Training options available to aspiring stonemasons include informal training in the field, college-level diploma and degree programs and apprenticeships. Graduates from diploma and degree programs typically enter the workforce as apprentices or entry-level laborers; apprenticeships are considered to be the most thorough form of training but may be hard to find.
Schools with Masonry Programs
These following institutions offer masonry programs. Tuition figures are based on the 2015-2016 academic year.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered*||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)**|
|South Seattle College||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||Apprenticeship||In-state $4,130; Out-of-state $9,550|
|GateWay Community College||Phoenix, AZ||2-year, Public||Apprenticeship||In-state $2,046; Out-of-state $7,830|
|Central Piedmont Community College||Charlotte, NC||2-year, Public||Course, Program||$125+ per course*|
|Pearl River Community College||Poplarville, MS||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $2,855; Out-of-state $5,253|
|Chattanooga State Community College||Chattanooga, TN||2-year, Public||Diploma||In-state $3,973; Out-of-state $15,373|
|Tidewater Community College||Norfolk, VA||2-year, Public||Course||Not available|
|Spokane Community College||Spokane, WA||2-year, Public||Apprenticeship||In-state $3,388; Out-of-state $8,726|
Sources: *School websites, **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Students should consider several things when selecting a masonry program.
- Programs offered typically result in either a diploma or associate's degree upon completion.
- Aspiring masons should consider the practical, industry-related skills covered in the curricula such as the ability to read blueprints and estimate materials and costs.
- It is possible to complete an apprenticeship through a college apprenticeship program at some schools.
- Tuition costs will be significantly less for individual courses or short-term programs that do not fulfill certificate, diploma or degree requirements.
Diploma programs offered through technical colleges are typically one year in length and prepare students to enter the workforce as apprentices. Students learn to build arches, walls and use the required tools in a laboratory setting outside of the classroom.
Associate's Degree Programs
Masonry programs are sometimes offered as Associate of Applied Science degree programs, which require students to take general education courses. Associate of Occupational Studies degree programs, by contrast, only include courses in masonry and construction. Due to the nature of the work, programs usually have physical requirements for all applicants, such as the ability to lift 50 pounds and climb a ladder. Some programs emphasize managerial skills to prepare students for an advanced position within the field.
Aspiring apprentices must work full-time at a participating contract company and be at least 17 years old to apply. Programs typically last three years, with apprentices beginning as laborers and advancing to working with stone and concrete. Depending on state requirements, certification can involve about 400 hours of classroom and laboratory training and up to 6,000 hours of on-the-job training.
Those interested in a career in stone cutting can learn the craft by pursuing a certificate, diploma, associate's degree or apprenticeship through a community college. Some colleges also offer courses in masonry for those who may be interested in an introduction to the field, or have other training they wish to augment.