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Stonemason

Stonemasons carve blocks of stone, and lay and fit stonework into place on construction projects.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 39 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but employers usually look for some on-site experience. 

If you’ve not worked in construction before, you could look for work as a labourer to gain experience. Once working, your employer could offer you training. 

You could also:

  • take a college course in stonemasonry or general construction
  • get into this job through an apprenticeship
You must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a building site, and you may need a driving licence.

The Conference on Training in Architectural Conservation and National Heritage Training Group have more information on stonemasonry and other craft courses.

Stone Federation also has more information on becoming a stonemason.

You’ll need to be physically fit. You may need a good head for heights for some jobs.

2. Skills required

You’ll need

  • the ability to follow architectural plans and drawings
  • a careful approach to work and attention to detail
  • maths skills for measuring areas accurately
  • coordination and practical skills for using tools
  • creative skills

3. What you'll do

As a fixer, you’ll build stone walls or fit cladding using mortar and specialist fixings. You might also repair damaged stonework.

In either specialism, you could work on a range of projects, like:

repairing old buildings and monuments
carving or repairing statues or memorial headstones
making and fitting stonework like window frames, archways and ornamental garden pieces

You’ll work with materials like sandstone, limestone, slate, marble and granite.

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £19,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £30,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £35,000

You could get additional pay for overtime or other allowances.

Self-employed stonemasons set their own pay rates but can earn more than employed ones.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 39 hours a week, with occasional overtime to meet deadlines.

As a banker mason, you’ll usually be based in a workshop, which could get noisy and dusty. 

You’ll use protective equipment, like safety boots, ear defenders and goggles.

As a fixer mason, you’ll be outdoors in all weather conditions on building sites, sometimes working at height.

The work can be physically demanding as you’ll be lifting and carrying heavy materials and equipment.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to supervisory jobs like site supervisor or clerk of works.

You could also move into a related area, like estimating and construction management.

With further training, you could work as a stonemason or bricklaying instructor at a college or training centre.

You could also set up your own stonemasonry business.

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Last updated: 16 December 2016