Building with materials that are both beautiful and sturdy, masonry workers create structures that last. Masonry workers, also known as masons, use weatherproof bricks, stones, and concrete to build new homes and buildings, and to maintain the historic structures we want to preserve. Masons specialize in different materials and structures: Brickmasons and blockmasons build and repair walls, chimneys, and other structures. Some specialize in brickwork for industrial facilities that can tolerate intensely high temperatures. Cement masons and concrete finishers lay walls and sidewalks, and form the pieces that make up heavily-used roads and buildings. Segmental pavers install interlocking brick walkways, patios, and walls. Stonemasons carefully cut and select stone to create patterns as they build walls, unique fireplaces, and building exteriors. Terrazzo workers add fine marble chips into the finish of cement or resin to create decorative walkways and floors. Masonry work is fast paced and strenuous. It includes heavy lifting, using sharp tools, and working from scaffolds. In addition to strength and stamina, masons need the ability to see subtle color variations and envision how stones will fit together to build attractive and stable structures. Work hours are generally full time, with some overtime to meet deadlines. Cold or rainy weather can stop work. After completing a high school education, most masons learn on the job or through a 3- to 4-year apprenticeship.
What they do:
Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete block, cinder block, glass block, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances, to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures.
On the job, you would:
Measure distance from reference points and mark guidelines to lay out work, using plumb bobs and levels.
Construct corners by fastening in plumb position a corner pole or building a corner pyramid of bricks, and filling in between the corners using a line from corner to corner to guide each course, or layer, of brick.
Apply and smooth mortar or other mixture over work surface.
Engineering and Technology
building and construction
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
Safety and Government
public safety and security
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
keep your arm or hand steady
use your lower back and stomach
lift, push, pull, or carry
exercise for a long time without getting out of breath
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Project management software
high school diploma/GED or no high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.