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Masonry Overview

Are you interested in working with bricks, concrete, and natural stones? A degree in masonry may be a good fit for you. Masons work with stone products - both manmade and natural - to create outdoor and indoor projects such as walkways, paths, driveways, walls, and fireplaces.

Masons can be trained in a number of different specialties including brick masonry, cement, stone, and terrazzo finishing. As you can probably guess, brick masons work primarily with bricks and grout, cement masons work with cement, and stone masons work with natural and manufacture red stones. Terrazzo masons work with cement to create special finishes in wet cement. This may include the tinting of cement or installing decorative touches such as stone in-lays or other designs.

While masons may be able to enjoy working outdoors, the masonry field can be a dangerous and laborious place to be. The materials being used are heavy and difficult to move around. There are also increased chances of injury. Be sure you are up to the challenge before going down the path to be a mason.

Required Skills

To be a successful mason, you must have strength, dexterity, and stamina. As mentioned earlier, you are dealing with heavy, cumbersome materials. Because masonry is a very hands-on trade, you must have good dexterity in your hands and have good hand-eye coordination.

Many masons get their start by being an apprentice to a professional mason, or by attending a trade school to learn the ins and outs of masonry. A school education will focus on the skills necessary to be successful. This will include coursework in mathematics, construction standards and safety.

Because much of job of being a mason requires hands-on experience, many trade schools offer apprenticeships as part of their program to ensure you will be successful out in the field.

Careers

A career in masonry can be a rewarding experience. As discussed above, masons can find a number of different positions including brick masons, cement masons, stone masons and terrazzo masons. Of all of the mason related careers, brick masons have the highest average annual salary of about $49,000. Cement and terrazzo masons will see an average annual salary of about $40,000 with stone masons just below that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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