How to Become a Brick and Block Mason:
The Definitive Guide


Are you good with your hands, artistic, and also like to do some light construction?

Then, working as a Brick and Block Mason may be the career you are looking for.

Within this profession, not only will you work closely with construction companies and home/business owners, but you’ll also lay your hand in brickwork and constructing walkways, patios, and indoor structures.

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What is a Brick and Block Mason?

There are many things to be done as a Brick and Block Mason, but most importantly, a Brick and Block Mason lays bricks, stones, or other materials in order to create beautiful pathways, driveways, fireplaces, and so much more.

Brick masons work with the outsides of the structures, while Block masons work closely with the inside of the structures.

Some Brick and Block Masons do both, which can save on time and wages.

Expect to get down and dirty in this career.

Duties

Sometimes, a Brick and Block Mason works outdoors, and sometimes they may work in basements or other interior structures.

Either way, there are many responsibilities in this career, including:

  • Measure and mark distances
  • Calculate angles and cuts
  • Apply brick to the structure using wire clamps
  • Break or cut tiles and brick
  • Interpret blueprints
  • Apply mortar

Salary

Having a career as a Brick and Block Mason can be a lifelong opportunity for many people, especially when the average salary is $48,000 a year.

Those who have many hours of experience in the field of Brick and Block Masonry can earn over $74,000 a year at the top of their career.

While going to school is a solid way to get started in this career, it’s important to have hands-on experience as well.

When you just start your career as a Brick and Block Mason, it is likely that you will make a salary of around $29,000 for the first couple of years.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

Annually National Average Salary: $48,330

$29K
$35K
$48K
$57K
$74K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Annual Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$38,380
Alaska$56,330
Arizona$42,780
Arkansas$36,950
California$57,290
Colorado$46,430
Connecticut$49,950
Delaware$51,320
District of Columbia$51,990
Florida$38,510
Georgia$43,860
Hawaii$84,980
Idaho$40,720
Illinois$68,820
Indiana$45,210
Iowa$42,470
Kansas$43,970
Kentucky$39,740
Louisiana$44,710
Maine$44,470
Maryland$45,740
Massachusetts$54,410
Michigan$49,220
Minnesota$54,740
Mississippi$35,690
Missouri$54,290
Montana$43,590
Nebraska$40,050
Nevada$54,810
New Hampshire$50,750
New Jersey$62,680
New Mexico$38,930
New York$68,370
North Carolina$39,560
North Dakota$51,050
Ohio$49,500
Oklahoma$40,090
Oregon$52,430
Pennsylvania$54,910
Rhode Island$51,320
South Carolina$39,370
South Dakota$36,480
Tennessee$38,590
Texas$38,380
Utah$43,830
Vermont$47,010
Virginia$45,520
Washington$66,270
West Virginia$46,470
Wisconsin$52,580
Wyoming$45,010
Guam$32,340
Puerto Rico$19,850

Annual Average Salary: Top 5 States

The top earning state in the field is Hawaii, where the average salary is $84,980.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Hawaii - $84,980
Illinois - $68,820
New York - $68,370
Washington - $66,270
New Jersey - $62,680
*Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey.
Conducted by: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

How to Become a Brick and Block Mason

Step 1Get Your Diploma

You won’t have to go to college or earn a degree to become a Brick and Block Mason, but you will have to do some learning.

After high school,  you can start to think about becoming a Brick and Block Mason.

In order to be eligible for this role, you’ll need:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • At least a 2.5 GPA
  • To be at least 18 years old
  • To be physically able to perform the work

If you have all of these requirements satisfied, the next step is to look into different construction companies to find out how to get your foot in the door.

Look around your local town and see if there are any construction companies hiring, if not, check your local job board or there are tons of construction jobs to find on the Internet.

Step 2Become an Apprentice

Once you graduate from high school or earn your GED, you can apply to work as an apprentice.

Most Brick and Block Masons can find free apprenticeships with construction companies, or there are unions and contractor associations that will sponsor.

If you are someone who is looking for a career as a Brick and Block Mason, contact your local unions and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers to find out more information.

While working an apprenticeship, it is likely that you will do many of the following activities:

  • Plastering and cementing
  • Asbestos control
  • Leadership training
  • Blueprint reading
  • Concrete familiarization
  • Protection and safety activities

An apprenticeship can last anywhere from 1 year to 4 years, depending on your contract with the company.

Some apprenticeships can even result in an Associate’s degree through qualifying organizations.

Step 3Gain Employment

Sometimes an apprentice can gain employment with the construction company that they have been learning from, and other times they may want to move on to a different location.

Whatever you choose to do, finding employment after an apprenticeship should be much easier than if you had no education at all.

Some of the types of skills you should have in order to gain employment as a Brick and Block Mason are:

  • Blueprint reading
  • Working with brick and stone
  • Working with mortar
  • Ability to polish and repair structures

Brick and Block Masons also use many different types of tools to do their jobs.

Some of the tools that you may want to gain experience with include:

  • Drilling tools
  • Tiny blades
  • Saws
  • Ladders

After having many years of experience, you should think about trying out for a promotion or stepping into a new field.

Step 4Advance Your Career

In order to gain promotions in the construction field, you will need to have a lot of experience.

At least four or five years of experiences as a Brick and Block Mason will be sufficient for gaining promotion into roles like:

  • Project Manager
  • Contractor
  • Lead Mason

Those who earn a college degree, either an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree, in construction or Construction Management can find a variety of careers on a higher pay scale.

Some other ways to advance your career as a Brick and Block Mason are to find certifications and specializations within the field, and also to gain as much education as possible throughout your career.


Education

The best form of education for a Brick and Block Mason is an apprenticeship.

This way, you’ll be able to learn on-the-job training and techniques from real construction workers.

While it is possible to enter an apprenticeship just by finding a senior construction worker and shadowing them, there are other ways to enter an apprenticeship as well.

For example, you can contact the local union in your area or you can even contact the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers.

Through the IUBAC, you can find a variety of certifications and programs to apply for.

Many apprenticeships are free or sponsored by one of the unions, and apprentices may even get paid in some cases.

Some of the types of information covered in an apprenticeship program may include:

  • Learning to read blueprints
  • Learning to create blueprints
  • Mixing mortar and grout
  • Understanding building requirements

Some apprenticeships can last about one year, while others can take as long as four.

While working in an apprenticeship, it is possible to earn an Associate’s degree in some cases.

These types of degrees take about two years to finish, and can be done online or in-person on campuses across the United States.

Having a degree in a relevant field to construction can help you gain promotions and raises if you plan to make a lifelong career out of being a Brick and Block Mason.

With an Associate’s degree, many doors open up, including leading crews, running your own department, and even having a business of your very own.

Even though you don’t legally need a traditional education in order to become a Brick and Block Mason, having on-the-job experience is necessary so that you can learn the ins and out’s of the construction business.

Along with hands-on knowledge, you should always strive to learn specializations or earn certifications in order to gain the most of your career.

Video About The Career


Licensing and Certification

Luckily for a Brick and Block Mason, there are no legal requirements to become licensed if you are an individual or work for a company.

However, if you want to become a contractor, you will typically need to be licensed in most states.

A contractor license costs $300 in most states and is good for two years.

If you run your own company, you can also become certified through the Masonry Contractors Association of America.

This certification shows employers and clients that you have knowledge and competency as a Brick and Block Mason.

A certification can typically cost anywhere from $300 to $500, and the contractor is expected to take additional education classes to ensure all laws and regulations are being upheld.

Along with classroom time, you will typically need to pass a multiple-choice exam.

This exam varies depending on the state you plan to certify in.

On average, certification is good for three years, after which you will need to recertify.

This could mean taking another exam or providing proof of further education.

Exams can be anywhere from 150 to 200 questions and are most often computer-based.

Brick and Block Masons can find many different credential opportunities through the Masonry Contractors Association of America.

Most certifications require that you own a company or that you are a contractor.

Along with certification, the MCAA provides Brick and Block Masons with educational information, safety resources, and even the history of masonry.

Schools or colleges that provide Brick and Block Mason education programs sometimes offer training seminars and workshops where you can earn various certificates as well.

For example, as a Brick and Block Mason, you can gain certification in:

  • Bricklaying
  • Pointing and cleaning
  • Masonry alteration
  • Decorative masonry
  • Installing firebrick
  • Masonry power tools
  • Estimation

Even though it’s not legally required to have certification, it is recommended by many employers.

Average Training Program Duration: 0-1 Year

Getting the most out of your training as a Brick and Block Mason will likely require you to enter into an apprenticeship program.

These types of programs can take anywhere from one to four years to finish.

Also, after you finish your apprenticeship, it will take a couple more years of experience and education to become a contractor in order to gain more certifications.

Depending on how long you spend as an apprentice, a training program can take anywhere from 4 to 8 or more years.

Popular Degree Programs


Job Outlook

Masonry has been a very significant trade throughout history, and that likely won’t end any time soon.

This career will decrease a bit over the next decade at around three percent.

There shouldn’t be issues finding job opportunities as a Brick and Block Mason.

Even though the growth looks slow, it is right on track with most trade professions.

Plus, with Brick and Block Masonry being so intricate and dedicated, there aren’t many people out there with the skills to hold a career in this field.

Those that have hands-on experience with masonry and stonework are the ones who will get the most benefit from this career.

Employment Growth Projection: -3%

302,100
2018
292,100
2028

That's a higher than average projected growth of -10,000 jobs.

Brick and Block Mason: Interest Over Time


Should You Become a Brick and Block Mason?

Overall Satisfaction: High

Overall Satisfaction

Most Brick and Block Masons find their jobs to be quite enjoyable.

Though it can be dirty, there are other benefits to working as a Brick and Block Mason.

For example, the hours are good but can be long some days.

Also, Brick and Block Masons feel that they are paid enough for their work in this career.

The stress level is a bit large compared to other careers, but most construction jobs are high impact and stressful.

Those with many years of experience find that they have higher career satisfaction in this profession.

Average Salary: High

Average Salary

When thinking about starting a new career, salary is one of the main determining factors.

For Brick and Block Masons, there are many reasons to join this profession, including the pay scale.

Most Brick and Block Masons make about $48,000 a year, while those on the top of the pay scale make closer to $75,000 a year in some areas.

Working in areas with higher populations and having relevant experience can create many promotions and raise opportunities as a Brick and Block Mason.

Job Growth Outlook: Medium

Job Growth Outlook

Brick and Block Masons will have many career opportunities in the near future because this career is expected to decrease by about 3 percent.

That doesn’t seem like much, but this is a steady career, and expertise is needed in order to master it.

Some of the reasons why Brick and Block Masons won’t have a large growth in opportunities in the future is due to advancements in technology.

It’s easier for a computer or a machine to lay a brick or brick facade, and it’s cheaper than paying an hourly wage.

Education Duration: 0-1 Year

Education Duration

Though there isn’t a required education program in order to gain employment as a Brick and Block Mason, many who get into this career finish a one-year program.

There are programs online that could be shorter than one year, but many of them don’t provide sufficient education to work in this field.

However, if you are not interested in gaining formal education, an internship, or work experience, is one of the best ways to gain employment in this career.

Personal Skills Needed

Personal Skills Needed

Working in construction means that it is important to stay in good physical shape.

As a Brick and Block Mason, you will frequently pick up and move heavy things, so having stamina is also another great attribute.

Some other skills that will do well in this career include:

  • Manual dexterity
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Reading skills
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to work alone or with a team
  • Patience
  • Willingness to help others
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Time management skills
  • Problem solving skills

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How much does a Brick and Block Mason make?

With an average salary of about $48,000 a year, you can have a lucrative career as a Brick and Block Mason.

Those who have several years of experience in this field can even expect to make over $75,000 a year in some places.

When you are just beginning your journey as a Brick and Block Mason, you should expect to have a salary of around $35,000.

Once you gain more experience and knowledge of your job, you will likely gain promotions and raises.

Q. What does a Brick and Block Mason do?

As a Brick and Block Mason, it will be your responsibility to create brick walkways and other construction work.

Within this career, you will likely work with construction tools, materials, and works in order to provide the most beautiful work to clients.

Having a career as a Brick and Block Mason means that you will need to be good with your hands and willing to get dirty.

Expect to work both indoors and outdoors in this career field.

Q. What is the demand for Brick and Block Masons?

Masonry is a big deal, and it’s only getting bigger.

Over the next ten years, the career of a Brick and Block Mason will decrease by around 3 percent.

While this doesn’t seem like much, in the construction field, it is quite a bit.

More and more homeowners and businesses are looking to Brick and Block Masons to make their walkways and construction projects beautiful.

Q. How long does it take to become a Brick and Block Mason?

While there are many programs to become a Brick and Block Mason, there isn’t a specific time limit.

There are some programs that last about one year, which can provide some great education.

However, those with hands-on experience typically have the most success in this field.

Working as a volunteer or as an apprentice can help you gain experience and knowledge without having to hit the books, and can take much less time at around 6 months.

Q. How much does it cost to become a Brick and Block Mason?

You shouldn’t have to spend much dough to become a Brick and Block Mason.

Most programs cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000 depending on how long they last.

If you don’t plan to enter into an education program, then you won’t have to pay anything to work as a Brick and Block Mason.

Well, that is except your time.

You’ll need to spend a lot of time working in the field in order to have a successful career.


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