Masonry simply refers to the trade of laying bricks and other blocks, usually in residential construction. In reality, it goes beyond this as there are further specializations within the field. While some masons are specialists at laying bricks, others specialize in finishing, pointing, caulking, among other sub-categories.
Who is a Masonry Contractor
A mason contractor is simply a mason who collects contracts and performs jobs within the construction industry. Being a masonry contractor usually requires a license, and they are subject to a higher standard than regular masons who can generally work under a mason contractor. A masonry contractor can work alone or sub-contract for a general contractor. Here, we look at how you can become a masonry contractor.
Duties of a Masonry Contractor
- Restoration of bricks
- Building walls using concrete blocks, clay bricks, stone panels.
- Using rebar, gypsum, and stones
- Designing chimneys, fireplaces, and barbecues
- Supervision of other masons.
Becoming a Mason
To become a contractor, you first have to be a mason and have experience for a certain number of years. The usual way to acquire the skills of a mason is through apprenticeship. This apprenticeship can come in many forms. It can be through the builder’s union, a professional masonry association, or by attending a vocational and technical college. The employers or a builder’s union usually facilitates apprenticeship, and apprentices attend night classes most times.
Although the requirements differ, most mason apprentices are expected to have a GED or high school diploma. They should also be 18 years old and upward before getting into the training program.
The apprenticeship can last between 3-4 years in most cases and includes both theoretical training in the class and practical onsite training. During the apprenticeship, you’ll learn about construction maths, reading blueprints, building tools, materials, trade history, etc. The practical part covers everything necessary to know to practice the trade: mixing, spreading, and finishing cement to how to construct walls and decorative patterns.
At the completion of the program, you will become a mason.
Becoming a Mason Contractor
You cannot become a contractor immediately after. Instead, you have to practice the trade for some years before applying for your state’s contractor license. The general requirements to get the license is similar among states, with only a few differences. The person seeking to obtain the licenses must fulfill certain conditions as mentioned below.
Age: The person is required to be at least 18 years of age before applying for the license.
Experience: Most states require the person to have a masonry experience of four full years within the last ten years preceding the application. Such experience can be in different positions such as foreman, supervisor, journeyman, or contractor in the sub-category that the person is applying for a license.
Reference: The person must be capable of providing detailed references from people who can attest to his or her claims of experience.
Criminal Record: Although it does not really influence the licensing decision, the person is required to state criminal records if there is any. Not stating when there is one is usually more incriminating.
Submission: Submitting of financial records and proof of insurance
Examination: The person is required to write and pass a licensing exam.