Masonry (Bricklaying and Tilesetting)

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BRICK AND BLOCK FINISHER CLEANER
BRICK, TILE, TERRAZO AND MARBLE FINISHER CAULKER
BRICKLAYER TERRAZZO WORKER
MARBLE SETTER TILE, TERRAZZO AND MARBLE FINISHER
MASON TILELAYER
POINTER  

The Work
Bricklayers construct walls, fireplaces, commercial buildings, schools, as well as furnaces, kilns and other structures using brick, block, stone, and marble and granite. Tilesetters install ceramic tile, marble, and granite on a variety of surfaces such as walls, floors, countertops, pools, showers, tubs, and the exterior of buildings. There are also apprenticeships available in the trades of building restoration, caulking, and terrazzo. These are specialized trades with good career potential.

Working Conditions
Bricklayers' work is usually performed outdoors, with some work done indoors, and in all kinds of weather while Tilesetters generally work indoors. All masonry trades require good physical strength. There is considerable heavy work involving lifting and moving loads with wheelbarrows and by hand. Concrete blocks weigh more than brick, with 30 pounds being one of the lighter ones, and must be laid with one hand. Tile involves moving boxes of tile as well as carrying pails of mastic, and bags of thinset around the job site from one location to the next. Work sometimes requires travel and includes overnight stays. There are periods of no work when the weather is bad or there is no construction going on. Building restoration and caulkers work at great heights and do a wide variety of tasks, frequently hanging off the sides of tall buildings.

The Apprenticeship
This program, depending upon trade, requires 2000-7000 hours (two to four years) of on-the-job training. additionally, the apprentice must attend 144-160 hours of classroom instruction per year conducted either during the week or on Saturdays.

Apprenticeship Entry Requirements

  • At least 17 1/2 years of age.
  • High school diploma or GED.
  • Read, write and speak English and pass the SLEP test.
  • Pass a standard physical exam.
  • Be able to do basic math.
  • Successful completion of 12-week pre-apprenticeship class required for bricklayers.

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