How to become a Stonemason

Stonemasons cut and shape hard and soft stone blocks and masonry slabs for the construction and renovation of stone structures and monumental masonry (stonework for cemeteries).

Personal requirements of a Stonemason

  • Enjoy practical work
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Able to work at heights
  • Able to work with your hands
  • Self-motivated
  • Aptitude for technical drawing and working with computers is an advantage

Education & Training for a Stonemason

To become a stonemason you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation). Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Stonemason

Stonemasons may perform the following tasks:

  • cut and shape stone using machine or hand tools, taking into account the characteristics of the stone being used
  • cut and polish granite and marble for use in construction, such as for kitchen bench tops and bathroom vanity units
  • design, cut and carve monumental masonry, such as memorial tablets and bases for statues, using templates for detailed work and a variety of chisels, punches and hammers, depending on the type of stone being used
  • cut lettering into stonework by marking out the letters and then cutting or chiselling them with hand-held tools or sandblasting equipment
  • construct walls using stone slabs and large masonry slab blocks
  • lay stone paving
  • lay granite or marble floor tiles
  • fix stone facades to buildings
  • repair and replace stonework on old buildings, churches and monuments.

Working conditions for a Stonemason

Stonemasons often work in a noisy environment.

Employment Opportunities for a Stonemason

Stonemasons are employed by construction companies to work on stone structures and by monument fabricators to make monuments and carve lettering. Some are self-employed. Stonemasonry is a small and specialised trade either focusing on the renovation and maintenance of old buildings or on monumental masonry. The use of masonry in construction has largely been superseded by modern techniques. Demand is also affected by the number of restoration programs for old buildings and the trend for commercial stone facades, as well as stone and terrazzo furniture and components. The nature of a stonemason's job changes with the introduction of new techniques in cutting and forming stonework, requiring stonemasons to keep up to date with advanced equipment and the skills required to operate it.

Avg. weekly wage:

$1,200

Future growth:

moderate growth

Employment by state:

ACT 0.7%

NSW 30.1%

NT 0.5%

QLD 13.9%

SA 7.4%

TAS 1.5%

VIC 19%

WA 26.9%

Hours worked:

39.4

Unemployment:

below average

Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 99.7%

Proportion of female workers 0.3%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 7.1%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 11.8%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 7.1%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 73.9%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 39.1%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 60.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

Additional Information
In some states and territories, stonemasons must either be accredited as or work under the supervision of a registered building practitioner. All those who work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC).
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