Mason Apprenticeship Tips

Masons, are more commonly known as bricklayers or stonemason. The name “mason” is based on their work with masonry. This is one of the major areas of employment in construction since the earliest days of civilization, and since those days apprentices have been trained to do the job which houses most of the world. The apprenticeship starts with the fundamentals, and builds logically into a career path in the construction industry. It can also lead to a career as a senior construction expert and project management roles.

Finding An Apprenticeship

    Finding apprenticeships is easy, even easier than finding them on job boards online. Local trades colleges and tradespeople are the best source of information, particularly when you’re looking for a local apprenticeship. Direct contact also allows you to ask a lot of questions, and be better informed about your choices. In order to be a part of an apprenticeship in the US, you must be a licensed tradesperson.

    Finding Apprenticeships Online

    When you are looking for an apprenticeship online, the search terms need to be kept simple. “Bricklayer apprenticeship” is better for job hunting than “mason apprenticeship”. If you’re particularly looking for stonemason apprenticeships, use “stonemason”, not “mason”.  The word “Mason” is also a proper name, and a common one, which often drags in job ads using the name.

    What To Expect

    This apprenticeship is physically demanding at first, particularly if you’re doing stonemasonry, but you’ll find that you adapt pretty quickly to the weights and physical elements of the work. A few words of advice, because there are some serious issues involved in this type of work:

    • You’ll find that your instructors and tradespeople make a point of emphasizing safety issues, and with good reason. Handling bricks, stone, sand and cement is no joke. If a load unbalances, you or anyone around you could be in big trouble. You must be situationally aware of proper handling techniques at all times.
    • Brick saws, stone cutting tools, and other standard equipment must be kept in proper repair. They’re quite likely to drive you mad and cause you a lot of extra work if they get blunt. They’re also potentially extremely dangerous if misused or mishandled. Do not play around with these tools.
    • Remember to use your safety gear. Particularly make sure you use your gloves, for proper grip as well as to protect your fingers. It’s much better to feel a bit sweaty than to drop a granite block on yourself or anyone else. Wear your safety hat on site, no exceptions. 
    • Classroom theory is also critically important on site: As a bricklayer or stonemason, all parts of the construction process can quite literally be your own personal problems. Areas like scaffolding, wall face construction, supports and related issues are major practical issues and potential safety hazards.

    Wages and Hours

    Apprentices are paid at approximately half the rate of qualified tradespeople, grading progressively upwards over the term of the apprenticeship unless otherwise specified. The median salary is $32,000. The hours can be variable on site including overtime, although classroom hours are fixed.