So, you want to be a stonemason? Can you:
- Learn to perform detailed work
- Work with heavy stone and tools, you will need to be fit
- use math to cut and shape stone to specification
What does a stonemason do?
Stonemasonry is one of the oldest trades in the construction industry. To become a stonemason you must be fit, be able to work with precision and detail.
- Work with stone, including, for example, finish, lay, machine, renovate and shape.
- Construct with stone, including, for example, arches, fireplaces, stairs and walls.
- Concrete work for stonemasonry.
- Lay segmental or unit paving for stonemasonry.
- Set out and anchor facades.
- Apply or install waterproofing and damp-proofing for stonemasonry.
- Template, fabricate and install stone benches in kitchens and bathrooms
- Cut and shape the stone using machine or hand tools
- Design, cut and carve monumental masonry eg, headstones, using a range of tools
- Cut lettering into stonework with hand-held tools, or sandblasting equipment
- Construct walls using stone slabs and large masonry slab blocks
- Lay stone paving, granite or marble floor tiles
- Repair and replace stonework on old buildings, churches and monuments
What employment opportunities exist for Stonemasons?
This is a small specialised trade. Most stonemasons work in the renovation and maintenance of old buildings or in monumental masonry. The use of masonry in construction has largely been superseded by modern techniques (but specialist work is still available).
Work has been increasing for stonemasons as the increase in natural stone has become a lot more popular. You will particularly find an increased demand in the prestige housing market.
How do I become a stonemason?
Firstly, you will need to do some work experience so that you know what the job is about. If you think it’s for you, find an employer that is looking for an apprentice stonemason. You will then become an apprentice stonemason and will you will complete a certificate III in stonemasonry at a Registered Training Organisation(RTO). Once you have completed the four year apprenticeship, you will be a qualified tradie!
Once you are a tradie in the construction industry, you can continue working for small or large companies and move into leading hand, supervising or management positions. You might even want to start your own business and employ apprentices yourself. Some tradies even go on to further education to complete courses from Certificate IV to bachelor level. There are plenty of options for qualified Stonemasons.