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

Apr 09, 2019

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 countertops.

Education High school diploma may be required
Job Skills Manual dexterity, stamina, cooperative work, good judgment
Median Salary (2017)* $34,350 (rock splitters)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* -2% (decline) (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 2017, the median wage paid to rock splitters in quarries was $34,350 per year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted. Job openings are projected to decline by 2% between 2016 and 2026, 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 12% from 2016-2026. The median pay for this job was $34,530 in 2017.


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 for fallers will decline 16% from 2016-2026, with a large part of this shrink coming from retirements. Fallers earned median annual pay of $40,690 in 2017, per the BLS.

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