Brickmasons and Blockmasons

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Also known as:
Adobe Layer, Block Layer, Blockmason, Brick Chimney Builder, Brick Setter, Bricklayer, Brickmason, Brickmason Apprentice, Firebrick Layer, Furnace Mason

ABOUT BRICKMASON AND BLOCKMASON CAREERS
Video transcript

Masons, or "stonemasons" as they are sometimes called, work with marble, granite, limestone, and other materials to build walls, walkways, and arches, and to lay stone floors.

Using special tools such as hammers and chisels and water-cooled saws with diamond toothed blades, masons cut and shape their materials. They must also be able to use irregularly shaped rocks and turn them into a uniform structure - like a wall or floor. This takes skill and experience.

Informal, on-the-job training may be available to those serving as mason "helpers," but the best way to enter this profession is through a formal, three-year apprenticeship program, which includes both classroom and on-the-job training sponsored by local contractors or a union-management committee.

The work isn't easy. Like most of the building trades, masons must be able to do heavy lifting, and much of the work is outdoors in all kinds of weather. But it can be very satisfying. After all, a qualified mason is a master of stone - the oldest building material on earth.

SNAPSHOT
Lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete block, cinder block, glass block, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances, to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
MED
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
MED
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
Daily tasks

Mix specified amounts of sand, clay, dirt, or mortar powder with water to form refractory mixtures.

Interpret blueprints and drawings to determine specifications and to calculate the materials required.

Fasten or fuse brick or other building material to structure with wire clamps, anchor holes, torch, or cement.

Apply and smooth mortar or other mixture over work surface.

Clean working surface to remove scale, dust, soot, or chips of brick and mortar, using broom, wire brush, or scraper.

Examine brickwork or structure to determine need for repair.

Calculate angles and courses and determine vertical and horizontal alignment of courses.

Remove burned or damaged brick or mortar, using sledgehammer, crowbar, chipping gun, or chisel.

Construct corners by fastening in plumb position a corner pole or building a corner pyramid of bricks, and filling in between the corners using a line from corner to corner to guide each course, or layer, of brick.

Break or cut bricks, tiles, or blocks to size, using trowel edge, hammer, or power saw.

Measure distance from reference points and mark guidelines to lay out work, using plumb bobs and levels.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
TOP SKILLS
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.