How to Become a Stonemason: Start a Career in the Stone Industry

How to Become a Stonemason: Start a Career in the Stone Industry

In Australia, particularly within the blue-collar workforce, stonemasonry holds significant importance. Australian stonemasons are known for their high skill level in working with materials like granite and marble, often utilizing both traditional techniques and modern machinery. If you are someone intrigued by the beauty of this career, you have landed on the right page.

In this article, we’ll explore at greater length the steps on how to start a career in stonemasonry, a field rich with potential for professional growth and skill development within trade jobs in Australia

Here Are the Steps on How to Become a Stonemason:

Career in Stonemasonry

1st: Complete Pre-qualifying Requirements

The prequalifying requirements to become a stonemason typically include a combination of education, vocational training, and apprenticeships. This qualification also gives you an edge for entry-level stone industry jobs in Australia.

Education or Vocational Training

High School Diploma or Equivalent: A high school diploma or GED is preferable in the stonemasonry field, but this is not mandatory in order to start this career. Basic knowledge in subjects like math and technical drawing is helpful.

Technical or Vocational Schools: These institutions offer specialized training to become a stonemason. Programs often include both classroom instruction and hands-on training. Subjects covered will include stone cutting, mortar selection, blueprint reading, and safety procedures.

Certifications: Certain certifications to become a stonemason from recognized trade organizations can be advantageous. These certifications can demonstrate a mason’s skill and commitment to the trade (which will be specified in a table below).

Stonemason Apprenticeships

Hands-On Experience: A stone mason apprenticeship is a key component of training to become a stonemason. They typically combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. An apprentice will work under the supervision of experienced masons, gaining practical skills that are essential for blue-collar jobs.

Networking and Employment Opportunities: Apprenticeships often lead to employment opportunities. They also provide networking opportunities within the trade.

Person using wax seal

2nd: Complete a Stonemasonry Qualification

After obtaining a completion either by education or vocational training, you can undertake a stonemasonry qualification. The most common is the Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation). These qualifications can be pursued through TAFE or other registered training providers, including an apprenticeship for practical job experience.

Variety of Certifications

Several certifications are available to become a stonemason. The choice of specialization depends on your interest and career goals, whether in creating and installing new stonework or in restoring and preserving historical stone structures.

1. Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation)

Focuses on skills required for working with stone in construction and installation, such as in buildings, monuments, and memorials. Teaches cutting, shaping, and installing stone, as well as reading and interpreting plans and specifications.

2. Certificate II in Stoneworking

An entry-level qualification that provides fundamental skills and knowledge to become a stonemasonry. Includes basic techniques in cutting, shaping, and finishing stone, along with an introduction to the tools and equipment used in the trade.

3. Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Building and Construction

While not exclusively for stonemasonry, these qualifications can provide a broader understanding of the construction industry, which can be beneficial to becoming a stonemason. Covers project management, construction planning, contract administration, and other relevant areas.

4. Health and Safety Certifications

Essential for working safely in the construction industry. Includes certifications like a White Card (construction induction training) and may also cover first aid, working at heights, and handling machinery.

Below is a table that organizes the key information about various certifications as you become a stonemason.

CertificationDescriptionFieldFocused Skills
Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation)Focused on skills for working with stone in construction and installation projects.Building, Monuments, MemorialsCutting, shaping, installing stone, reading/interpreting plans and specifications.
Certificate II in StoneworkingEntry-level qualification offering fundamental skills in stonemasonry.General StonemasonryBasic techniques in cutting, shaping, finishing stone, introduction to tools and equipment.
Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Building and ConstructionOffers broader understanding of the construction industry, not exclusive to stonemasonry.General ConstructionProject management, construction planning, contract administration, industry overview.
Health and Safety CertificationsCrucial for ensuring safe work practices in the construction industry.Construction SafetyConstruction induction training (White Card), first aid, working at heights, machinery handling.

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Industrial workers doing quality control

3rd: Look for Training Providers

For those seeking to pursue a career to become a stonemason in Australia, several notable training providers are offering comprehensive courses in this field:

TAFE NSW

They offer Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental stonemasonry), tailored for those looking to develop skills in working with limestone, marble, and sandstone. This course provides a mix of theory and practical coursework, covering areas such as stone renovation and restoration, manual stone splitting and dressing, and creating decorative finishes. 

Graduates of this course can become licensed stonemasons and are equipped to start their sole trader businesses.

TAFE Queensland

This institute offers a similar Certificate III in Stonemasonry course. Its curriculum includes essential units such as using CNC machinery to cut and shape stone, erecting and dismantling restricted-height scaffolding, working safely at heights, and using other stonemasonry tools, plants, and equipment. 

The course also delves into specific stone-related skills such as identifying and using stone products, finishing stones, and laying stones. This course is designed to ensure that graduates are well-prepared for practical stonemasonry work in the construction industry.

Holmesglen Institute

Their Certificate III in Stonemasonry apprenticeship is another excellent option. This course offers extensive training covering both practical and theoretical aspects of stonemasonry. It prepares students for roles such as stonemason and landscaper and can lead to further studies like the Certificate IV in Building and Construction or the Diploma of Building and Construction. 

The course at Holmesglen includes training in the latest skills required to become a stonemason, including laminating, edge polishing, and working with both natural and engineered stone.

Workers looking at each other and smiling

Get Licensed

Stonemasonry is a specialized trade, and working on a construction site requires specific health and safety qualifications. 

Construction Induction Training and White Card

In Australia, Construction Induction Training is crucial for anyone seeking to work and become a stonemason on a construction site. This training focuses on essential health and safety principles vital for maintaining safe work practices in construction environments. After completing this training successfully, participants receive a ‘White Card’, which serves as proof of their completion. 

Specific State/Territory Licensing

Stonemasonry, as a specialized field, often necessitates obtaining additional state or territory-specific licenses, particularly for those aiming to operate independently or own a business. Licensing requirements differ across Australian states and territories. 

Contractor License

A contractor license enables individuals or businesses to legally undertake and promote stonemasonry work. It signifies that the holder meets the required qualifications and standards for professional stonemasonry practice.

Qualified Supervisor Certificate

This certificate allows the holder to supervise stonemasonry work, ensuring they possess the necessary expertise and skills for leadership roles in the field.

Endorsed Contractor License

Offered in some Australian states, this license combines a regular contractor’s abilities with a supervisor’s qualifications, ideal for experienced stonemasons with advanced skills and knowledge.

4th: Consider Specialization

As you gain experience to become a stonemason, consider specializing in areas that match your strengths and interests, such as engraver, banker mason, carver mason, monumental stonemason, construction stonemason, etc.

Engraver

    Specializing as an engraver involves intricate work, focusing on carving designs, letters, and artistic elements into stone. As you become a stonemason in this role, this demands precision, a steady hand, and, often, artistic talent, catering to bespoke requests for decorative stone pieces or memorial inscriptions.

    Banker Mason

      A banker mason, also known as a bench mason, primarily works in a workshop setting, shaping stone to precise measurements. This specialization requires an understanding of technical drawings and the skill to transform raw stone blocks into required shapes and sizes.

      Carver Mason

        Carver masons specialize in artistic stone carving, creating sculptures, ornate architectural details, or decorative elements. This specialization requires not only technical skill but also a strong sense of artistry and creativity.

        Monumental Stonemason

          These stonemasons focus on creating and restoring memorials and monuments. To become a stonemason in this field, your work can range from crafting new headstones to restoring historical monuments, requiring a balance of technical skills and an understanding of historical styles and materials.

          Construction Stonemason

            This role involves working on construction sites, integrating stonework into buildings, creating stone facades, or constructing stone features like walls or archways. Construction stonemasons must be adept at interpreting architectural plans and working collaboratively in a construction environment.

            Machinery Operators

              There are several types of machinery operators who specialize in stone masonry. These operators work with various types of equipment to cut, shape, and finish stone used in construction and decorative applications. Here are some examples:

              Type of Machinery OperatorDescription
              CNC Machine OperatorsProgram and operate CNC machines to cut and shape stone with high precision.
              Bridge Saw OperatorsSet up and operate bridge saws to cut stone slabs into specific sizes and shapes.
              Waterjet Cutting Machine OperatorsControl waterjet cutting machines that use high-pressure water and abrasive materials to cut through stone for precise and intricate designs.
              Stone Polishing Machine OperatorsUse polishing machines to smooth and finish the surface of stone pieces, achieving the desired finish based on the stone’s properties.
              Wire Saw OperatorsOperate wire saws that use abrasive-coated wire to cut through stone, often used in quarrying and shaping large stone blocks.
              Profiling Machine OperatorsProgram and control profiling machines to create detailed profiles and shapes on stone surfaces, producing complex designs and patterns.
              Splitter Machine OperatorsControl splitter machines to split large stones into smaller, manageable pieces, ensuring accurate splits along natural fissures or predetermined lines.
              Drilling Machine OperatorsUse drilling machines to create holes and channels in stone for various purposes, such as inserting dowels or anchors, ensuring precise positioning and control.

              Are you a job seeker looking for your next big opportunity? Click below to see how we can assist you in finding the perfect role.

              Consider Specialization in stonemasonry career

              5th: Professional Organizations

              Professional Organizations for Stonemasons can be valuable resources for networking and staying updated on industry standards and practices.

              Housing Industry Association (HIA)

              The HIA is a leading member-based association for the residential building industry in Australia. It provides extensive support to its members, offering guidance on industry regulations and legal requirements. As an advocate for building professionals, HIA represents its members’ interests to the government on key issues. 

              Key Advocacies for Stonemasons

              • Advocacy: Represents the interests of stonemasons and other building professionals to the government, ensuring that their needs and concerns are addressed in policy-making.

              • Member Support Services: Provides resources and services to help stonemasons manage and grow their businesses, including business management tools, training, and networking opportunities.

              • Access to Industry Expertise: Offers access to a wealth of industry expertise, helping stonemasons stay informed about the latest industry trends, technologies, and best practices.

              Master Builders Australia (MBA)

              Master Builders Australia represents the building and construction industry across the nation. It is an influential body with a vast network of over 32,000 members and offices in various locations. MBA is known for ensuring high standards of skill and professionalism among its members. 

              Joining MBA as a stonemason can provide access to quality services, valuable industry insights, and opportunities for professional development.

              Key Advocacies for Stonemasons

              • Support in Industrial Relations: Provides assistance in managing industrial relations, which can help stonemasons navigate workplace disputes and negotiate better working conditions.

              • Workplace Health and Safety: Offers guidance and resources to help stonemasons implement and adhere to workplace health and safety standards, ensuring a safer working environment.

              • Legal Matters: Provides legal support and advice to stonemasons on matters related to their trade, helping them address any legal challenges that may arise in their work.

              • Professional Development: Access to professional development opportunities, including training programs and workshops, to help stonemasons enhance their skills and advance their careers.

              Australian Institute of Building (AIB)

              The AIB generally is a professional body for building and construction professionals in Australia. It aims to support the development of those who want to become a stonemason through educational programs, professional development opportunities, and recognition of professional excellence. 

              Stonemasons can benefit from AIB’s focus on promoting professional standards and practices in the building industry.

              Educational Programs Catered

              • Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Stonemasonry): This program provides foundational skills and knowledge in building and construction with a focus on stonemasonry.

              • Advanced Diploma of Building and Construction (Management): This advanced program is aimed at experienced stonemasons looking to move into supervisory or management roles within the industry.

              • Workshops on Sustainable Stone Practices: Short-term workshops focused on sustainable practices in stonemasonry such as:

              TopicShort Description
              Sustainable Sourcing of Stone MaterialsLearn methods to source stone materials responsibly, ensuring minimal environmental impact and adherence to ethical standards.
              Energy-efficient Stone Cutting and Processing TechniquesDiscover innovative techniques and technologies that reduce energy consumption during the cutting and processing of stone.
              Waste Reduction and Recycling in StonemasonryExplore strategies for minimizing waste and maximizing the recycling of stone materials to promote sustainability in the industry.
              Incorporating Sustainability into Project Planning and ExecutionUnderstand how to integrate sustainable practices into every phase of stonemasonry projects, from planning to completion.

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              Conclusion

              The path to a successful career in stonemasonry in Australia is rich and varied, offering numerous opportunities for growth and specialization. From foundational high school education to advanced certifications and specializations, aspiring stonemasons have access to a comprehensive range of training and qualifications.

              We at Dayjob Recruitment understand the dynamic and evolving landscape of the stonemasonry industry in Australia. For job seekers, we offer access to a range of opportunities that align with their skills and career aspirations in stonemasonry.
              Employers, on the other hand, can rely on our expertise to find skilled and qualified stonemasons who meet the specific needs of their projects.

              Check our latest Stonemason jobs in Melbourne here.
              Check our latest Stonemason jobs in Sydney here.

              Contact us today to explore how we can assist you in advancing your career or enhancing your team.

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              FAQs

              What are the current trends in stonemasonry that could impact future career opportunities?

              Currently, there’s a growing trend towards sustainable and eco-friendly building practices in the construction industry, including stonemasonry. This shift is leading to increased demand for stonemasons skilled in using recycled and locally sourced stone materials. Additionally, the integration of technology such as 3D modeling and CNC machinery in stonemasonry work is on the rise, creating opportunities for those who can blend traditional skills with modern technological proficiency. 

              How can a stonemason in Australia leverage digital platforms for career growth?

              Stonemasons can significantly benefit from digital platforms in several ways. First, creating an online portfolio showcasing completed projects can attract potential employers or clients. Platforms like Instagram or Pinterest are ideal for visual representation of their work. 

              Secondly, engaging in online forums and social media groups related to stonemasonry and construction can help in networking and staying informed about industry trends. Finally, online courses and webinars can be valuable for continuous learning and keeping up-to-date with new techniques and technology in stonemasonry.

              Are there any international opportunities for Australian-trained stonemasons?

              Yes, Australian-trained stonemasons are well-regarded internationally due to their comprehensive training and expertise, especially in countries with a strong heritage in stonework. If you are planning to become a stonemason, there are opportunities for restoration projects in Europe, especially in countries like Italy and France, known for their historic stone structures. 

              Additionally, Australian stonemasons may find opportunities in rapidly developing regions like the Middle East, where luxury construction projects often require high-quality stonework. However, working internationally may require additional certifications or licenses depending on the country’s regulations.

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