Stone masonry dates back to the creation of the first civilized city-states. At the peak of the medieval times, the stonemasons were in demand in society. They were the hands that created the big castles and fortresses. During the medieval times, becoming a stonemason took seven years of apprenticeship. Now, in the modern times, a system that is similar to that of medieval times still operates. This apprenticeship is a combination of onsite learning, college work where they are given a glimpse or an overview experience of the building, and theory work that is involved in the craft of masonry. Masonry is also taught during hands-on workshops. One thing you should not forget, though, is that if you want to be a stonemason, you should have no fear of heights and should possess a fair amount of hand-eye coordination. You should also have a sound body, and of course, know basic arithmetic and basic mathematics.
There are easy steps to be a stonemason. Read the following guide to help you become a certified stonemason.
- Start your training in stone masonry from your high school days. The earlier you become familiar with the various disciplines and skills related to stone masonry, the better it will be for you. Enroll in such courses as creative arts, technology courses, construction and design, business and entrepreneurship, drafting, drawing, etc.
- Become a master stonemason's apprentice. Apprenticeship in stone masonry is essential to training and producing master stonemasons. In apprenticeship, you get to learn the skills hands-on, but with the guidance and supervision of an expert—the master stonemason. You can enroll in an apprenticeship program. Such a program often requires you to find a company, institution, or employer who will be willing to train you on the job. Many companies welcome apprentices. You can also try contacting your the bricklayer's or mason's union in your state. The requirements of stonemason apprenticeship can vary from state to state. Some states require only at least level 9, while others need level 12. In most states, though, you are required to be a high school graduate.
- Following your apprenticeship, it's time to earn your certification. In the majority of states, certification is mandatory. In others, it is optional. Certified stonemasons, however, have better chances at finding a job. In almost all cases, too, and depending on the state, you will need to take and pass examination so that you can obtain your certification.
- Once you earn your certification, you can either seek employment or begin your own business. It's your choice. Most fledgling stonemasons begin as employees, then later on set up their own businesses. Many even shift to related fields by becoming building inspectors or construction managers.
Stonemasons are very important in society. Basically, there wouldn't be a place like the Empire State Building without stonemasons. They are the backbone of society because they make these buildings. Stonemasons create the geometrical designs in the buildings that oftentimes catch our attention. They are also the ones responsible for fixing the buildings made of natural stone, making the building look new and pleasing to the eyes. Doing stonemasonry is not easy work. It entails a great deal of patience, strength, accuracy, and creativity.