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Become A Stone Mason

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Working As A Stone 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

  • $78,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Stone 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 Stone 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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Stone Mason Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Stone Setter 4.2 years
Rock Mason 4.2 years
Stone Mason 4.0 years
Mason 3.8 years
Block Mason 3.8 years
Mason Tender 2.9 years
Mason Apprentice 2.8 years
Top Careers Before Stone Mason
Cashier 7.5%
Mason 7.2%
Foreman 5.8%
Carpenter 5.6%
Cook 5.3%
Internship 3.9%
Landscaper 3.9%
Owner 3.6%
Server 3.6%
Assistant 3.3%
Driver 3.1%
Top Careers After Stone Mason
Driver 6.3%
Cashier 6.3%
Mason 5.7%
Owner 5.5%
Carpenter 5.2%
Foreman 5.0%
Internship 4.4%
Welder 4.4%
Cook 4.2%
Technician 3.9%
Assistant 3.9%
Painter 3.7%

Do you work as a Stone Mason?

Average Yearly Salary
$78,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$36,000
Min 10%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$170,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Modern Language Association
Highest Paying City
Lewisville, TX
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does a Stone Mason make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Stone Mason in the United States is $78,889 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $170,000.

Real Stone Mason Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Stone Mason Joseph Montrella Masonry Inc. Radnor, PA May 21, 2010 $60,189
Decorative Stone Mason Landscope, Inc. Edgartown, MA Jun 01, 2012 $57,720
Decorative Stone Mason Landscope, Inc. Edgartown, MA Aug 16, 2011 $57,720
Decorative Stone Mason Landscope, Inc. Edgartown, MA Sep 01, 2011 $57,720
Stone Masons Ital Masonry Corporation Mendham, NJ Mar 02, 2011 $55,619
Stone Mason Elite Homes & Gardens, LLC Vernon, NJ Mar 11, 2010 $55,619
Stone Mason Turkish Society of Rochester Rochester, NY Oct 01, 2016 $55,097
Stone Masons, Laborers Pedroza, Inc. Beltsville, MD Apr 28, 2016 $54,345
Stone Mason Quality Stone Veneer, Inc. WV May 12, 2016 $54,163
Stone Mason Flooring Solutions, Inc. Washington, DC Mar 28, 2015 $53,615
Stone Mason Flooring Solutions, Inc. Washington, DC Dec 15, 2014 $53,615
Stone Mason Flooring Solutions, Inc. Washington, DC Dec 16, 2014 $53,615
Stone Mason Granite Expo LLC Sterling, VA Jan 15, 2009 $44,871
Stone Mason Granite Expo LLC Sterling, VA Oct 10, 2008 $44,871
Stone Mason Granite Expo LLC Sterling, VA Oct 02, 2008 $44,871
Stone Masons Ali's Nursery, LLC CT Sep 08, 2010 $44,641
Stone Mason All Boro Rehab Corp. Inwood, NY Jun 03, 2008 $44,595
Stone Mason Hoffman Landscapes, Inc. Wilton, CT Feb 15, 2008 $44,557
Stone Masons Tamir Construction, Inc. Annandale, VA Feb 14, 2008 $43,890
Stone Mason F. Pardo Corp. Palisades Park, NJ Dec 09, 2010 $42,825
Stone Mason Helpers Brick and Stone Masons, Ltd. NY May 17, 2013 $38,610
Stone Mason South Bay Asphalt, Inc. Sayville, NY Apr 12, 2010 $38,359
Stone Mason PKM Landscape Design, Inc. Winchester, MA Sep 22, 2008 $38,317
Stone Mason PKM Landscape Design, Inc. Winchester, MA Jun 07, 2011 $38,317
Stone Mason Gallegos Masonry Wolcott, CO Apr 25, 2016 $38,150
Stone Mason Ladson, LLC NY Mar 30, 2011 $37,796 -
$38,610
Stone Mason MJM Landscaping, Inc. Stamford, CT Nov 16, 2007 $37,796
Stone Masons Stoneworks Masonry, LLC Ketchum, ID Jul 22, 2016 $37,232

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Top Skills for A Stone Mason

  1. Stone Fireplaces
  2. Heavy Equipment
  3. Job Site
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted with the installation of foundations, block/brick work, custom stone fireplaces, fieldstone, and veneers.
  • Install stone on walls patios retaining walls, operate heavy equipment,
  • Perform regular job site observations to provide direction for all general contractor personnel.
  • Job Description: Laying stone, cutting stone, mixing cement and mortar, general clean up, customer service
  • Mix cement, lay stone and brick and all other duties involved in masonry process

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Stone Masons

  1. Wisconsin
  2. New Jersey
  3. Rhode Island
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Alaska
  6. Nevada
  7. Virginia
  8. Iowa
  9. Nebraska
  10. Delaware
  • (5 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)

Stone Mason Demographics

Gender

Male

87.8%

Unknown

7.6%

Female

4.6%
Ethnicity

White

68.3%

Hispanic or Latino

12.4%

Black or African American

10.4%

Asian

5.2%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.3%

German

17.6%

French

14.7%

Carrier

5.9%

Polish

5.9%

Portuguese

2.9%

Chinese

2.9%

Ukrainian

2.9%

Japanese

2.9%

Czech

2.9%

Russian

2.9%

Italian

2.9%
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Stone Mason Education

Schools

The Academy

9.2%

Owens Community College

6.2%

Santa Fe Community College

6.2%

Utah Valley University

6.2%

ITT Technical Institute-Charlotte North

4.6%

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

4.6%

East Tennessee State University

4.6%

Wake Technical Community College

4.6%

Community College of Philadelphia

4.6%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.6%

State University of New York College at New Paltz

4.6%

West Virginia University

4.6%

College of Lake County

4.6%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

4.6%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

4.6%

Brookdale Community College

4.6%

Pennsylvania College of Technology

4.6%

Eastern Kentucky University

4.6%

University of New Mexico

4.6%

University of Southern Maine

3.1%
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Majors

Business

22.0%

General Studies

8.5%

Criminal Justice

6.6%

Liberal Arts

5.4%

Precision Metal Working

5.0%

Construction Management

5.0%

English

4.6%

Masonry

4.2%

Automotive Technology

4.2%

Psychology

4.2%

Education

3.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.5%

Computer Science

3.5%

Drafting And Design

3.1%

Electrical Engineering

3.1%

Environmental Science

2.7%

Mechanical Engineering

2.7%

History

2.7%

Engineering

2.7%

Fine Arts

2.3%
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Degrees

Other

43.8%

Bachelors

29.5%

Associate

15.4%

Certificate

5.1%

Masters

3.0%

Diploma

2.2%

Doctorate

1.0%
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