Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons (or, simply, masons) use bricks, concrete blocks, and natural and man-made stones to build fences, walkways, walls, and other structures.
Masons typically do the following:
- Read blueprints or drawings to calculate materials needed
- Lay out patterns or foundations using a straightedge
- Break or cut bricks, stones, or blocks to their appropriate size
- Mix mortar or grout and spread it onto a slab or foundation
- Lay bricks, blocks, or stones according to plans
- Clean excess mortar with trowels and other hand tools
- Construct corners with a corner pole or by building a corner pyramid
- Ensure that a structure is perfectly vertical and horizontal, using a plumb bob and level
- Clean and polish surfaces with hand or power tools
- Fill expansion joints with the appropriate caulking materials
The following are examples of types of masons:
Brickmasons and blockmasons—often called bricklayers—build and repair walls, floors, partitions, fireplaces, chimneys, and other structures with brick, precast masonry panels, concrete block, and other masonry materials.
Pointing, cleaning, and caulking workers repair brickwork, particularly on older structures on which mortar has come loose. Special care must be taken not to damage the structural integrity or the existing bricks.
Refractory masons are brickmasons who specialize in installing firebrick, gunite, castables, and refractory tile in high-temperature boilers, furnaces, cupolas, ladles, and soaking pits in industrial establishments. Most of these workers are employed in steel mills, where molten materials flow on refractory beds from furnaces to rolling machines. They also are employed at oil refineries, glass furnaces, incinerators, and other locations with manufacturing processes that require high temperatures.
Stonemasons build stone walls, as well as set stone exteriors and floors. They work with two types of stone: natural-cut stone, such as marble, granite, and limestone; and artificial stone, made from concrete, marble chips, or other masonry materials. Using a special hammer or a diamond-blade saw, workers cut stone to make various shapes and sizes. Some stonemasons specialize in setting marble, which is similar to setting large pieces of stone.
Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons (masons) held about 104,100 jobs in 2018, of which 50 percent were employed in the masonry contractors industry. About 28 percent were self-employed. Many self-employed contractors work on small jobs, such as residential patios, walkways, and fireplaces.
Although most masons work in residential construction, work in nonresidential construction is growing because most nonresidential buildings are now built with walls made of some combination of concrete block, brick veneer, stone, granite, marble, tile, and glass.
As with many other construction occupations, the work is physically demanding. Masons often lift heavy materials and stand, kneel, and bend for long periods.
Because they usually work outdoors, poor weather conditions may reduce work activity.
Injuries and Illnesses
Brickmasons and blockmasons have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. Common injuries include muscle strains from lifting heavy materials, as well as cuts from tools and falls from scaffolds.
Although most masons work full time, some work longer hours to meet construction deadlines. However, because they primarily work outdoors, masons may have to stop work in extreme cold or rainy weather. Nonetheless, processes and materials have been developed that allow masons to work in a greater variety of weather conditions than in the past.
Self-employed workers may be able to set their own schedule.
Education and Training
Although most brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons (masons) learn through an apprenticeship, some learn their skills on the job. Others learn through mason programs at technical schools.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required for all masons. High school courses in English, mathematics, mechanical drawing, and shop are considered useful.
Many technical schools offer programs in basic masonry. These programs operate both independently and in conjunction with apprenticeship training. The credits earned as part of an apprenticeship program usually count toward an associate’s degree. Some people take courses before being hired, and some take them later as part of on-the-job training.
Masons typically learn the trade through apprenticeships and on the job, working with experienced masons.
Several groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. Apprentices learn construction basics, such as blueprint reading; mathematics for measurement; building code requirements; and safety and first-aid practices. After completing an apprenticeship program, masons are considered journey workers and are able to do tasks on their own.
TheHome Builders Instituteand theInternational Masonry Instituteoffer pre-apprenticeship training programs for eight construction trades, including masonry.
Personality and Interests
Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons (masons) typically have an interest in the Building interest area, according to the Holland Code framework. The Building interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things.
If you are not sure whether you have a Building interest which might fit with a career as a brickmason, blockmason, and stonemason (mason), you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons (masons) should also possess the following specific qualities:
Hand-eye coordination. Workers must be able to apply smooth, even layers of mortar, set bricks, and remove any excess before the mortar hardens.
Math skills. Knowledge of math—including measurement, volume, and mixing proportions—is important in this trade.
Physical stamina. Brickmasons must keep a steady pace while setting bricks all day. Although no individual brick is extremely heavy, the constant lifting can be tiring.
Physical strength. Workers must be strong enough to lift blocks that sometimes weigh more than 40 pounds. They must also carry heavy tools, equipment, and other materials, such as bags of mortar and grout.
Visualization. Stonemasons must be able to see how stones fit together to build attractive and stable structures.
The median annual wage for masonry workers overall was $46,500 in May 2019. The median annual wage for brickmasons and blockmasons was $53,100 in May 2019.The median annual wage for stonemasons was $43,280 in May 2019.
Most masons work full time, and some work overtime to meet construction deadlines. Masons work mostly outdoors, so inclement weather may affect schedules. Terrazzo masons may need to work hours that differ from a regular business schedule, to avoid disrupting normal operations.
Overall employment of masonry workers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.Although employment growth will vary by occupation, it will be driven by the demands of a growing population for more commercial, public, and civil construction projects, such as new roads, bridges, and buildings.
Employment of brickmasons and block masons is projected to grow 10 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.Population growth will result in the construction of more schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, and other structures, many of which are made of brick and block. In addition, masons will be needed to restore other kinds of brick buildings.
Employment of stonemasons is projected to grow 9 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.
About 35,500 openings for masonry workers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Overall job prospects should be good as construction activity continues to grow to meet the demand for new buildings and roads. Workers with construction experience should have the best opportunities.
As with many other construction workers, employment of masons is sensitive to the fluctuations of the economy. On the one hand, workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, during peak periods of building activity some areas may require additional number of these workers.
For More Information
For details about apprenticeships or other work opportunities for masonry workers, contact the offices of the state employment service, the state apprenticeship agency, local contractors or firms that employ masons, or local union–management apprenticeship committees. Apprenticeship information is available from the U.S. Department of Labor'sApprenticeshipprogram online or by phone at 877-872-5627. VisitApprenticeship.govto search for apprenticeship opportunities.
For information about training for brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons, visit
Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers International Union
International Masonry Institute
Mason Contractors Association of America
National Association of Home Builders
Where does this information come from?
The career information aboveis taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. This excellent resource for occupational data is published by theU.S. Department of Labor every two years. Truity periodically updates our site with information from the BLS database.
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There are many excellent tools available that will allow you to measure your interests, profile your personality, and match these traits with appropriate careers. On this site, you can take the Career Personality Profiler assessment, the Holland Code assessment, or the Photo Career Quiz.
Are stonemasons in demand? ›
Stonemasonry is a traditional skill that is still very much in demand.Do bricklayers work all year round? ›
As a bricklayer, you are likely to be working outdoors in all weather conditions.What is a brick layer called? ›
It is interesting to note that the terms “mason and “bricklayer” are titles which are used interchangeably, often by the general public.What are the 4 types of blocks? ›
Types of Hollow Concrete Blocks:
Pillar block. Jamb block. Partition block. Lintel block.
- Sun-dried bricks. Also known as unburnt bricks, these types of bricks are mostly used for decorative purposes because they are the weakest. ...
- Burnt bricks. These bricks are divided into four categories:
- Concrete bricks. ...
- Lime bricks. ...
- Engineering bricks. ...
- Fly ash bricks.
Overall employment of masonry workers is projected to decline 2 percent from 2021 to 2031.Where do brick masons make the most money? ›
|Total Brick Mason Jobs:||7|
|Average Annual Salary:||$69,888|
|Lowest 10 Percent Earn:||$46,000|
|Highest 10 Percent Earn:||$104,000|
- Stonemason. Salary range: $36,000-$63,500 per year. ...
- Cement Mason. Salary range: $36,000-$62,000 per year. ...
- Mason. Salary range: $42,500-$60,000 per year. ...
- Bricklayer. Salary range: $40,000-$59,500 per year. ...
- Cement Finisher. Salary range: $37,500-$56,000 per year. ...
- Brick Mason. ...
- Block Mason. ...
- Mason Tender.
Bricklayer – £240 - £320 per day.Can a bricklayer lay 1000 bricks a day? ›
How much do bricklayers charge per day? In good working conditions with no accessibility issues (i.e. the need for scaffolding), the average bricklayer will lay 500 bricks per day.
Is bricklaying well paid? ›
'In London, a bricklayer is commanding wages of up to £90,000 a year. Pursuing a career in construction is therefore becoming an increasingly savvy move.What are 3 types of bricks? ›
There are three main types of bricks - facing bricks, engineering bricks and common bricks.What is the mud between bricks called? ›
In its broadest sense, mortar includes pitch, asphalt, and soft mud or clay, as those used between mud bricks, as well as cement mortar. The word "mortar" comes from Old French mortier, "builder's mortar, plaster; bowl for mixing." (13c.).What is frog in a brick? ›
What is a Brick Frog? Brick frogs are indentations, which usually contain a brick manufacturer's stamp. The majority of UK bricks made with frogs are used for construction purposes. Refractory bricks were not made with frogs as builders required a tighter fit to minimise the cement used.What are the 5 building blocks? ›
PERMA: The five building blocks of wellbeing
- Positive emotions.
Class A engineering bricks are the strongest, but Class B are the more commonly used. Engineering bricks vary in colour from red to blue.Which is the best brick quality? ›
First-class burnt-clay bricks are the best, offering the best quality and strength.Why does a brick have 3 holes? ›
The holes allow the masonry brickwork to be built with that added level of security. Bricks are turned when used in construction, so the holes remain concealed in exterior walls. When filled with mortar, the holes provide a system of locking bricks closer to one another.Do stonemasons make a lot of money? ›
How much does a Stone Mason make? Stone masons make $49,042 per year on average, or $23.58 per hour, in the United States. Stone masons on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $32,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $74,000. Location impacts how much a stone mason can expect to make.Why do masons crack? ›
Cracking resulting from shrinkage can occur in concrete masonry walls because of drying shrinkage, temperature fluctuations, and carbonation. These cracks occur when masonry panels are restrained from moving.
How many bricks can a mason do a day? ›
|SNo.||Particulars of items||Perday|
|1.||Brick work in lime or cement mortar in foundation and plinth||(45cuft)per mason|
|2.||Brick work in lime or cement mortar in superstructure||(35cuft)per mason|
|3.||Brick work in mud mortar in foundation and plinth||(55cuft)per mason|
|4.||Brick work in mud mortar in superstructure||(45cuft)per mason|
- Safety Procedures, 20.0%
- Reference Points, 10.7%
- Structural Tile, 7.7%
- Construction Sites, 5.3%
- Retaining Walls, 5.3%
- Trowels, 4.9%
- Plumb Bobs, 4.5%
- Other Skills, 41.6%
2) Bricklayers: Bricklayers are often identified as the most challenging occupation to recruit. Demand is being driven by increasing rates of housebuilding.How much work a mason can do in a day? ›
Detailed Solution. So one mason, 10/0.67 = 14.92 m2 plastering done in one day.What is the highest paid construction? ›
- Construction Managers. Average Salary: $98,990. ...
- Elevator Installers and Repairers. Average Salary: $97,860. ...
- Electricians. Average Salary: $60,040. ...
- Plumbers. Average Salary: $59,880. ...
- Construction Equipment Operators. Average Salary: $48,920. ...
Stonemasonry jobs are varied, exciting and hugely fulfilling. As a skilled trade, once fully trained, you'll be part of an elite group of highly sought-after professionals. It's a career path with great earning potential and job satisfaction guaranteed.What is the most important tool in masonry? ›
The v-, or square-notch trowel, is the most important tool in masonry. It has two sides that can be straightened and two sides that can be notched. These notches are square or V-shaped and serve as a metering system to distribute the right amount of mortar on a flat surface like a cement board.How long does it take to lay 1000 bricks? ›
But a new robot can lay bricks even faster. Mark Pivac, inventor of the bricklaying robot, Hadrian, told PerthNow that his bot can place 1,000 bricks an hour, enough to erect the walls of a house in two days of round-the-clock work—a task that, on average, takes a human crew four to six weeks of hard labor.How much does it cost to lay 1000 bricks? ›
The labor cost to lay bricks per 1,000 is $300 to $800 on average, depending on the brick type, application, and accessibility. Brick walls cost $25 to $45 per square foot. Bricklayers charge $1.00 to $1.25 per brick for smaller projects, not including materials.How much are common bricks per 1000? ›
Find out how much your project will cost.
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor. Reviewed by Ezra Laniado, Expert Contributor. Written by HomeAdvisor. Bricks cost around $550 per 1,000 bricks, or around $0.55 per brick.
What is the average wage for a bricklayer? ›
Jobs in Reed.co.uk, ranging from £34,000 to £54,600.How much do bricklayers charge per block UK? ›
When asking how much bricklayers charge per block, you can expect to pay roughly £12 per metre. This will include the cost of the blocks and the labour for laying them.How long does it take to become a fully qualified bricklayer? ›
This will usually take 2 years to complete. You'll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.What do 2022 bricklayers make? ›
Bricklayer Salaries in London
The average salary for a Bricklayer is £39,494 in London, UK.
Bricklaying is one of the oldest and most highly respected crafts of the construction trades. A bricklayer is a skilled craftsperson, who using their talents and training is able to properly position masonry units, to create efficient, beautiful buildings and other structures.How many blocks can a bricklayer lay in a day? ›
there are a lot factors involved, Size and weight of blocks, amount of corners and returns to build, expect anything between 100 to 150 tops.What are bricks with 3 holes called? ›
There are generally only two types of holes in a brick: core holes and frogs (also referred to as recesses). Frog bricks contain one partially indented hole allowing a smooth finished look. Whereas core hole bricks are generally bricks that have three holes placed evenly in the center of a brick.Which brick is best red or cement? ›
Generally, cement bricks have higher compressive strength compared to red bricks. This is primarily due to the way concrete bricks are manufactured and the materials that are being used. That's why cement bricks are mostly used in high-rise buildings as these structures will require higher concrete strength.What is messy brick mortar called? ›
Weeping mortar brick involves applying a very large amount of mortar when laying the brick, but then not scraping or molding the mortar after it squishes out between the bricks. No tools are used. The effect is a lot like when you squish a melting ice cream sandwich.What is covering brick with mortar called? ›
The German Smear Look
The technique is akin to whitewashing bricks, but instead of using diluted latex paint, homeowners coat the brick with a layer of wet mortar. The mortar adds a rough texture, thus creating a rustic and distressed appearance.
What does tooth in brick mean? ›
(construction) Bricks alternately projecting at the end of a wall, in order to be bonded into a continuation of it when the remainder is carried up.What is a queen closer in brickwork? ›
noun. variants or queen closure. : a closer that is less than half a brick. specifically : a brick of full length and thickness but half width that is used at the end of a course next to the quoin header compare king closer.Why are bricks soaked in water before use? ›
Wetting of bricks assists in removing the dirt, sand and dust from them. Further, it prevents the suction of water from wet mortar, as otherwise mortar is likely to dry out soon and crumble before attaining strength.How many types of masonry are there? ›
Due to it's numerous advantageous, it is widely used in masonry construction. Stone masonry has two main classifications: Rubble Masonry. Ashlar Masonry.What is the difference between brick and masonry? ›
In its most common form, a solid masonry wall consists of an outer layer of brick and an inner layer of brick (a layer of brick is called a 'wythe' in masonry circles). The reason why solid masonry is a more accurate description than solid brick or double brick is because the inner wythe may not be brick.What are the two most common types of masonry? ›
- Brick Masonry: Brick is the most popular material for masonry. They are known to be durable, long lasting, and have a classic look that has lasted the test of time. ...
- Stone Masonry: Stone masonry can be either dressed or undressed. ...
- Concrete Blocks: These blocks are much larger than stone and brick.
One of the most common brick bonds, also popularly called running bonds. This bond is very easy to lay, in fact, is one of the simplest ones used today. Stretcher bond is suitable when walls of half brick thickness need to be constructed.What are the two types of masonry units? ›
Common masonry unit types include clay and concrete units, which may be solid or hollow, and glazed or unglazed.Is concrete a brick masonry? ›
Masonry consists of building structures from single units that are laid and bound together with mortar. Brick, stone and concrete blocks are the most common materials used in masonry construction. Masonry is a popular construction technique around the world, due to its many advantages.What are F1 and F2 bricks? ›
Frost attack. Bricks fall into three durability categories. F2 – Frost resistant – can be used in all normal building situations and degrees of exposure. F1 - Moderately frost resistant are also durable except where they may remain saturated and are subjected to repeated freezing and thawing.