Career and Education Opportunities for Brick and Block Masons in St. Louis, Missouri
Brick and block masons can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Currently, 3,690 people work as brick and block masons in Missouri. This is expected to grow by 9% to about 4,020 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for brick and block masons, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.5% over the next eight years. 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 earn approximately $27 hourly or $57,300 annually on average in Missouri. Nationally they average about $21 per hour or $45,630 annually. Incomes for brick and block masons are better than in the overall category of Carpentry and Masonry in Missouri, and better than the overall Carpentry and Masonry category nationally.
There are seventy-one schools of higher education in the St. Louis area, including one within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can get a degree to start your career as a brick and block mason. The most common level of education for brick and block masons is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a brick and block mason if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Brick and Block Mason
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. Louis 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.
- Cement Mason. Smooth and finish surfaces of poured concrete, such as floors, walks, or curbs using a variety of hand and power tools. Align forms for sidewalks, curbs, or gutters; patch voids; use saws to cut expansion joints.
- 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
Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville, IL
Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, IL 62221-5899. Southwestern Illinois College is a large college located in Belleville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,308 students. Southwestern Illinois College has a less than one year program in Mason/Masonry which graduated one student in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.
The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.
Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.
St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.