sidewalks, or make concrete beams, columns, and panels. Throughout the process of pouring, leveling, and finishing concrete, cement masons must monitor how the wind, heat, or cold affects the curing of the concrete. They must have a thorough knowledge of the characteristics of concrete so that they can determine what is happening to the concrete and take measures to prevent defects. Some small jobs may require the use of a supportive wire mesh called lath. On larger jobs, reinforcing iron and rebar workers install the reinforcing mesh.

Segmental pavers—also referred to as patio pavers—install interlocking masonry walkways, driveways, and patios. Workers need to prepare the site carefully to ensure the masonry units connect properly without gaps or ridges.

Stonemasons build stone walls, as well as set stone exteriors and floors. They work with two types of stone: natural-cut stone, such as marble, granite, and limestone; and artificial stone, made from concrete, marble chips, or other masonry materials. Using a special hammer or a diamond-blade saw, workers cut stone to make various shapes and sizes. Some stonemasons specialize in setting marble, which is similar to setting large pieces of stone.

Terrazzo workers and finishers, also known as terrazzo masons, create decorative walkways, floors, patios, and panels. Much of the terrazzo preliminary work of pouring, leveling, and finishing concrete is similar to that of cement masons. Epoxy terrazzo requires less base preparation and is significantly thinner when completed. Terrazzo workers create decorative finishes by blending fine marble chips into the epoxy or cement, which is often colored. Once the terrazzo is thoroughly set, workers correct any depressions or imperfections with a grinder to create a smooth, uniform finish. Terrazzo workers also install decorative toppings and/or polishing compounds to new or existing concrete.

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How To Become A Mason

Most masons have a high school diploma or equivalent and learn either on the job or through an apprenticeship program. Others learn through masonry programs at technical schools.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for most masons. High school courses in mathematics, mechanical drawing, and vocational education are considered useful.

Many technical schools offer programs in basic masonry. These programs operate both independently and in conjunction with apprenticeship training. The credits earned as part of an apprenticeship program usually count toward an associate’s degree. Some people take courses before being hired, and some take them later as part of on-the-job training.

Training

A 3- to 4-year apprenticeship is how most masons learn the trade. For each year of the program, apprentices must complete at least 144 hours of related technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. In the future, apprenticeships are expected to focus more on proven competencies than time-in-training and therefore the duration of apprenticeships may decrease.

Apprentices learn construction basics such as blueprint reading; mathematics, including measurement, volume, and mixing proportions; building code requirements; and safety and first-aid practices. 

Several groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. Some apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. The basic qualifications for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Physically able to do the work

Some contractors have their own training programs for masons. Although workers may enter apprenticeships directly, some masons start out as construction helpers. The Home Builders Institute and the International Masonry Institute offer pre-apprenticeship training program for eight construction trades, including masonry.

After completing an apprenticeship program, masons are considered journey workers and are able to perform tasks on their own.

Important Qualities

Color vision. Terrazzo workers must be able to distinguish between small variations in color when setting terrazzo patterns in order to produce the best looking finish.

Hand-eye coordination. Workers must be able to apply smooth, even layers of mortar, set bricks, and remove any excess before the mortar hardens.

Math skills. Cement masons use their knowledge of math—including measurement, volume, and mixing proportions—when they mix their own mortar.

Physical stamina. Brickmasons must keep a steady pace while setting bricks all day. Although no individual brick is extremely heavy, the constant lifting can be tiring.

Physical strength. Workers must be strong enough to lift more than 50 pounds. They must also carry heavy tools, equipment, and other materials, such as bags of mortar and grout.

Visualization. Stonemasons must be able to see how stones fit together in order to build attractive and stable structures.

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Mason Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Marble Mason 7.6 years
Bricklayer 5.4 years
Tile Mason 4.5 years
Brick Mason 4.3 years
Rock Mason 4.2 years
Cement Mason 4.1 years
Mason 4.0 years
Stone Mason 3.8 years
Block Mason 3.8 years
Concrete Mason 3.4 years
Lead Mason Tender 3.4 years
Mason Tender 2.9 years
Mason Apprentice 2.8 years
Mason Helper 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Mason
Cashier 11.5%
Internship 7.9%
Carpenter 6.7%
Foreman 5.2%
Manager 5.0%
Volunteer 4.6%
Supervisor 4.5%
Owner 4.3%
Technician 3.9%
Cook 3.9%
Driver 3.6%
Server 3.5%
Assistant 3.3%
Top Careers After Mason
Owner 7.2%
Cashier 6.8%
Foreman 6.8%
Carpenter 6.4%
Internship 6.3%
Driver 5.9%
Supervisor 4.9%
Manager 4.2%
Technician 4.0%
Cook 3.6%
Assistant 3.6%

Do you work as a Mason?

Average Yearly Salary
$57,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$26,000
Min 10%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$124,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Fluor
Highest Paying City
Prior Lake, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does a Mason make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Mason in the United States is $57,674 per year or $28 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $26,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $124,000.

Real Mason Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Mason MPZ Masonry, Inc. Chicago, IL Feb 16, 2016 $141,227
Mason All Pro Contracting LLC East Orange, NJ Jun 01, 2015 $74,385 -
$74,390
Terra-Cotta Mason Adam's European Contracting New York, NY Aug 16, 2010 $72,000
Terra-Cotta Mason Adam's European Contracting New York, NY Aug 13, 2010 $72,000
Mason Mascon Restoration Inc. NY Jul 12, 2011 $71,573
Mason Mascon Restoration Inc. NY Sep 08, 2008 $66,784 -
$67,828
Plaster and Stucco Mason Janeczek Construction of Nj, Inc. Paramus, NJ May 19, 2010 $66,346
Mason Bairrada Liberty Construction Co., Inc. Linden, NJ Apr 15, 2010 $65,344
Terra-Cotta Mason Adam's European Contracting New York, NY May 18, 2010 $65,000
Plaster and Stucco Mason Janeczek Construction LLC Paramus, NJ Sep 11, 2009 $61,629
Stucco Masons Romano Construction LLC Parma, OH Feb 01, 2016 $60,627
Stucco Mason Pro Line Roofing & Chimney Corp. NY Nov 29, 2010 $60,314
Mason MFA Masonry Corp. White Plains, NY Jan 26, 2010 $60,001
Plasterers and Stocco Masons Everest Realty Holding, Inc. New York, NY Apr 09, 2009 $56,871
Mason Bart Byrcyn Construction Co Lockport, IL May 21, 2010 $51,293
Mason Surrounds, Inc. Sterling, VA Sep 20, 2010 $50,359
Mason Surrounds, Inc. Sterling, VA Mar 16, 2011 $50,359
Mason Great Construction & Renovation, Inc. NY Dec 04, 2009 $50,255
Mason Red Star Electric Corp. Congers, NY Mar 30, 2011 $50,255
Mason Masonry Services, Inc. New York, NY Dec 22, 2009 $50,255
Mason Masonry Company, Inc. Wheeling, IL Aug 02, 2012 $48,630
Masons Bridge Hampton Stone, Inc. Manorville, NY Mar 18, 2009 $46,561
Mason Frank Matera & Daughter Landscaping Contractors, LLC Norwalk, CT Feb 03, 2011 $39,924
Mason D & F Construction Co., Inc. Forestville, MD Sep 10, 2012 $39,811
Stucco Mason Triad Associates, Inc. MA Apr 01, 2011 $39,131
Mason Cs Design Build LLC T/A BR Design/Build MD Oct 20, 2009 $38,797
Mason Fernandez Landscape Masonry, LLC Morristown, NJ Jun 08, 2010 $38,797
Stucco Mason KIS Construction Jacksonville, FL Apr 07, 2008 $37,877
Mason Salvatore Basile Inc. New York, NY Mar 18, 2011 $37,775
Stucco Mason M. J. Cosma, Inc. Buford, GA Mar 14, 2009 $37,566

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Top Skills for A Mason

  1. Masonry
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Job Site
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed all tasks associated with completing masonry jobs requested by customers.
  • Train workers in construction methods, operation of equipment, safety procedures, and company policies.
  • Set up and maintain job site for mason, assist mason with laying block, concrete and paving brick.
  • Mix mortar; lays bricks, blocks and stone.
  • General LaborerWork Experience-Assisted in daily sanitation of job site-Ability to lift 50 pounds or more on multiple occasions

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Masons

  1. Missouri
  2. Illinois
  3. Connecticut
  4. Washington
  5. New York
  6. New Jersey
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Ohio
  9. Hawaii
  10. Minnesota
  • (38 jobs)
  • (47 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (49 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (44 jobs)
  • (194 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (44 jobs)

Mason Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 9,471 Mason resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Mason Resume

View Resume Examples

Mason Demographics

Gender

Male

70.5%

Female

20.4%

Unknown

9.1%
Ethnicity

White

65.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

6.4%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.9%

French

7.7%

German

4.9%

Japanese

3.5%

Hindi

2.8%

Carrier

2.8%

Chinese

2.8%

Arabic

2.8%

Dutch

1.4%

Mandarin

1.4%

Nepali

1.4%

Italian

1.4%

Portuguese

1.4%

Urdu

1.4%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Marathi

0.7%

Gujarati

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Danish

0.7%

Indonesian

0.7%
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Mason Education

Schools

George Mason University

49.3%

University of Phoenix

7.0%

University of Cincinnati

5.2%

The Academy

4.6%

Lansing Community College

3.1%

Pennsylvania State University

3.0%

Northern Virginia Community College

2.9%

Lincoln Technical Institute

2.0%

Towson University

2.0%

University of Washington

2.0%

Kent State University

1.9%

George Washington University

1.9%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

1.9%

Liberty University

1.9%

Michigan State University

1.9%

West Virginia University

1.9%

Miami University

1.9%

Kaplan University

1.8%

Ohio State University

1.8%

Monroe Community College

1.8%
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Majors

Business

22.4%

Criminal Justice

6.6%

Nursing

5.7%

General Studies

5.3%

Masonry

5.2%

Communication

5.1%

Computer Science

4.7%

Education

4.5%

Psychology

4.5%

Accounting

4.5%

Finance

3.6%

Kinesiology

3.6%

Liberal Arts

3.4%

Management

3.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.1%

Electrical Engineering

3.0%

Political Science

3.0%

Construction Management

2.9%

Precision Metal Working

2.8%

Law

2.7%
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Degrees

Other

34.1%

Bachelors

32.9%

Associate

12.8%

Masters

9.0%

Certificate

6.2%

Diploma

2.3%

Doctorate

2.3%

License

0.4%
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