Is Being a Mason a Good Career Choice? Pros and Cons You Should Consider

Have you ever wondered if being a mason is a good career choice? Well, wonder no more, dear reader. It’s no secret that choosing the right career path can be a challenging decision. We all want to find a job that not only pays well but is also fulfilling and rewarding. And if you’re someone who loves working with your hands, then becoming a mason might just be the perfect fit for you.

Being a mason can be an excellent career choice for those who crave hands-on work, enjoy seeing the fruits of their labor, and have an eye for detail. With the ever-growing demand for skilled workers in the construction industry, being a mason can offer job stability and a steady income. Additionally, it’s a career path that can lead to entrepreneurship and starting your own business if that’s something that excites you.

Furthermore, as a mason, you’ll have the opportunity to work on projects that will stand the test of time, leaving a lasting legacy for generations. Whether it’s building a new commercial office building or a private residence, you’ll be playing an integral role in creating something that will enrich people’s lives for years to come. So, if you’re looking for a career that’s practical, challenging, and has a lasting impact, then perhaps being a mason is a good choice for you.

Importance of Trade Jobs

Trade jobs have long been a cornerstone of the American workforce. These jobs require specialized skills and knowledge, and are typically learned through on-the-job training, apprenticeships, or vocational schools. Despite the rise of technology-based jobs, trade jobs remain an incredibly important part of the economy and provide a stable, sustainable career path for those who choose them.

  • 1. Job Stability – Trade jobs often provide a level of job stability that is hard to come by in other industries. These jobs are essential to the functioning of society, so there is a constant demand for skilled tradespeople.
  • 2. Career Growth – Trade jobs often offer opportunities for career growth and advancement. Apprenticeships and vocational schools provide a solid foundation, and experienced workers can advance to higher paying positions or even start their own businesses.
  • 3. Well-Paying Jobs – While some trade jobs may start off at a lower wage, many trades provide wages that are equal to or even higher than some college-educated professions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many trades offer median wages that are well above the national average. For example, the median annual wage for electricians in 2019 was $56,180. This is higher than the median annual wage of $39,810 for all occupations. Similarly, the median annual wage for carpenters in 2019 was $48,330, which is also higher than the median annual wage of all occupations.

Additionally, trade jobs cannot be outsourced or automated like some other industries, making them a great career choice for those who are worried about job security. There will always be a need for skilled tradespeople, and as the demand for services increases, so will the demand for workers.

Masonry Career Overview

Masonry, also known as bricklaying, stone masonry, or concrete masonry, is a skilled trade that involves using various materials to construct or repair structures such as buildings, walls, chimneys, and fireplaces. The job of a mason requires precision, attention to detail, and physical endurance, making it a challenging but rewarding career path for those who are up to the challenge.

  • Education and Training: To become a mason, you typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and on-the-job training or an apprenticeship. Many technical and trade schools offer masonry programs that teach students the basics of the trade and provide hands-on experience.
  • Skills and Abilities: Masons must have good hand-eye coordination, physical dexterity, and the ability to read blueprints and diagrams. They should also be familiar with a variety of tools and materials used in the trade, including trowels, levels, saws, and hammers.
  • Work Environment and Hours: Masons work outdoors in all types of weather conditions and may need to work at heights or in confined spaces. They may also need to work weekends or evenings to meet project deadlines.

While some may consider masonry an old-fashioned trade, the demand for skilled masons remains high, particularly in the construction industry. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of masons is expected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

So, is being a mason a good career choice? If you enjoy working with your hands, have an eye for detail, and thrive on physical challenges, a career in masonry may be a great fit for you.

Pros Cons
High demand for skilled workers Work can be physically demanding
Opportunities for apprenticeships and on-the-job training Outdoor work can be weather-dependent
Potential for self-employment and entrepreneurship May need to work long, irregular hours

Overall, being a mason can offer a stable and rewarding career path for those who are willing to put in the effort to learn the trade and develop their skills.

Average Salary of a Mason

For those interested in pursuing a career as a mason, knowing the average salary for the profession is an important consideration. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for masonry workers in the United States was $44,810 as of May 2020. This means that half of all masons earned more than this amount, while the other half earned less.

It’s important to note that factors such as experience, location, and industry can all have an impact on a mason’s salary. Generally, masons who work in metropolitan areas or in the commercial and industrial construction industries tend to earn higher salaries than those who work in residential construction or in more rural areas.

Factors Influencing Mason Salaries

  • Experience: As with many professions, masons with more experience tend to earn higher salaries than those who are just starting out. Those who have completed apprenticeships or other training programs may also have an advantage when it comes to earning potential.
  • Location: Salaries for masons can vary depending on geographic location. Those who live and work in urban areas or in states with higher costs of living may command higher wages than those in rural areas.
  • Type of employer: Masons who work for large construction companies, unions, or government entities may have access to more generous salaries and benefits than those who are self-employed or work for smaller outfits.

Projected Job Growth for Masons

The job outlook for masons is favorable, with employment in the field expected to grow by approximately 8% between 2019 and 2029. The demand for masonry work is largely driven by the ongoing need for new construction, as well as the need for repairs and renovations on existing structures. Those with experience in areas such as sustainable building practices or the use of specialty materials may be particularly well-positioned for job growth and higher salaries.

Mason Salary by Industry

Here’s a breakdown of the median annual salaries for masonry workers across different industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Industry Median Annual Salary
Building Equipment Contractors $48,950
Nonresidential Building Construction $47,120
Residential Building Construction $43,420
Local Government, Excluding Education and Hospitals $43,100
Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction $42,860

As with any career, the decision to become a mason should be based on a variety of factors beyond salary alone. However, for those who enjoy working with their hands and have an eye for detail, it can offer a stable and rewarding career path with the potential for growth and advancement.

Benefits of Being a Mason

Being a mason is a rewarding career that offers numerous benefits. Here are the top benefits of being a mason:

  • Job Stability: The construction industry will always be in demand, meaning that masons can enjoy job security. As long as people continue to need shelters and buildings to live and work in, masons will always be in demand.
  • Good Pay: Masons typically earn a good salary for their work. On average, masons make around $25 per hour, with the potential to earn even more for those with experience.
  • Physical Activity: Masonry is a physically demanding job that keeps you active. If you enjoy working with your hands and being outdoors, being a mason might be the perfect career for you.

Aside from the benefits listed above, being a mason can also offer:

  • A sense of pride in creating long-lasting structures that will be around for generations to come;
  • An opportunity to work with other skilled trades professionals and gain new skills;
  • Fulfillment in working on different types of projects, from historical renovations to modern architecture;
  • Ability to work on both residential and commercial projects, offering a wide range of opportunities;
  • The potential to gain self-employment opportunities and work as a contractor, giving you the freedom to choose your projects and schedule.

In summary, being a mason can offer job security, good pay, physical activity, as well as feelings of pride and fulfillment. With the potential to work on various projects and gain new skills, being a mason can be an excellent career choice for those who enjoy working with their hands and working outdoors.

Steps to Become a Mason

Becoming a mason is a noble pursuit and a great option for those looking for a career in the construction industry. Here are the steps you can take to become a mason:

  • Education: While not always required, a high school diploma or GED is preferable to show potential employers that you have the basic knowledge and skills to learn and succeed in the field.
  • Apprenticeship: To become a skilled mason, you must complete an apprenticeship program, which typically lasts three to four years. These programs are offered through trade unions and masonry contractors and involve both on-the-job training and classroom instruction.
  • Skills and training: Beyond the hands-on training you receive during your apprenticeship, masons should be knowledgeable in areas such as blueprint reading, safety regulations, and building codes. It’s crucial to also have a good understanding of math, especially geometry, as it plays a significant role in masonry work.
  • Certification: Though not required, certification through the Mason Contractors Association of America or the International Masonry Institute can help you stand out from the competition and demonstrate your expertise in the field.
  • Continued learning: As with any career, continuing education and staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments is crucial to long-term success in the field. Consider attending leadership and management courses, or expanding your skills by learning about new masonry products or techniques.

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to starting a rewarding career as a mason.

Masonry Apprenticeships and Training Programs

When it comes to becoming a skilled mason, apprenticeships and training programs are crucial. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know about these opportunities:

  • What is an apprenticeship? An apprenticeship is a program that combines on-the-job training with classroom education. Typically lasting about three to four years, apprenticeships can be a great way to learn the skills you need to become a skilled mason.
  • What types of skills will you learn? As an apprentice, you can expect to learn everything from building codes and safety regulations to specific masonry techniques. For example, you may learn how to lay brick, block, or stone, as well as how to mix and apply mortar.
  • What are the requirements for an apprenticeship? In general, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for an apprenticeship. You’ll also need to be physically fit and able to lift heavy objects. Some apprenticeshiops may also require you to have a valid driver’s license.

Training programs are another option for those interested in a career in masonry. Here’s what you should know:

What are training programs? Training programs offer a more classroom-based education than apprenticeships, but still provide hands-on experience. These programs may also be shorter in duration than apprenticeships, with some lasting just a few months.

What types of skills will you learn? Training programs cover many of the same skills as apprenticeships, but without the on-the-job training aspect. You’ll still learn about building codes and safety regulations, as well as masonry techniques such as bricklaying, blocklaying, and stone work.

What are the requirements for training programs? Requirements vary by program, but many do require a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs may also require you to have a certain level of physical fitness and an interest in working with your hands.

Program Name Duration Location
National Masonry Institute Apprenticeship Program 4 years Nationwide
Masonry Institute of Michigan Apprenticeship Program 4 years Michigan
Colorado Building and Construction Trades Council Apprenticeship Program 3 years Colorado

There are many different apprenticeships and training programs available across the country, making it easier than ever to learn the skills you need to become a successful mason. Whether you choose an apprenticeship or a training program, you’ll gain the knowledge and experience you need to start a fulfilling career in this field.

Masonry job outlook and future opportunities

If you’re considering a career in masonry, it’s important to understand the outlook and future opportunities for this industry. Masonry is a skilled trade that involves working with brick, concrete, and stone to build structures such as walls, walkways, and buildings. Here are some factors to consider when examining the job outlook for masons:

  • Job growth: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of masons is expected to grow by 11% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This indicates that there will likely be a growing demand for masons in the coming years.
  • Construction industry: The demand for masons is closely tied to the overall health of the construction industry. As the economy continues to recover, there may be more opportunities for masons to find work as new construction projects begin.
  • Retirements: Many experienced masons are nearing retirement age, which could create additional job openings for younger workers looking to enter the industry.
  • Specialization: Masons who specialize in certain areas, such as historic restoration or sustainable building practices, may be in higher demand than those with more general skills.
  • Geography: The demand for masonry may vary depending on where you live. Areas with high levels of construction activity, such as cities or growing suburbs, may have more opportunities available.
  • Automation: While some aspects of masonry can be automated, such as bricklaying, this technology is not yet widespread. However, it’s important for masons to stay informed about new developments in this area and be prepared to adapt as needed.
  • Entrepreneurship: Some masons may choose to start their own businesses or work as independent contractors. This can offer greater flexibility and income potential, but also requires additional skills such as business management and marketing.

In addition to these factors, it’s important for masons to stay up-to-date with new materials, tools, and building techniques through continuing education and training. By doing so, they can stay competitive in the job market and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.

Future Opportunities

As the construction industry continues to recover, there may be additional opportunities for masons to specialize in certain areas. For example, masons who have experience in historic restoration could find work restoring historic buildings and monuments. Those who focus on sustainable building practices may be in demand for projects that prioritize environmental sustainability.

Specialization Description Potential Job Opportunities
Historic Restoration Restoring historic buildings, monuments, and other structures using traditional materials and techniques. Restoration firms, historic preservation organizations, government agencies.
Sustainable Building Using environmentally friendly building practices and materials to reduce the impact of construction on the environment. Eco-friendly builders, green construction firms, sustainable design organizations.
Large-Scale Construction Working on large commercial or industrial construction projects that require specialized skills such as concrete pouring or structural masonry. Construction firms, engineering firms, government agencies.

Overall, becoming a mason can offer a rewarding career with opportunities for growth and specialization. As the construction industry continues to recover and technology advances, there may be even more potential for masons to excel in their profession.

Is Being a Mason a Good Career? FAQs

1. What is a Mason?

A Mason is a skilled trade worker who works with materials like stone, brick, and concrete to build or repair structures such as buildings and walls.

2. Is being a Mason a good career option?

Yes, being a mason can be a good career option for those who enjoy physical work and have an eye for detail. Masons are in demand for building and repairing structures, which can provide job security.

3. What skills do I need to become a mason?

To become a mason, you will need to have good hand-eye coordination, physical stamina, and the ability to read blueprints. Attention to detail and strong communication skills are also valuable traits in this career.

4. How much does a mason earn?

The median annual salary for masons in the United States is around $44,810. However, wages can vary depending on experience, location, and type of work.

5. Is there room for advancement in masonry?

Yes, there is room for advancement in masonry. Experienced masons can become supervisors or contractors, and some even go on to start their own businesses.

6. What are the working conditions like for a mason?

Masons typically work outdoors and may have to work in inclement weather conditions. The job can also be physically demanding and require standing or bending for long periods.

7. How do I become a mason?

To become a mason, you will need to complete an apprenticeship program or vocational school training. After completing your training, you may need to obtain a license or certification depending on your state’s regulations.

Closing Thoughts

Becoming a mason can be a fulfilling career for those who enjoy working with their hands and have a passion for building and repairing structures. While the job can be physically demanding, the potential for job security, room for advancement, and competitive salaries make it a worthwhile career choice. Thank you for reading and be sure to come back for more informative articles!