Career Profile: Restoration Mason

Career Profile: Restoration Mason

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Buildings can easily decay or become damaged. Storms can damage the outside of buildings or floods can ruin the rooms inside. Age can cause parts of a building to rot or wear down. This kind of damage is where restoration masons are very important.

Restoration masons, also called steeplejacks, help people preserve the buildings where they live or work. Sometimes, restoration masons might be called to work on special projects like helping to rebuild an important museum or other historical site. They might help to restore chimneys or church steeples. Restoration masons can choose to specialize in a certain type of restoration or work more generally with whatever project comes their way. Construction companies are good places to look for work, but some restoration masons are self-employed and work for a variety of clients.

Jobs for restoration masons are more likely to be available in large cities than in small communities, but they can find work almost anywhere. For people who like historic buildings, a city like Winnipeg with a large collection of buildings from the early twentieth century is a better choice than a more modern city like Calgary. However, even relatively new buildings need repair at times.

Educational requirements for restoration masons can vary, but generally, employers require at least a Grade Ten education but prefer to hire people who have completed high school. Courses in mathematics and English are useful, and it is a good idea to learn about construction concepts if possible. Patience and attention to detail are important qualities in this job.

An apprenticeship may also be a requirement. Normally, apprenticeships in this trade take six thousand hours. Certification and Red Seal qualifications might also be necessary, especially in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec, although they are optional in many areas of Canada. Knowing about different types of materials and restoration techniques is also very useful.

Daily duties for restoration masons can vary according to the type of damage to a building.  However, the job usually involves preparing mortar, cutting out and filling joints, and repairing or resetting bricks, terra cotta, or stone. Resetting or pinning stone pieces can also be part of the work. Parts of the job might be indoors, but restoration masons should be prepared to work outside, often on roofs. The work can be very dirty and physically exhausting, and it is often dependent on the weather. Although some of the work can take place in winter, the job tends to be seasonal because of the cold and snow of Canadian winters.

Salaries for restoration masons begin at about $46,800 per year and can rise to $71,700 or more. As with other trades, the work can lead to serious injuries, and it can become difficult as people age. Many people in this trade might prefer to get into a less active role as they age or even move to an entirely different field.

Despite these issues, the job of restoration mason can be a good choice for many people. If you have the necessary qualities, you should consider this career.



Construction Training & Apprenticeship Ontario. “Restoration Mason.” https://www.ctaontario.ca/explore/restoration-mason/.

Job Bank. “Brick and Stone Masons in Canada.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/requirements/6475/ca.

Skilled Trades Ontario. “Restoration Mason.” https://www.skilledtradesontario.ca/trade-information/restoration-mason/.

Skills Council. “Restoration Mason.” https://www.skillscouncil.ca/trades/restoration-mason.

Talent.com. “Mason Average Salary in Canada, 2024.” https://ca.talent.com/salary?job=mason.

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