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How to become a Stonemason

stonemason careers

What does a Stonemason do?

Stonemasons prepare, cut, trim and fix stone and blocks for a variety of purposes including the repair and maintenance of historic buildings and monuments; the production of architectural features such as window frames, lintels, archways and ornamental garden pieces; cladding for new-build construction projects; and the creation of memorial headstones for the funeral sector. Stonemasons work with a range of materials such as sandstone, slate, marble and granite.

There are two main roles:

  • banker masons cut and shape stonework with a range of hand and power tools, working from templates and moulds, to give it a textured or polished finish (dressing), in accordance with design plans; they may also be involved in carving figures, lettering or patternwork

  • fixer masons work on site, setting out and bedding down the pre-prepared stone or cladding with mortar or specialist fixings, following architects' blueprints; they also deal with the repair of existing stonework.

What's the working environment like working as a Stonemason?

Stonemasons normally work a 39-hour week. Overtime may be necessary to meet deadlines.

Banker masons are based mainly in workshops, which can be noisy and dusty, requiring the wearing of protective masks, ear defenders and goggles. Fixer masons work outdoors in all weathers on building sites, often at heights on scaffolding. The work can be physically demanding, lifting and carrying heavy materials and equipment.

Some travel, possibly with long or short stays away from home is involved, so a driving licence is useful.

What does it take to become a Stonemason?

To be a stonemason you should:

  • be able to follow architectural plans and drawings
  • be able to work carefully and methodically
  • be able to make accurate measurements
  • have good co-ordination and manual skills for cutting, shaping and fixing stone
  • have artistic and drawing ability for decorative aspects of the work
  • be comfortable working at heights if intending to work as a fixer mason
  • be aware of health and safety issues
  • be able to work well as part of a team
  • be physically fit.

Stonemason Career Opportunities

Masons are employed by stonemasonry and construction companies. If working for a small firm, a mason would be expected to cover both banker and fixing duties. Some masons are self-employed, sub-contracting their services to larger building firms.

It may be possible for stonemasons to progress to supervisory or construction management roles.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Stonemason that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

CITB-ConstructionSkills
Bircham Newton
King's Lynn
Norfolk
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577
www.citb.org.uk

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
Tel: 0870 417 8777
www.cscs.uk.com

Equal Opportunities Commission
www.knowyourplace.org.uk



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