Build stone structures, such as piers, walls, and abutments. Lay walks, curbstones, or special types of masonry for vats, tanks, and floors.
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Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons should see as fast as average growth as the construction industry responds to the needs of a growing population. Job prospects should be better for workers with more thorough training who can work on complex structures.
Jobs for brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons are expected to increase by 12 percent over the 2008–18 decade, as fast as the average for all occupations, as the rising population will create a need for schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, and other structures. Also stimulating demand for workers will be the need to build more energy-efficient industrial facilities and office buildings (some of which may be made from brick) and to restore a growing number of old brick buildings. Moreover, the Federal Government has indicated a willingness to spend more on repairing schools and on making government buildings more energy efficient, which should have a positive impact on the construction industry in general.
Because of demographic forces, the residential housing market is expected to eventually pick up again. Brick exteriors and, particularly, stone should remain popular, reflecting a growing preference for durable exterior materials requiring little maintenance. There is also an increased demand for durable homes that incorporate brick or stone in hurricane-prone areas.
Job opportunities for brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons are expected to be in rough balance over the 2008–18 period as laid-off workers and a reduced level of construction help balance out a need for skilled brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons. The masonry workforce is growing older, and a large number of masons are expected to retire over the next decade, which will create many job openings. Applicants who take masonry-related courses at technical schools will improve their job prospects.
Employment of brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons, like that of many other construction workers, is sensitive to changes in the economy. When the level of construction activity falls, workers in these trades can experience periods of unemployment. On the other hand, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity. Ongoing, however, is the need to repair and restore a large number of aging masonry buildings. This work will increase opportunities for workers with these types of skills.
New concerns over the costs of heating and cooling buildings of all types has led to a need to train construction workers of all types, including brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons, in the emerging field of green construction. Contractors familiar with this burgeoning area will have better job opportunities in the future.
Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons held 160,200 jobs in 2008. The vast majority were brickmasons and blockmasons. Workers in these crafts are employed in building construction or by specialty trade contractors.
About 27 percent of brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons were self-employed. Many of the self-employed are contractors who work on small jobs, such as patios, walkways, and fireplaces.
Job Zone 3 - Medium preparation
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have gone through an apprenticeship program or several years of vocational training to perform the job.
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related job experience, or an associate's degree. Some may require a bachelor's degree.
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training, including both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.
Dental assistants, electricians, fish and game wardens, legal secretaries, personnel recruiters and recreational workers.
These occupations often involve using communication and organization skills to manage and train others.
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For details about apprenticeships or other work opportunities in these trades, contact local bricklaying, stonemasonry, or marble-setting contractors; the Associated Builders and Contractors; a local office of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers; a local joint union-management apprenticeship committee; or the nearest office of a State employment service or apprenticeship agency. Apprenticeship information is also available from the U.S. Department of Labor's toll-free helpline: (877) 872-5627 and online at http://www.doleta.gov/OA/eta_default.cfm
For general information on apprenticeships and how to get them, see the Occupational Outlook Quarterly article "Apprenticeships: Career training, credentials—and a paycheck in your pocket," online at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2002/summer/art01.pdf and in print in many libraries and career centers.
For information on training for brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons, contact:
- Mason Contractors Association of America, 33 South Roselle Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60193. Internet: http://www.masoncontractors.org
- National Association of Home Builders, Home Builders Institute, 1201 15th St. NW., Washington, DC 20005. Internet: http://www.hbi.org
For information about training, including a credential in green construction, contact:
- International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, 620 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20004. Internet: http://www.bacweb.org
- National Center for Construction Education and Research, 3600 NW. 43rd St., Bldg. G, Gainesville, FL 32606. Internet: http://www.nccer.org
For general information about the work of bricklayers, contact:
- International Masonry Institute National Training Center, The James Brice House, 42 East Street, Annapolis, MD 21401. Internet: http://www.imiweb.org
- Associated General Contractors of America, Inc., 2300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 400, Arlington, VA 22201. Internet: http://www.agc.org
- National Concrete Masonry Association, 13750 Sunrise Valley Dr., Herndon, VA 20171-4662. Internet: http://www.ncma.org
Sources: O*Net data version 12.0
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Department of Labor
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