Brick masons are highly skilled professionals who specialize in the use of brick, marble, stone, granite, concrete blocks, or other materials. They construct and repair certain structures like walls, buildings, walkways, and other types of architecture. At times, the job title is mistaken for that of a bricklayer; the two, however, are different jobs.
Brick masonry is a historic trade, dating back thousands of years to ancient Egypt, Turkey, China, Ireland, and other European countries. Not only is the trade founded in history, but in quality, with old structures still standing tall to this day.
Deciding to become a brick mason can lead to a rewarding and unique career. Read further to learn about responsibilities and industry outlooks of brick masons.
Responsibilities of a Brick Mason
Exact responsibilities of brick masons may vary depending on the employer. In addition to constructing architecture out of the various stones and materials used, brick masons are responsible for planning and organizing every aspect of their projects.
Other common responsibilities of brick masons include:
- Plan structural layout – measure and assess distances and dimensions
- Carve and cut material to fit layouts and blueprints as needed
- Mix mortar and grout to lay and install material
- Use the necessary tools and equipment – such as a masonry trowel, hammers, saws, levels, jointers, mixers, chisels, etc.
- Repair or replace structural pieces as needed
- Waterproofing techniques
- Footings and foundations
- Adhere to specific safety and health policies
- Inspect completed work for safety, structural soundness, and adherence to building codes
As a brick mason, you will need to be skilled in various masonry techniques. You will also need to be able to interpret blueprints, read schematics, and understand math and geometry. You must also be physically capable of performing job requirements including: prolonged periods of working outdoors, standing, the ability to lift at least 50 pounds, and great hand-eye coordination.
Requirements for Becoming a Brick Mason
To become a quality brick mason, you must have the specialized skill set that is needed for the trade. Typically, brick masons develop these skills and receive most of their training during a 3-4 year apprenticeship.
You can apply to apprenticeship programs through vocational schools and community colleges that offer accredited masonry programs. You may also consider looking into a local masonry union for a complete list of apprenticeship opportunities.
In addition, you can prepare for an apprenticeship with pre-apprenticeship training programs. The Home Builders Institute and the International Masonry Institute are great resources providing pre-apprenticeship training for prospective brick masons.
While pre-apprenticeship training is not required for an apprenticeship, there are a few requirements students must meet before gaining an apprenticeship.
They are as follows:
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Must have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent
Depending on your state, you may be required to apply for a license by passing a certification exam after an apprenticeship.
Brick Mason Salary and Industry Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, brick masons averaged a pay of $61,430 in 2021, with the top 10 percent earning $96,750. Overall employment is predicted to decrease slightly by 2 percent by 2030.
However, this shouldn’t discourage anyone who would like to pursue the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts by 2030, there will remain an opening of 24,600 positions for brick masons. If you are passionate about the field, and pursue the required certifications in your state, you can find a fulfilling career in masonry.
Become a Brick Mason Today!
Brick masonry is a highly skilled trade that has its history rooted in craftsmanship and technique. Without their artistry, we would not have the structures, archways, bridges, or walkways that we enjoy today. If you would be interested in beginning an apprenticeship as a brick mason, search for local masonry unions in your state today!
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