Career Profile: Restoration Mason
Suppose that you made a birdhouse or a wooden cart that started to fall apart. Would you fix the problem, or would you start all over again? If you prefer to fix what you already have, the job of restoration mason might be right for you.
In most cities, construction is a big business, and people can get jobs building new homes, schools, or offices. Masons in these jobs use mortar made from cement or other substances to join together bricks, stones, or other materials to construct entire buildings or sometimes just the outer shell of a building to make it look nice.
Restoration masonry uses some of the same techniques, but the goal of the work is different. Instead of actually building something new, they might remake a wall or tear down an old one to replace it with a new structure. Restoration masons might clean the stones or bricks on a wall, or they might use special chemicals to clean the building, especially in areas where air pollution or dust has made the buildings look dirty. Sometimes, they have to find replacements for some of the bricks or stones that have crumbled.
Often, restoration masons work with old buildings that people want to preserve, such as heritage buildings that connect to the history of a city or town. For example, they might restore the walls of an old college or city hall, or they might work on a house that has been in someone’s family for many years.
Sometimes, the work includes restoring terra cotta or other materials that newer buildings might not have. Often, people in this field need to have artistic skills so that they can carve special shapes to match what is already on the building. This work can often be very detailed, but some degree of physical strength is also necessary for working with heavy materials.
Generally, restoration masons earn between $39,000 and about $83,000 per year. Since the work is often somewhat physically difficult, people might want to get into another career as they get older. Most employers want restoration masons to have at least a high school education, but some might still hire someone who has completed Grade 9 or 10. Many employers might also want restoration masons to complete a 6000-hour apprenticeship program through a trade school or other organization.
Restoration masons can find work in many places, such as construction companies or with developers. The skills that restoration masons learn can be very useful in other fields, and some people might even find work with theatre or ballet companies, as well as other places that require someone who knows how to help the appearance and strength of the inside and outside of buildings.
Restoration masons should be good at working with their hands and be able to deal with heights if they work on tall buildings. Being able to work in small spaces is also helpful. Normally, people in this job work at many different locations, depending on which buildings need restoration. The job can be solitary, but sometimes restoration masons work with other people. For people who like to make old things look new, the job of restoration mason might be a good choice.
Apprenticeship Search. “Restoration Mason.” https://www.apprenticesearch.com/sectors/construction/trades/restoration-mason-244h
Career Planner. “Brickmasons and Blockmasons.” https://job-descriptions.careerplanner.com/Brickmasons-and-Blockmasons.cfm
Payscale.com. Stonemason: Hourly Rate.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Stonemason/Hourly_Rate
Vanwell Masonry. “Masonry Restoration Explained.” http://www.vanwellmasonry.com/masonry-restoration-explained.aspx.