Masons are responsible for constructing buildings, floors and walls using stone, block or brick. When working on a building, brick masons began at corner section, lay out a section of mortar and then start setting out a line of brick. These have to be set with precision and straight according to the building’s blueprint using a trowel. If a brick has to be cut to fit, a hammer and chisel or a saw is used to make it the right size. This is important around areas servings as entrances or openings. They then complete the work by by finishing off the mortar edges. Other structures may require the building of an arch.
Brick Masons, Block Masons and Stone Masons Job Responsibilities
Those working as stone masons construct walls, floors and exteriors on buildings and homes. They work with a variety of natural stone such as granite and limestone, or artificial type stone that is made out of concrete and other materials. The stone mason utilizes specialized tools for cutting and shaping the stone, of which are set in place based on a drawing with numbered positions. They may also add brackets to the stones, which helps to secure them to each other. Once they have been sat, they use a special cleaning solution to make the surface stain free and at its best. These workers also repair structures made of brick or stone and repair cracks and other imperfections that may appear over time. Block masons, using tools similar to a brick mason, set concrete blocks in place for foundations that will support buildings and residential homes.
Individuals entering this profession must be able to work outdoors in various kinds of weather along with having good strength and endurance. They will face such safety hazards as working at heights and with various tools that may cause injury if safety precautions are not observed. Their normal work week is around 40 hours, but can vary according to the time of year and need for new construction.
Brick Masons, Block Masons and Stone Masons Training and Education Requirements
Training in this field can be either informal or through a formal training program. Informally, the worker can observe a more experienced mason while working and through on-the-job experience. Technical schools and community colleges often have programs available, while another avenue is through becoming an apprentice. When learning, the individual starts as a mason tender, who helps the mason do his or her work and learns how to set stone, mix and layout mortar and set brick or block. Other skills they will learn include repairing, pointing and reporting.
Apprenticeship programs are offered through a union and the employer that lasts a period of 3 to 4 years. During this time the individual gets hands on experience while working and completes a total of 144 hours of academic work each year of the program. In the classroom, the individual will learn skills such as sketching, math and blueprint reading. To be eligible, a person must be a minimum of 17 years old and have good physical health. A high school diploma is recommended in the individual can best prepare a taking classes in math, shop and mechanical drawing.
Brick Masons, Block Masons and Stone Masons Salary and Wages
By 2018, mason should see a gross of job opportunity of around 12%, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average hourly wage starts at approximately $21.94, with the highest paid per hour at $13.26 And the highest at or above $35.63. Those in the apprenticeship programs start at approximately half of the pay of an experienced stone or brick mason.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Jobs within this a field can be positively adversely affected by changes in the national economy. When construction of either businesses or residential homes drops, there may be times of unemployment. Masons who are diversely trained have a better chance of continuous employment, especially during peak construction seasons.
Brick Masons, Block Masons and Stone Masons Certifications
Stone, brick and block masons are generally not required to have a specific license. They can receive a diploma from a community college, technical school or apprenticeship program that shows they are competent to work in his field. Union and company training programs will often have continuing education opportunities for practicing workers that helps them to increase their skill level and knowledge base.
Brick Masons, Block Masons and Stone Masons Professional Associations
The National Concrete Masonry Association is located in Herndon, Virginia and was established in 1918. Members in this association are primarily those working in the concrete masonry industry. Besides supporting its members, the organization is involved in technical research and legislation. The International Union of Brickmakers and Allied Craftworkers was established in 1865 and has members across the spectrum in masonry. This organization offers safety information and training opportunities to members while being involved politically in legislation as well.