Best Mason Apprenticeship Programs and Training in 2020

A lot of people who want to earn a living by becoming a mason ask questions like; Why brick mason? Where can I learn brick mason? In that regard, we are going to discuss all it takes for you to become a successful brick mason.

Masonry is a trade that offers a wide variety of careers. If physical, outdoor work is more appealing to you.

After reading this post, you will know the particular school of your choice that best suits your expertise. So, just read along with me and you will enjoy this.

A lot of people who want to earn a living by becoming a mason ask questions like; Why brick mason? Where can I learn brick mason? In that regard, we are going to discuss all it takes for you to become a successful brick mason.

Before we define Masonry and who a mason is, let’s take a quick look at the table of contents below.

Who is a Mason?

According to Wikipedia, a mason, or bricklayer is a craftsman who lays bricks to construct brickwork, or who lays any combination of stones, bricks, cinder blocks, or similar pieces.

Actually, the typical duties of a mason include:

  • Reading blueprints or drawings to calculate materials needed
  • Laying out patterns, forms, or foundations according to plans
  • Breaking or cutting materials to the required size
  • Mixing mortar or grout and spread it onto a slab or foundation
  • Cleaning excess mortar with trowels and other hand tools
  • Constructing corners with a corner pole or by building a corner pyramid
  • Aligning structures vertically and horizontally, using levels and plumbs
  • Cleaning and polishing surfaces with hand or power tools
  • Filling expansion joints with the appropriate caulking materials

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How long does it take to become a Mason?

If you want to become a mason, it takes three to four years to complete a masonry apprenticeship. Those who complete an apprenticeship can begin working as “journeyman masons”.

Journeyman masons can continue working with the same employer that facilitated their apprenticeship, but others find new work through their union or by responding to job postings in that area.

Apprenticeship programs are one of the best ways to become a mason. Prospective apprentices may also be required to pass an aptitude test.

Also, according to the National Center of Construction Education and Research (NCCER), becoming a Mason requires a thorough Eight Stage training program. Usually, this training consists of about 432 hours of related classroom and lab work.

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How much does a Mason earn? | Salary

Actually, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for masonry workers was $44,810 in May 2019.

Also, median annual wages for masonry workers in May 2018 were as follows:

Brickmasons and blockmasons $50,950
Cement masons and concrete finishers 43,000
Terrazzo workers and finishers 42,500
Stonemasons 41,220

What Is The Job Growth For Masons?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the employment of masons to grow 10 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.

Population growth will result in the construction of more schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, and other structures, many of which are made of brick and blocks. In addition, masons will be needed to restore a growing number of other kinds of brick buildings. Although expensive, brick exteriors remain popular, reflecting a preference for low-maintenance and durable exterior materials.

Where Can I Work As A Mason?

Masonry workers held about 298,000 jobs in 2018. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up masonry workers was distributed as follows:

Cement masons and concrete finishers 191,100
Brickmasons and block masons 87,000
Stonemasons 17,100
Terrazzo workers and finishers 2,800

The largest employers of masonry workers were as follows:

Poured concrete foundation and structure contractors 26%
Masonry contractors 21
Construction of buildings 11
Self-employed workers 11
Heavy and civil engineering construction 7

How Much Does It Cost To Study Mason?

Apprenticeship programs last 3-4 years and offer extensive training. So, students should first attend a technical college or a vocational school. This takes about 1-2 years to complete. And this costs $1,200-$9,000.

Then, you join a masonry apprenticeship program. Some of these can be free while some cost up to $1,750.

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Brick Mason Vs Brick Layer

A bricklayer is different from a mason although they are related but, their job functions differ. According to NOC code 7281, Brick Masons lay bricks, concrete blocks, stone, and other similar materials to construct or repair walls, arches, chimneys, fireplaces, and other structures in accordance with blueprints and specifications while Bricklayers typically focus on construction using clay or concrete bricks, and blocks.

In fact, Bricklaying is a part of masonry and considered to be a “lower” form of masonry, whereas masonry is a specialist occupation involved in the cutting and shaping of stones and stonework. Bricklaying is a lower form of masonry.

Are certifications or licensure requirements needed to become a Mason?

A mason that has a business and deals directly with clients is typically required to have a license, and those who subcontract on projects managed by a contractor may be required to have a license if the project costs more than a certain amount. This amount is set by the state.

To earn a contractor or subcontractor license you need to pass a licensing exam, submit financial records, and provide references and proof of insurance.

Best Mason Apprentice Programs in 2021

List of best mason apprentice programs in the world

#1. Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Training Center

The BAC Pre Job is a 6 Week Training Course designed to prepare Pre Apprentice’s who are interested in joining the trades. So, this apprenticeship prepares you to become an apprentice and our goal is to have you prepared to enter the workforce after completion of this career readiness program. 

To join BAC apprenticeship training program:

  • Applicants should be in the great physical condition and be able to lift at least 50 lbs at waist height repetitively.
  • All applicants should have a valid MN Driver’s License and/or a reliable form of transportation.

#2. Virginia Masonry Association

Virginia Masonry Association Apprenticeship Program offers important knowledge to those who are interested in learning the trade of masonry. After which they are employed by contractor members. Basically, apprentices will work during the day and attend classes at night. 

So, VMA’s Apprentices attend classes, provided by VMA, one night a week for five 18-week semesters.  Once Apprentices have completed the classes, the required Competencies, and the required Performance Tasks, opportunities for promotion to Journeyman Bricklayer are possible. Upon successful completion of the Apprenticeship Program, certificates will be awarded from the Department of Labor and Industry which is recognized nationally, as well as from VMA.  

If you prefer a variety of duties and enjoy working closely with other trade professionals, you may prefer a position in masonry sales or as an estimator. Regardless, every mason has the opportunity to own his/her own business, in fact, most owners of masonry businesses started out themselves as masons.

No matter the career path you choose, this mason apprenticeship program provides you with the knowledge and experience that is fundamental for a career in masonry anywhere in the United States. Masonry offers pride in building a structure with your own hands that will stand the test of time.

#3. Conestoga

This program, which consists of 3 levels, is designed to provide the apprentice with theoretical knowledge of all aspects of masonry, brick, and stonework as well as practical training necessary to complement the apprentice’s on-the-job training experience. Upon completion, this program confers the graduate of an Ontario College Certificate titled Masonry Techniques – Apprenticeship.

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, mature student status
  • Prospective students must be registered apprentices with the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU) and must be a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT).

#4. Madison Area Technical College

Madison Area Technical College(Madison College) is a public technical and community college based in Madison, Wisconsin.

Trade tasks to be learned here include laying of bricks; pointing, cleaning, waterproofing and cutting of brick walls; fireproofing; construction of arches; cutting, laying and pointing of cement blocks and glazed tiles; and erection of precast panels.

#5. Masonry Association of Florida

The masonry industry offers great benefits including advancement opportunities, job security, paid training, and financial strength – and that’s just the beginning. Masonry’s work presents both an analytical and creative outlet, a sense of pride in accomplishment and job flexibility. Most importantly, masonry is an enduring craft that promises to be lucrative far into the future – and the opportunities are wide open!

The MAF has developed state registered masonry apprenticeship standards with participating programs throughout the state of Florida. The program consists of hands-on training combined with classroom instruction with the focus on basic masonry skills. This program is FREE — in order to be eligible, students must be employed full-time by a participating employer.

#6. Ontario Mason Training Centre

Here at Ontario Mason Training Centre, they:

  • Assist you and your teacher in finding your co-op job placement in the masonry trade
  • Provide you with the first level of in-school training (8 weeks full time) free!
  • Have you start training on the following possible start dates: March or May.

They also offer the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). This is a school to Work program that opens the door for students to explore and work in apprenticeship occupations starting in Grade 11 or Grade 12 through the Cooperative Education program.

Students have an opportunity to become registered apprentices and work towards becoming certified journeypersons in a skilled trade while completing their secondary school diplomas.

#7. Michigan Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Training Center 

The Bricklayers and Allied Crafts workers Local 2 Lansing Training Center is the premier apprenticeship school for masonry sciences in the Lansing area. Basically, they remain dedicated to preserving the longstanding craft of high-quality masonry by training the next generation of construction leaders.

Also, they are committed to educating our students in the most state-of-the-art bricklaying techniques, safety procedures, and masonry technology.

They also represent all facets of masonry sciences; Brick and Block, Stone, Cement, Plaster, Pointing/Cleaning/Caulking [Restoration and Preservation], Refractory and Tile, Marble, or Terrazzo. 

#8. Algonguin College

Algonguin College offers a Brick Stone Mason Pre-apprenticeship program. This 34-week Brick and Stone Mason Pre-apprenticeship program offer in-class essential learning, in-lab practical experience including restoration masonry and an on-the-job work placement. This program is delivered at the Perth Campus in the following phases:

  • 6-weeks of in-class to get familiar with the masonry program and prepare for job readiness in this field.
  • 12-weeks of Brick & Stone Mason apprenticeship in-class and in-lab practical experience, including lectures from industry representatives and site visits.
  • 6-weeks of restoration techniques and heritage stonemasonry practiced in a shop environment and in fieldwork projects.
  • 8-week paid work placement in a masonry environment.
  • Graduation ceremony and program wrap-up the final 2 weeks.

#9. AZ Masonry Contractors Association

AMCA’s apprenticeship Program combines both theories and practices through supervised, on-the-job-learning, and related theoretical classroom and lab instruction.  This is a proven methodology that allows employers to establish the standards of proficiency required of its professionals.

In this program, apprentices receive formalized training under experienced supervision. They earn as they learn new and improved skills to become more competitive in the job market. A progressive wage schedule helps ensure they are receiving raises every six months (based on performance reviews). Apprentices graduate from this three-year program with increased job security and nationally recognized Journeyman credentials.

So, employers have more satisfied customers due to the increased quality of workmanship. A reservoir of skilled workers becomes available for future needs of the company, and their workforce becomes more flexible through higher skill diversification.

#10. Masonry Association of Georgia

Association Members are dedicated to training our future workforce through the three-year masonry apprenticeship training program registered with the Georgia Department of Labor.

Apprenticeship is a competency-based Eight Stage training program consisting of 432 hours of related classroom and lab training. On-the-job-training (OJT) of 6,000 hours with your participating employer is required to receive your certification from the Georgia Department of Labor.

There are six semesters of related training. You will attend two semesters a year. Apprentices will be given the opportunity to complete three stages of the program during the first and second year and two stages during the third year.

The curriculum has been developed by the National Center of Construction Education and Research (NCCER). The curriculum will cover safe and efficient practices in mason tending, laying brick and block, wall performance, mortar composition, and mixing, tools and equipment, specialty products, preformed concrete products, stone, and blueprint reading. These are just some of the areas of training you will receive.

#11. Florida Masonry Apprentice and Education Foundation, Inc

The FMAEF is an accredited Training Sponsor (ATS) for NCCER that started in 2002. The school has sponsored over 100 high school and post-secondary programs along with programs in Juvenile Justice, Youth Build, Department of Corrections, and other re-entry programs.

Basically, this training college was created to add new and expand existing apprenticeship programs and offer education to the masonry industry. Currently, there are ten(100) apprentice programs running throughout the state with about 200 apprentices enrollment.

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FAQs on the best Mason Schools in the World

How much does masonry apprenticeship program cost?

A masonry apprenticeship program can be free but some cost up to $1,750.

What level of education is required to become a mason?

The most common educational path to this career is attending a technical college or vocational school then enrolling in a mason apprenticeship program.

Is Masonry a good career?

Trades are a great career choice for many hardworking and talented students, specifically, within the construction trades.

What is the salary of a Mason?

Honestly, according to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual pay for masonry workers was $44,810 in May 2018.

Can I study Masonry online?

No, apprenticeship programs are better because you get hands-on experience on the job preparation.

Conclusion

Actually, a career in masonry is not a bad choice. It requires very strong creativity and also technological innovation. There are varieties of job opportunities for these professionals.

Masonry students who successfully complete a training program are in high demand for jobs.  The skills of a mason can never be replaced by a machine, so skilled masons can look forward to a career for years to come.

References

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