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Career and Education Opportunities for Brick and Block Masons in St. Paul, Minnesota

Brick and block masons can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. There are currently 2,880 jobs for brick and block masons in Minnesota and this is projected to grow by 8% to 3,090 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for brick and block masons are expected to grow by about 11.5%. Brick and block masons generally lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls, partitions, and other structures.

A person working as a brick and block mason can expect to earn about $28 per hour or $59,250 yearly on average in Minnesota and about $21 per hour or $45,630 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for brick and block masons are better than in the overall category of Carpentry and Masonry in Minnesota, and better than the overall Carpentry and Masonry category nationally.

There are seventy-seven schools of higher education in the St. Paul area, including one within twenty-five miles of St. Paul where you can get a degree to start your career as a brick and block mason. Given that the most common education level for brick and block masons is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a brick and block mason if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Brick and Block Mason

Brick and Block Mason video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, brick and block masons lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls, partitions, and other structures.

Brick and block masons construct corners by fastening in plumb positions corner poles or building corner pyramids of bricks. They also clear away excess mortar with trowels and hand tools, and finish mortar joints with jointing tools, for a sealed, uniform appearance. Equally important, brick and block masons have to break or trim bricks, tiles, or blocks to size, using trowel edges or power saws. They are often called upon to measure distance from reference points and mark guidelines to lay out work, using plumb bobs and levels. They are expected to apply and smooth mortar or other mixtures over work surfaces. Finally, brick and block masons examine brickwork or structures to establish need for repair.

Every day, brick and block masons are expected to be able to use lower back and abdominal strength. They need to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done.

It is important for brick and block masons to clear away burned or damaged brick or mortar, using sledgehammer, crowbar, chipping gun, or chisel. They are often called upon to mix specified amounts of sand or mortar powder with water to fashion refractory mixtures. They also lay and align bricks, blocks, or tiles to build or repair structures or high temperature equipment, such as cupola or furnaces. They are sometimes expected to spray or spread refractory material over brickwork to safeguard against deterioration. Somewhat less frequently, brick and block masons are also expected to construct corners by fastening in plumb positions corner poles or building corner pyramids of bricks.

Brick and block masons sometimes are asked to fasten or fuse brick or other building materials to structures with wire clamps or cement. and calculate angles and courses and decide on vertical and horizontal arrangement of courses. And finally, they sometimes have to measure distance from reference points and mark guidelines to lay out work, using plumb bobs and levels.

Like many other jobs, brick and block masons must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in St. Paul include:

  • Bricklayer Helper. Help brickmasons, blockmasons, or tile and marble setters by performing duties of lesser skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.
  • Painter. Paint walls, equipment, and other structural surfaces, using brushes, rollers, and spray guns. May remove old paint to prepare surface prior to painting. May mix colors or oils to obtain desired color or consistency.
  • Tile Setter. Apply hard tile, marble, and wood tile to walls, floors, and roof decks.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Brick and Block Mason Training

Dakota County Technical College - Rosemount, MN

Dakota County Technical College, 1300 145th Street East, Rosemount, MN 55068-2999. Dakota County Technical College is a small college located in Rosemount, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,919 students. Dakota County Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Mason/Masonry which graduated ten and two students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota photo by Gridge

St. Paul is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 279,590, which has shrunk by 2.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in St. Paul, 99, is near the national average. New single-family homes in St. Paul are valued at $213,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were built in St. Paul, down from seventy-four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in St. Paul are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 32.0% of St. Paul residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Paul is 7.4%, which is greater than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of St. Paul residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Zion Church, Convent of the Visitation and Saint Paul Cathedral are some of the churches located in St. Paul. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Baptist General Conference.

St. Paul is home to the Saint Paul Orphange and the Wilder Center as well as Terrace Park and East View Playground.