Do you enjoy working with your hands in outdoor settings and feel contented creating things? If yes, a stonemason career could be a fulfilling choice for you.
Stonemasons primarily cut and shape different stones and bricks to build and refurbish monumental masonry and stone structures.
You usually need to complete a Certificate III in Stonemasonry as part of an apprenticeship to work in this role. Furthermore, you may also need specific licenses per your state-level licensing requirements.
This blog gives you an understanding of the essential skills and qualifications to help you decide whether this occupation is good for you. It also covers the responsibilities, average salary, and steps to becoming a stonemason in Australia.
1. What Is A Stonemason?
Stonemasons are skilled at cutting and shaping stone for artistic, preservation, and structural purposes. They build new constructions and commercial or custom projects like ornamental sculptures.
They also polish and restore soft and hard stone blocks and masonry slabs to perform renovation, cosmetic or remedial works of stone structures, heritage buildings, and monumental masonry.
2. Stonemason's Responsibilities
The general tasks and duties of a stonemason are as follows:
Interpret plans, technical drawings, specifications, and blueprints for building
Determine the appropriate dimensions, required materials, and the best installation approach
Choose the best stone for the job
Operate hand or machine tools to design, cut, and shape rocks, including headstone lettering and details
Polish granite and marble construction elements, such as kitchen benchtops, bathroom vanities, etc.
Use trowels to spread mortar to form a base and binding agent for stone blocks
Lay stone paving and marble floor tiles
Use stone slabs to construct walls
Repair stonework on old structures such as entrances, museums, mausoleums, statues, and churches
Embed stone facades to buildings
Transport stone to varying construction locations
Seal foundations with damp-resistant materials
Carve plaques and tombstones
Use specialist equipment to undertake creative work like sculptures
3. What Skills Do You Need To Become A Stonemason?
Stonemasons need technical skills and other abilities to perform this job:
Theoretical and practical knowledge of various types of masonry work, such as mixing and pouring mortar, grout cutting, engraving, polishing, and carving
Working knowledge of various manual and power tools
Good knowledge of occupational health and safety standards and safe operation of tools
Good knowledge of mathematics to do precise and fast calculations, determine the required materials, estimate costings, and create the structure in the correct dimensions.
Enjoy working outdoors and in a hands-on, physically demanding job
Physical fitness to lift and move stones, operate tools and build structures
Able to work at heights
Good eye-hand coordination
Strong attention to detail
An aptitude for technical drawing
Basic knowledge of working with computers
Effective Communication and Interpersonal skills
Strong problem-solving skills
Adaptable to other people's needs and varying work environments
Able to pick up new skills easily
Able to follow instructors
Creativity to develop artistic structures such as water fountains, sculptures, and statues
Fine motor skills, such as restoring building facades and ancient buildings
Able to handle the demanding physical requirements of the job
Like staying updated with technological advancements and applicable legacy renovation rules
Able to work within deadlines
Able to work independently and in a team
Occupational health and safety skills to lower the risk of injury
Able to deliver exceptional work that meets high-quality control standards
4. How To Qualify For A Stonemason Job In Australia?
Stonemasons in Australia must do an apprenticeship before working. Here are the academic, training, and licensing requirements for a stonemason job:
Complete your Year 10 education
Complete a Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation) (CPC32313).
Undergo safety induction training to obtain a Construction Induction Card if you wish to work on building sites
A valid standard driver's license to reach job sites and amass stones for their work
A forklift license may be required to work in the construction industry.
Some states and territories require stonemasons to gain accreditation as registered building practitioners or work under the guidance of a registered building practitioner.
As the licensing requirements vary between states/territories, you must check with your state government building authority to know the exact license requirements.
5. Steps To Become A Stonemason In Australia
Follow the below steps to become a qualified stonemason:
Step 1: Complete Your High School Education
Graduating with a secondary school certificate is necessary to study metalwork and woodwork to build motor skills and learn to use stone masonry tools.
This qualification also gives you an edge over your competitors for entry-level positions.
Step 2: Complete a Stone Masonry Qualification
After you obtain your year ten certificate, you can undertake the following certificates through TAFE or any other registered training provider.
Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation)
Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Restoration)
Certificate II in Stoneworking
This qualification includes an apprenticeship that gives practical job experience while working in a firm. During your stonemason apprenticeship, you will learn the following things:
Read plans and specifications
Cut, shape, and smoothen soft and hard stone masonry slabs
Assemble and disassemble scaffolding
Lay stone bricks and blocks
Repair cement block structures
Step 3: Get Licensed
Stonemason's work is considered a highly specialized trade. As the job requires working on a construction site, you need to secure health and safety qualifications to learn safely work on construction sites.
For this, you need to do the Construction Induction Training to obtain a general construction induction card or a white card for legally working as a stonemason professional in Australia.
Additionally, you will require a relevant builder's license to work as an independent stonemason in your state and territory. Check the respective license-issuing state/territory bodies to know the exact licensing requirements and associated conditions.
To become a Stonemason in Sydney, New South Wales, you need a Contractor's license from Service NSW. To become a Stonemason in Melbourne, Victoria - You need a Building practitioner registration license from Victorian Building Authority.
Queensland - Trade contractor license by Queensland Building and Construction Commission
South Australia: Building work contractor's license by Consumer and Business Services SA
Tasmania: Builder license by the Tasmanian Government's Consumer Building and Occupational Services department
Australian Capital Territory - Construction occupations license by Access Canberra
Western Australia: Builders' registration by the Department of Mines, Industry
Step 4: Hunt For Stonemason Jobs
Once you have a white card and builder's license, you can start searching for a stonemason job. Some employers offer a full-time position after they complete their apprenticeship successfully.
If that is not possible, you can look for work in another business or work as a self-employed stonemason in the area that interests you.
Step 5: Consider Specialization
After becoming proficient in basic stonemasonry skills, consider expanding your skill set and knowledge in this industry.
Specialize in the areas matching your strengths and interests, such as Engraver, Banker mason, Carver mason, Monumental Stonemason, Construction Stonemason, etc.
Professional Bodies For Stonemasons:
6. Types Of Stonemasonry Licence In NSW
Stonemasonry is Trade Work. Different licence types are available based on whether you want to work as a contractor or supervise.
7. Required Qualifications for License
You need to have any of the following qualifications to be eligible to obtain a license:
Certificate III in Stonemasonry
Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation)
Completion of Qualification Certificate III in Stonemasonry TAFE course
Qualification Certificate III in Stonemasonry TAFE course
Certificate III in Stonemasonry Trade TAFE course
8. How To Apply For The License?
Lodge your completed application form along with the payment and below documents in person at a Service NSW centre:
An original copy of your qualification
Details of present or past licenses/ certificates you have
Details of employment and experience
Details concerning past compliance issues, criminal offences, or insolvency matters
One passport-size photo
Identify proof documents
9. Working Conditions For A Stonemason
Stonemasons work in a noisy environment. The tools they use and their environment can pose a risk of injury. Due to this, they wear protective accessories that protect them from potential hazards.
It is a physically laborious job that requires lifting and displacing heavy objects from one site to another. Due to this reason, physical fitness and stamina become very important for any stonemason worker.
10. What Industries Employ Stonemasons?
The Building and Construction industry is the top recruiter for stonemasons in Australia. In addition to it, job opportunities are also available in the following sectors in Australia:
Administrative and support services
11. Where Does A Stonemason Work?
Stonemasons are generally employed to execute trades in residential and commercial sectors.
They build or renovate various new and old structures such as buildings, museums, statues, churches, cemeteries, tombstones, memorials, and theatres.
12. Stonemason Job Outlook In Australia
Around 4,400 workers are working as stonemasons in Australia. The government projects moderate future growth for this profession. The average age of Stonemasons is 37 years, with most of the workers between 25 to 34 years of age. Only 1% of the workforce is female.
Around 64% of employees work in capital cities. 84% of employed Stonemasons work full-time for an average of 43 hours per week. The following areas have a large share of workers:
Perth - North West
Melbourne - South East
Sydney - South West
Sydney - Inner South West
13. How Much Is Stonemason's Salary In Australia?
The stone mason's hourly rate in Australia is AU$27.39 or equivalent to AU$56,041 per year. A stonemason's area of speciality and experience can influence their salary.
Though entry-level stonemason wages in Australia can be lower, they will increase as you gain experience. According to Indeed, stonemason apprentice wages are between AU$26.62 to AU$29.78 per hour.
Here is what you can expect to earn with varying levels of experience:
Entry-level Stonemason (<1-year experience) AU$22.01
Early career Stonemason (1 to 4 years of experience) AU$25.06
Mid-career Stonemason (5 to 9 years of experience) earn AU$27.98
Experienced Stonemason (10 to 19 years of experience) earn AU$30.37
14. Frequently Asked Questions On Stonemasonry License
How To Renew A License?
You need to get your licence renewed before it expires. You must renew it on time to avoid incurring a license restoration fee.
Those holding a qualified supervisor certificate or an endorsed contractor licence in stonemasonry with no limitations need not show their qualifications. Your previous certificate or licence in place of the current qualification requirements is accepted.
Suppose you have held a qualified supervisor certificate or an endorsed contractor licence with conditions in the past five years. In that case, you will receive a renewed licence or certification.
You can renew your license online at Service NSW or a close-by Service NSW centre.
Service NSW will ask you for the following details:
Your licence number
License Renewal form
Details of compliance issues, criminal offences, or insolvency matters (if applicable)
Details of modifying any information in the certificate or licence
You will receive the new licence to your provided address upon successfully approving your application.
How To Update Your License Details?
You can update your license details - name, email address, mobile phone number and physical communication address with Fair Trading online at Service NSW. Here is what you need to provide to do the same:
Your license number
Your new communication details
A completed change of address form (only for those who want to update their details in person rather than online)
How to Replace A Licence?
Suppose your certificate or licence is damaged, stolen, or lost. In that case, you can order a new one by placing a replacement request at a Service NSW Centre. For this, you would need the following:
A completed application form for a duplicate certificate, licence, or permit
Personal and licence information
A career as a Stonemason is perfect for those who enjoy outdoor, creative, and physically active jobs.
With plenty of specialization and career growth opportunities, you will never feel stagnation working in this role.
Apprenticeships and traineeships are the ideal routes to kick-start this career, where you get paid on-the-job training while completing a nationally recognized qualification.
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