Career Definition for a Brick Mason
Brick masons, also referred to as bricklayers, repair and build a variety of brick and stone structures, such as fences, roads, walkways, walls and floors. Common duties of brick masons include evaluating existing brickwork, creating repair plans and planning structures. They may also purchase supplies, mix and prepare materials, create structures and lay bricks.
|Education||High school diploma, apprenticeship; one-year technical programs available|
|Job Skills||Physical strength, agility, math, blue print reading, sketching|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$47,950 (all brick and block masons)|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)*||19% (all brick and block masons)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Formal education requirements for brick masons include a high school diploma; secondary school coursework in English, shop practices, technical drawing and math may be useful. The majority of brick masons complete an apprenticeship, which can take between three and four years to complete. One-year programs in basic masonry can be found at some technical schools; on-the-job training is also an option. Students who successfully complete an apprenticeship or masonry courses may be able to apply their credits towards an associate degree.
To meet the demands of their jobs, brick masons must be physically strong and agile. A thorough understanding of mathematics, blue print reading, layout and sketching are also helpful for a career in masonry.
Employment and Salary Outlook
The career outlook for masonry workers is excellent overall. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that employment in this field will increase by 15%, or much faster than average, from 2014 to 2024. Job opportunities specifically for brick masons and block masons are expected to increase 19% during the same time period. Median hourly earnings for block masons and brick masons in May 2015 were $47,950 (www.bls.gov).
Alternate Career Options
Similar career options within this field include:
Cement Masons and Terrazzo Workers
Cement masons mix, pour and finish clay and lime materials for concrete flooring, curbs and sidewalks; decorative floors and steps are usually created by terrazzo workers. Educational requirements are non-specific and may include a high school diploma and/or an apprenticeship; most masons and terrazzo workers acquire their skills on the job. In May 2015, cement masons were paid a median wage of $37,740, as reported by the BLS. Terrazo workers and finishers were paid a median wage of $40,710. Going forward, masonry workers will enjoy a 15%, or much-faster-than-average, growth in jobs from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov).
Construction Laborers and Helpers
Construction laborers are primarily responsible for prepping and clearing construction sites or setting up markers to facilitate traffic flow; helpers typically work with carpenters or electricians. While some laborers and helpers may pursue classes at community colleges, trade schools or vocational institutes, the majority receive short-term training on the job. Those employed in May 2015 earned median wages of $30,890, according to the BLS. From 2014-2024, construction laborers and helpers will experience a 13% increase in jobs, or faster than average, when compared to all other occupations (www.bls.gov).