Brick Masons: Employment Info & Career Requirements
Brick masons use manufactured and natural stones to create a variety of structures and surfaces, including chimneys, paths and walls. Continue reading to learn more about training opportunities, skills, employment outlook and hourly earnings for brick masons.
Brick masons, also referred to as bricklayers, repair and build a variety of brick and stone structures, such as fences, roads, walkways, walls and floors. Common duties of brick masons include evaluating existing brickwork, creating repair plans and planning structures. They may also purchase supplies, mix and prepare materials, create structures and lay bricks.
How to Become a Brick Mason
Formal education requirements for brick masons include a high school diploma; secondary school coursework in English, shop practices, technical drawing and math may be useful. The majority of brick masons complete an apprenticeship, which can take between three and four years to complete. One-year programs in basic masonry can be found at some technical schools; on-the-job training is also an option. Students who successfully complete an apprenticeship or masonry courses may be able to apply their credits towards an associate degree.
To meet the demands of their jobs, brick masons must be physically strong and agile . A thorough understanding of mathematics, blue print reading, layout and sketching are also helpful for a career in masonry.
Employment and Salary Outlook
The career outlook for brick masons, block masons and stonemasons is excellent. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that employment in this field will increase by 34%, or much faster than average, from 2012 to 2022. Median hourly earnings for this field in May 2012 were $22.33 (www.bls.gov).
Alternate Career Options
Cement Masons and Terrazzo Workers
Cement masons mix, pour and finish clay and lime materials for concrete flooring, curbs and sidewalks; decorative floors and steps are usually created by terrazzo workers. Educational requirements are non-specific and may include a high school diploma and/or an apprenticeship; most masons and terrazzo workers acquire their skills on the job. In May 2012, cement masons and terrazzo workers were paid a median wage of $17.23 an hour, as reported by the BLS. Going forward, cement masons will enjoy a 29%, or much-faster-than-average, growth in jobs from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov).
Construction Laborers and Helpers
Construction laborers are primarily responsible for prepping and clearing construction sites or setting up markers to facilitate traffic flow; helpers typically work with carpenters or electricians. While some laborers and helpers may pursue classes at community colleges, trade schools or vocational institutes, the majority receive short-term training on the job. Those employed in May 2012 earned median hourly wages of $14.02, according to the BLS. From 2012-2022, construction laborers and helpers will experience a 25% increase in jobs, or much faster than average, when compared to all other occupations (www.bls.gov).
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