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Stonemason

Career Highlights

  • Create simple brick walkways or ornate exteriors
  • Each stone is numbered and placed
  • Creative and very structured

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Career Summary

Stonemasons are construction workers who specialize in working with bricks and stones for decorative or functional purposes. Their work varies in complexity, from laying a simple brick walkway to installing an ornate exterior on a high-rise building. Stonemasons also build and repair walls, floors, partitions, fireplaces, chimneys, and other structures with brick, pre-cast masonry panels, concrete block, and other masonry materials.

Some stonemasons specialize in installing firebrick linings in industrial furnaces. 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. Their creations usually consist of churches, hotels, residences and office buildings.

Because of the expense associated with the work, stonemasons are thoroughly trained. They often work from a set of drawings, in which each stone has been numbered for identification. Assistants may help with the material handling of pre-numbered stones. The work is complex and very detailed starting with the first course of stones being laid into a shallow bed of mortar. The work progresses slowly with each stone having a predetermined placement. To hold large stones in place, stonemasons attach brackets to the stone and weld or bolt these brackets to anchors in the wall.

Refractory masons are stonemasons who specialize in installing firebrick and refractory tile in high-temperature boilers and furnaces. Most of these workers are employed in steel mills, where molten materials flow on refractory beds from furnaces to rolling machines.

Stonemasons use special equipment and tools for their work. They also repair imperfections and cracks, and replace broken or missing masonry units in walls and floors. In the past, masons doing nonresidential interior work mainly built block partition walls and elevator shafts, but because many types of masonry and stone are used in the interiors of today’s nonresidential structures, these workers now must be more versatile.

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Salary

$35000*

Education

Requires a degree in:

  • Construction & an apprenticeship in Stonemasonry

Career Skills

  • Carrying materials
  • Mixing mortar
  • Building scaffolds
  • Stone and concrete knowledge
  • Residential & commercial construction

Additional Information

National Center for Construction Education and Research

National Association of Women in Construction

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References

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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.