How to Get a Job as a Brickmason & Blockmason
High school training programs increasingly are a conduit for getting into masonry craft jobs. So are apprenticeship programs. Having a friend or relative in the construction trades industry is also a common way new entrants learn of job opportunities and apply for work. Military veterans receive preferred access to employment opportunities. "We also live in the real world," Herndon says, and he operates masonry training programs at eight Florida prisons, helping inmates qualify for jobs upon their release.
What is the Job Like?
The work is usually outdoors and seasonal in colder climates. Work schedules tend to be standard 40-hour weeks but can be thrown off by inclement weather and project deadlines. Many self-employed masons work on smaller residential jobs. The work is physically demanding, usually performed on scaffolding, and requires manual dexterity, attention to design detail, and stamina. Working outdoors and with heavy and sharp-edged stone and brick, masons suffer much higher injury and illness rates than industry averages, with muscle strains being the most common injury. Masons often enjoy the design challenges of their job. “They have to see the design as they’re building it,” Herndon says, “so they need a good eye and a sense of design.” Masons need to like working outdoors, he adds, and they usually build strength and stamina on the job. “Our very good masons tend to be lanky; it’s just the strength that you build up and develop while working in the trade.” Teamwork is also important, he explains. “You have to get along with people. You’re working with other crafts and you’ve got to take into consideration what their needs are. If you don’t do your job right, they can’t do their job right.”