Want to be a Mason? 5 Things You Need to Know

Are you considering a career in masonry? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of masonry workers will grow 11 percent through 2028, which is “much faster than the average” for all occupations. Before you launch your career, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a strong attention to detail?
  • Do you enjoy aesthetics and design elements?  
  • Do you have strong hand-eye coordination?
  • Are you willing to work a physically taxing job?
  • Are you willing to work long hours?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, masonry may be a good fit for you. Here are five things to know:

Get Physical

Masonry requires an immense amount of physical stamina and strength. Masons regularly lift heavy bricks, concrete blocks, and other stone materials, sometimes for hours per day. If you are not accustomed to lifting heavy objects, doing so “cold” can cause serious injury to your body. If you are thinking about a career in masonry, consider hitting the gym to start working your muscles and building up additional strength. Your body will thank you later.

Complete an Apprenticeship

The typical career path for a mason starts with training through an apprenticeship program, normally lasting three to four years. Aspiring masons should expect a combination of formal classroom instruction and on-the-job training. According to Land Your Life, aspiring masons must complete 144 hours of instruction and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training each year of their apprenticeship. Classroom instruction covers the history of masonry and construction math. On-the-job training varies depending on the type of masonry you’re interested in.

Decide on a Career Path

When you choose a masonry apprenticeship, you also need to choose a career path. Masons can specialize as brick masons, cement masons, stone masons, and marble or tile setters, among other jobs. Your on-the-job training will depend on which area you select. For instance, brick masons may learn how to perform waterproofing or repair existing masonry, while cement masons may learn how to set forms or create steps and trim. 

Brush Up on Blueprints

During an apprenticeship, aspiring masons can expect to learn how to properly read and use blueprints. The ability to accurately read blueprints is essential to masonry. As a mason, you can expect to start the day by working with blueprints to calculate the materials you need for the project. Blueprints are also used to lay out patterns, foundations, and forms for various job types.

Consider the Compensation

The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median annual salary for a mason as $44,801. However, masons’ salary can depend on their specialization. Brick masons’ and block masons’ median annual wage is the highest in the field at $50,950. Stonemasons’ median annual salary is the lowest, at $41,220.

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