What Do Stonemasons Do?
Stonemasonry is a broad field that includes both the design and physical construction of structures that are primarily made out of stone. These structures can be anything from the foundation of a building to sidewalks and curbstones. Some stonemasons find it easier to focus on one specific type of stone and may work on specialized projects for industrial businesses to construct floors or vats. Specific duties associated with stonemasons include:● Applying mortar● Smoothing over surfaces with the correct tools● Spreading aggregate mixtures ● Digging holes for a foundation ● Operating lifting equipment such as cranes or hoists There is always a high demands for stonemasons and the need continues to rise each year. In the United States and its territories there are around 14,100 stonemasons. Over the next decade, it is predicted that this industry will see an increase of job openings at a growth rate of 29%. This will amount to a projected 560 annual job openings for this career path.
Stonemasons Skills and Abilities
In order to perform exceptionally, stonemasons must have an understanding of building and construction, as well as the ability to execute the construction of various stone-based structures. In addition to this, stonemasons should have a firm grasp on mathematics, mechanics and the principles of design. An excellent stonemason will be able to utilize critical thinking skills in the field and while in development, as well as have a strict attention to detail. Complex problem solving abilities also are incredibly useful in the field of stonemasonry.
The responsibilities of a stonemason encompass both mental and physical areas. A stonemason must be able to plan and design various structures, while simultaneously being able to build the structures that are being designed. Many stonemasons are responsible for coordinating a team of workers to get a construction project done, and this can include a great deal of teaching and explanation to newer workers. Specific duties of stonemasons might include:● Drilling holes in ornamental stone ● Repairing areas of marble that might have been cracked or damaged● Digging trenches in order to lay foundation● Installing masonry units that have been prefabricated
Stonemasons Tools and Technology
Stonemasons must be able to utilize a wide range of tools related to both construction and the design of structures. Physical tools that might be used include drills, chisels, cranes and hoists, drum mortar mixers, power saws and buttering trowels. In addition, masons must be able to use computer software related to the industry such as analytical software and CAD design programs.
Education and Training for Stonemasons
Typically, higher education is not required to obtain a job as a stonemason. A high school diploma or its equivalent is needed. In addition to this, it is required that stonemasons enter an apprenticeship program in order to become fully trained and licensed to work in the field. The right training can make a huge difference and allow an apprentice to find an area of expertise in the field of stonemasonry.
The average salary for a stonemason is around $37,900 a year. When a stonemason has a specialty, or the state is in more need of stonemasons, this number can change greatly. The top ten percent of stonemasons make an annual income of $65,900.
Stonemasons Jobs by Geography
Texas, New York and California have the highest number of stonemasons. As this industry grows, it is predicted that the states that will see the highest percent of growth for this field will be Florida, California and Georgia. The highest annual salaries for stonemasons can be found in the states of Hawaii, Connecticut and Massachusetts.