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Career and Education Opportunities for Stone Cutters in Charleston, West Virginia

For those living in the Charleston, West Virginia area, there are many career and education opportunities for stone cutters. The national trend for stone cutters 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.

Stone cutters earn about $13 hourly or $27,500 yearly on average in West Virginia and about $13 hourly or $27,870 yearly on average nationally. Stone cutters earn less than people working in the category of Stone and Glass generally in West Virginia and less than people in the Stone and Glass category nationally.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Stone Cutter Training

Fayette Institute of Technology - Oak Hill, WV

Fayette Institute of Technology, 300 West Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill, WV 25901. Fayette Institute of Technology is a small school located in Oak Hill, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 24 students. Fayette Institute of Technology has a one to two year program in Mason/Masonry.

Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV

Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Mason/Masonry.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.