What Do Brickmasons and Blockmasons Do?
Brickmasons and Blockmasons are specialized workers that use bricks, structural tiles, concrete blocks, cinder blocks, glass blocks and terra-cotta blocks to build and repair structures. Their projects may include buildings, walkways, patios, fences, chimneys and walls. They are both employed in all types of construction projects, although bricks are more likely to be used on residential jobs and blocks are more likely to be used for commercials purposes.Annual growth in this field is projected to be 36%. This amounts to roughly 3,280 job openings across the country per year. This growth is most likely to occur in the areas with the most new construction.
Brickmasons and Blockmasons Skills and Abilities
Brickmasons and blockmasons need to have extensive knowledge of building materials and the tools and methods used to construct and repair buildings and other structures. They must have great manual dexterity and overall body strength since the job is physically very demanding. Flexibility and coordination are also necessary. Some mathematical knowledge will be helpful to calculate how much material will be needed for a project, and to calculate building angles and square footages. Brickmasons and Blockmasons also need to be knowledgeable about local building codes and safety procedures. Basic customer service skills are needed to interact with clients, and the ability to work independently and manage one’s own time is also important.
Brickmasons and Blockmasons Duties
Brickmasons and blockmasons do a number of things in order complete a job. They must be able to read blueprints and drawings in order to calculate the amount of materials needed for a project. They lay out bricks and blocks in a pattern, and cut or break any that need to be resized. They mix and apply mortar, lay the bricks or blocks in accordance with the construction plans and construct corners using a corner pole or by building corner pyramids. They check their measurements to make sure the structure is level, and they apply sealants and protective coatings to surfaces. They are also responsible for cleaning and maintaining their tools.
Brickmasons and Blockmasons Tools and Technology
Brickmasons and blockmasons use many different tools to accomplish their building projects. These include:
- Ropes and pulley systems
- Power saws
- Trowels and mixing tools
- Jointers and Squares
Education and Training for Brickmasons and Blockmasons
No college degree is required to become a brickmason or blockmason. A high school diploma is the typical level of education attained by most brickmasons and blockmasons. Some workers may choose to attend a vocational or technical school. An apprenticeship is usually required when starting out in this field and many of the necessary skills will be learned on the job.
Brickmasons and Blockmasons Salary
Since it is a highly specialized field, brickmasons and blockmasons can earn a good salary. The lowest 10% of workers earn $29,700 per year, while the highest 10% earn as much as $80,400. The average national salary for brickmasons and blockmasons is $47,700.
Brickmasons and Blockmasons Jobs by Geography
The highest concentration of jobs in this field will be in areas with large populations where a lot of new construction is occurring. Therefore, California, Texas and New York are the states with the most brickmasons and blockmasons in the country. The largest areas of growth in the industry, however, are expected to be in Nevada and Utah while the highest wages can be found in Massachusetts, Illinois and New Jersey. Therefore, the place with the most jobs is not necessarily the place with the best earning potential. Job seekers should carefully consider both location and potential salary when deciding where to search for employment.