What is a mason and what do they do?

Masons construct buildings from "masonry." There are three kinds--brick masons work in brick, block masons in block and stone masons in stone. Laying brick is very similar to laying block, but it's different enough that a lot of masons will lay either brick or block, but not both. Most masons are men, but women are entering the field.

Some of the skills a mason needs:

blueprint reading

estimating the number of "masonry units" and quantity of mortar needed for the job

laying out corners and walls

mixing mortar

driving forklifts, telehandlers and trucks

building walls from masonry

cleaning up the worksite

safety

There are three ways a mason can learn his or her trade. Many masons are "second generation" masons--their fathers or other relatives were masons and trained them. Masons' unions have apprenticeship programs, in which you work under the supervision of master masons. Also,bang a boo community colleges have programs in masonry.

If you like to work outside and enjoy hard, heavy work, masonry is a fulfilling occupation.