How To Become A Stonemason In Australia?

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Students want to know how they can become stonemasons in Australia.


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 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 suits you.


It also covers the responsibilities, apprenticeships, courses, 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

  • Raise scaffolding

  • 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:



Technical skills


  • 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.



Soft Skills


  • 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 

  • Manual dexterity

  • Good eye-hand coordination

  • Steady hand

  • Strong attention to detail 

  • An aptitude for technical drawing 

  • Basic knowledge of working with computers

  • Active listening 

  • 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 

  • Self-motivated

  • 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

  • Visualization

  • Analytical

  • Critical thinking



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  

  • Construct walls



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.




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.


  • A contractor licence is issued for 1, 3, or 5 years to companies, partnerships, and individuals to contract and advertise to perform work.


  • A qualified supervisor certificate is issued only to individuals for 1, 3, or 5 years. It permits you to supervise and do the work mentioned on your certificate.


  • An Endorsed contractor licence is issued to individuals possessing the qualifications and experience to be qualified supervisors and apply for a contractor licence.



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:


  • Manufacturing industry

  • 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:


  • Gold Coast

  • 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

  • Payment

  • 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

  • Payment



15. Conclusion


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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