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Career and Education Opportunities for Stone Cutters in Huntsville, Alabama

If you want to be a stone cutter, the Huntsville, Alabama area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 520 people work as stone cutters in Alabama. This is expected to grow 5% to about 550 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for stone cutters, which sees this job pool growing by about 2.8% over the next eight years. In general, stone cutters cut or carve stone according to diagrams and patterns.

A person working as a stone cutter can expect to earn about $11 hourly or $24,200 per year on average in Alabama and about $13 per hour or $27,870 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for stone cutters are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Stone and Glass in Alabama and not quite as good as general Stone and Glass category earnings nationally.

There are eleven schools of higher education in the Huntsville area, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree to start your career as a stone cutter. The most common level of education for stone cutters is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a stone cutter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Stone Cutter

Stone Cutter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, stone cutters cut or carve stone according to diagrams and patterns.

Stone cutters verify depths and dimensions of cuts or carvings to insure adherence to given requirements or models, using measuring instruments. They also drill holes and cut or carve moldings and grooves in stone, in line with diagrams and patterns. Equally important, stone cutters have to carve rough designs freehand or by chipping along marks on stone, using mallets and chisels or pneumatic tools. They are often called upon to lay out designs or dimensions from sketches or blueprints on stone surfaces, by freehand or by transferring them from tracing paper, using scribes or chalk and measuring instruments. They are expected to cut and finish rough blocks of building or monumental stone, in line with diagrams or patterns. Finally, stone cutters smooth surfaces of carvings, using rubbing stones.

Every day, stone cutters are expected to be able to control objects and devices with precise control. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for stone cutters to dress stone surfaces, using bushhammers. They are often called upon to guide nozzles over stone following stencil outlines, or chip along marks to generate designs or to work surfaces down to specified finishes. They also load sandblasting equipment with abrasives, attach nozzles to hoses, and turn valves to admit compressed air and activate jets. Somewhat less frequently, stone cutters are also expected to copy drawings on rough clay or plaster models.

and decide on chisels, pneumatic or surfacing tools, or sandblasting nozzles, and decide on sequence of use. And finally, they sometimes have to move fingers over surfaces of carvings to insure smoothness of finish.

Like many other jobs, stone cutters must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Huntsville include:

  • Engraver. Engrave or etch metal, wood, or other materials for identification or decorative purposes. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Stone Cutter Training

John C Calhoun State Community College - Tanner, AL

John C Calhoun State Community College, 6250 U S Highway 31 N, Tanner, AL 35671. John C Calhoun State Community College is a medium sized college located in Tanner, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,754 students. John C Calhoun State Community College has a less than one year program in Mason/Masonry which graduated eight students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama photo by Anivron

Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.