What does a stonemason do?
Stonemasons use a variety of types of natural cut and artificial stone such as granite, sandstone, marble, limestone, and concrete. They use a set of drawings that numbers the pieces of stone to properly align the stones. They spread mortar between the rows of stones and ensure it is smooth. When necessary, stonemasons cut stones to create the appropriate size. They use precise tools to follow the natural grain of the stone to cut. Stonemasons typically build exteriors, walls, and floors out of stone, but many construct hearths, piers, sills, arches, and steps. Some also maintain, repair, and replace stone structures. They use a variety of tools such as hammers, trowels, chisels, wedges, mallets, brushes, and drills. Stonemasons typically work on nonresidential structures such as office buildings, hotels, and churches, but they also work on individual residences.
What kind of training does a stonemason need?
Stonemasons usually need at least a high school diploma. Most gain their skills through on the job training. Many stonemasons begin their career as helpers and advance as they gain the required skills and training. Others receive formal training from vocational and technical schools or apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships combine classroom instruction and paid on the job training. Apprentices are provided instruction in mathematics, blueprint reading, sketching, masonry, and layout work. Apprenticeships usually take up to 3 years to complete. All new stonemasons learn to transport materials, mix mortar, build scaffolds, and lay, align, and connect materials.
What are the prospects for a career as a stonemason?
Employment of stonemasons is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 10% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growing population and increased demand for new construction will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be very good, especially for stonemasons with advanced skills. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace stonemasons that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do stonemasons make?
As of November 2009, stonemasons with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $12.12 and $16.07. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average hourly rates between $14.87 and $20.51 (2).
A career as a stonemason is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interested in constructing structures out of stone. Stonemasons must have good physical stamina and strength and be able to complete a variety of tasks. Mechanical aptitude, manual dexterity, determination, and patience are desirable characteristics. Stonemason must be able to work outdoors and in inclement weather. They must always follow the proper safety precautions to avoid injury. They must also be able to effectively work independently and as part of a team.