Masonry Construction

Masons lay brick, block and tile by hand. It's demanding work that requires strength, skill and patience. The jobs can be fairly simple – like building a wall, fireplace or patio – or very complex, like installing an exterior face on a high rise building or a residential home.

Masons work with brick, concrete and glass block, tiles, terra cotta and stone. The work is very physical, involving the use of hand tools, power tools and equipment to move heavy materials. As a mason, you need to be able to read blueprints, understand building codes and know industry safety requirements.

Find out what students and instructors say about this program.

Essential Skills and Salary Information

State and National Wages & Employment Trends

Location Pay Period 2011
10% 25% Median 75% 90%
United States Hourly $13.92 $17.42 $22.50 $30.06 $38.74
Yearly $29,000 $36,200 $46,800 $62,500 $80,600
Pennsylvania Hourly $15.69 $19.23 $23.37 $28.86 $35.47
Yearly $32,600 $40,000 $48,600 $60,000 $73,800
United States Employment Percent Change Job Openings 1
2010 2020
Brickmasons and Blockmasons 89,200 125,300 +41% 5,450
Pennsylvania Employment Percent Change Job Openings 1
2008 2018
Brickmasons and Blockmasons 6,700 6,600 -2% 140

1 Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

Note: The data for the State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for state data is 2008-2018, while the projections period for national data is 2010-2020.

Information provided by CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Tasks

  • Remove excess mortar with trowels and hand tools, and finish mortar joints with jointing tools, for a sealed, uniform appearance.
  • 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.
  • Measure distance from reference points and mark guidelines to lay out work, using plumb bobs and levels.
  • Break or cut bricks, tiles, or blocks to size, using trowel edge, hammer, or power saw.
  • Interpret blueprints and drawings to determine specifications and to calculate the materials required.
  • Fasten or fuse brick or other building material to structure with wire clamps, anchor holes, torch, or cement.
  • Lay and align bricks, blocks, or tiles to build or repair structures or high temperature equipment, such as cupola, kilns, ovens, or furnaces.
  • Mix specified amounts of sand, clay, dirt, or mortar powder with water to form refractory mixtures.
  • Calculate angles and courses and determine vertical and horizontal alignment of courses.
  • Clean working surface to remove scale, dust, soot, or chips of brick and mortar, using broom, wire brush, or scraper.

Tools used in this occupation

  • Hammers — Claw hammers; Sledgehammers; Striking tools; Tile hammers
  • Jacks — Hydraulic jacks; Screw jacks
  • Levels — Laser levels; Masonry levels; Water levels
  • Manlift or personnel lift — Bosun chairs; Swing stages; Work cages
  • Plaster or mortar mixers — Cement mixers; Mixing drills; Mortar mixers
  • Power saws — Circular saws; Jig saws; Masonry saws
  • Trowels — Adhesive trowels; Pointing trowels; Power trowels; Sled runner jointers

Technology used in this occupation

  • Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks software
  • Analytical or scientific software — Construction Management Software ProEst
  • Project management software — BVH Gregg Concrete; Daystar Masonry; RISA Technologies RISAMasonry; Tradesman's Software Master Estimator

Knowledge

  • Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities

  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

Work Activities

  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Interests

Interest code: RCI

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Close

Video sponsored by: