The craft of masonry dates back to thousands of years ago, but the process continues to this very day. This work can vary from creating a simple walkway for the general home, or it can advance to installing large ornaments for the exterior of a building. In short, a masonry worker builds fences, walls, or walkways by using concrete, bricks, or other block structures. Whether the intent is to guard some privacy or build a separate area for an individual, masonry workers are appreciated and in high demand.
These workers usually have a high school diploma or GED and gain experience through an apprenticeship. College is not required, only the motivation for building and on-the-job experience that is paid for. Duties include reading or drawing up blueprints, laying out patterns, and cutting materials to a fitting size before laying down mortar into the foundation.
Masonry workers should have excellent organization skills and a knack for design. They should be able to know basic math and how to align certain structures horizontally or vertically. Working well with tools and with other workers is a must, so these workers should be prepared for that along with working outdoors for long periods of time. If you enjoy design, building, and work well with others, this may be the job for you!
Examples of Pre-Apprenticeship Skills
- Demonstrating the correct use of common tools and job site safety
- Mixing mortar and grout
- Lay down lines and grades
- Building structures such as fireplaces, arches and patios
- Installing and displacing blocked or brick walls
- Laying down brick floors and stairs
- Cut and select stones for creating patterns
Masonry Work Includes:
Masonry workers are able to work in both residential and commercial buildings. These workers can find jobs working with inground pools, building exteriors, building walls and dividers, decorating patios and other structural foundations. Masonry workers should be able to lift heavy objects and work outside but their redeeming work comes out in their creativity and communication skills.
This type of work involves strength and stamina. Masonry workers should be able to notice different color variations and picture how stones will fit together before installing the structures. Deadlines are usually a major part of the job, so workers should be able to work effectively and timely without rushing the job or making errors. Weather delays like rain or snow may stop work, but never halt the vision of a good masonry worker.
Opportunities in a Masonry Career
Some states find the need for masonry workers more than others due to privacy needs or building requirements but overall, this type of work is generally in high demand and training doesn’t take long. The need for these workers has grown abundantly in the past decade and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down. While the job can be physically demanding, masonry workers do not typically have a hard time finding work and their duties pay off in the unique challenges they meet every day.
- General contractor
- Product sales representative
- Masonry inspector
- Mason tender
Average Pay Rate
During pre-apprenticeship training, new masonry workers receive anywhere between $12 to $14 an hour, depending on the employer. With continued training, those further experienced receive between $14 to $16 an hour. Once fully certified, the masonry worker can make between $45,000 to $50,000 a year, again, depending on the employer or the location. Full certification takes about 3 to 4 years, but the process is definitely worth it.