Stone Sawyer: Job Description and Info About Becoming a Stone Sawyer

Learn what stone sawyers do. See what kind of education and training are required for employment. Get the career prospects and earning potential to decide if this field is a good fit for you.

Career Definition for a Stone Sawyer

Their tools are power saws, jackhammers, chisels, wedges, and, at times, explosives; their usual materials, according to the U.S. Geological Service (USGS), are limestone, granite, marble, sandstone, and slate. Stone sawyers, also known as rock splitters, drillers, stone breakers, and stone fabricators, cut rocks and minerals to specified sizes in this physically strenuous job. Working in quarries and in flooring and tile shops, they determine where stones will cleave by examining grain patterns; remove smaller pieces from large masses; carve precise outlines; drill holes into them; and use chisels to fashion the thinner sheets used to make floors and counter tops.

Education High school diploma may be required
Job Skills Manual dexterity, stamina, cooperative work, good judgment
Median Salary (2015)* $33,820 (rock splitters)
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5%-8% (rock splitters)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

A stone sawyer may need a high-school diploma to be hired. A new stone sawyer will usually be skilled after a few months of on-the-job training under the supervision of more experienced people.

Skills Required

Quarry rock splitters need manual dexterity, stamina, strong back and abdominal muscles, and the strength to lift heavy objects repeatedly without injury or fatigue, according to O*NET OnLine. They tend to enjoy practical, hands-on tasks, like to work cooperatively with others, and have good judgment.

Economic and Career Outlook

As of 2015, the median wage paid to rock splitters in quarries was $33,820 per year, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted. Job openings are projected to grow at an average rate of 5% to 8% between 2014 and 2024, per the same source.

Alternate Career Options

Have a look into these other careers in labor:

Construction Laborer

Construction laborers perform general physical tasks on a construction site, such as pour concrete, dig trenches, erect scaffolding or unload deliveries of construction materials. Employers usually provide on-the-job training; construction laborers may also complete an apprenticeship. There are no minimum education requirements. Depending on their role, construction laborers may need to hold certification or a license; regulations apply to laborers who handle hazardous materials, asbestos or lead, or those who perform shielding, weatherization or signal work, for example. According to the BLS, construction laborers can expect job growth of 13% from 2014-2024. The median pay for this job was $30,890 in 2015.


A faller works in the logging industry. A faller's job is to cut down a tree, often with a chainsaw, judging the tree carefully to figure out the safest direction for it to fall. Fallers usually work as part of a logging crew. Employers may hire candidates with a high school diploma or a technical associate's degree. On-the-job and state training opportunities may be available. The BLS reports that jobs in logging will decline 4% from 2014-2024, with a large part of this shrink coming from retirements. Fallers earned median annual pay of $36,210 in 2015, per the BLS.

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