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Stonemasons create practical or beautiful (usually both) stone items that can last for centuries. Experienced stonemasons work with stone to carve blocks, fit and lay stonework on construction sites.

Average salaries are in the region of £19,000.00 to £26,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Stonemasons create practical or beautiful (usually both) stone items that can last for centuries.


Stonemasonry is one of the oldest jobs in the construction industry and there are two different types, though they share many of the same skills.

A banker mason works to create stonework away from the building site in a workshop.

They need to be skilled in creating stone items using traditional tools. They work from sawn blocks of stone to shape everything from cladding for a new office block to intricate and important carvings for famous historic buildings. They use templates and drawings as a guide and often copy decayed or broken stones to create identical replacements.

Fixer mason:works on the site, putting the stone items in place, often working on site and outdoors. They install the stonework produced by the banker mason. The fixer will often be called to work on historic and architecturally important buildings.

It’s also likely to mean working at height, such as on a cathedral or castle tower. A fixer uses traditional lime mortars and is an expert on structural issues and load-bearing features such as arches and lintels.

Stonemasons have a satisfying career and know they are doing a job that has been valued throughout history. They often reproduce beautiful decorative features and fine carved details, using only their skills with tools and amazing eye for detail.  

Experienced stonemasons perform skilful hands-on work and develop decorative techniques to produce a lasting contribution to a building’s overall impact. With experience you will work on more intricate projects and designs. You would also provide direction for more junior construction workers and take on team-leading duties.

Typical tasks include:

  • Repairing old buildings and monuments
  • Working from height
  • Use technical drawings
  • Making and fitting stonework like window frames and archways
  • Work with a range of hand tools
  • Working to a high specification
  • Work with different materials including slate, sandstone and limestone
  • Work with specialist historical teams
  • Being creative and a good problem solver

The working day

  • Depending on the type of mason the work can be indoors or outdoors and can be at height.
  • The work can be physically demanding as it would involve lifting and carrying heavy materials and equipment.

Hours & Salary:

The working week is approximately 39 hours a week, with occasional overtime to meet deadlines

  • Newly trained stonemasons can earn in the region of £19,000 - £22,000
  • Trained with experience stonemasons can earn in the region of £22,000 - £31,000
  • Senior or master craft stonemasons can earn higher salaries

Your construction salary will typically range depending on location and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options improve with chartered/master status.

Explore all the different construction industry jobs available with our Roles In Construction Animation

You can also take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Case Study

National Apprenticeship Week - Sophie|2:08

I’m a banker mason for the construction, restoration and conservation industries. My daily work includes getting the stone and templates that help me to shape the stone accurately to within 1mm of the measurements on the drawings.

I work with all different types of stone including Bath stone, Portland Stone and sometimes granite. I also use all different types of tools including mallets, hammers, air-powered guns, chisels and grinders.

If the project is complicated a supervisor checks my work. I then wrap up the piece of stone and store it to later be installed in a building. I work on all different types of projects. At the moment I’m working on a tread for a staircase.

How did you get started?

I went for a week of work experience at Wells Cathedral Stonemasons and really enjoyed it. I wasn’t too keen on sixth form or college so I approached Wells Cathedral Stonemasons and they took me on in a trainee construction job.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I learn something new every day, which I really enjoy. To perfect a skill you’ve got to keep at it. I’m not sitting down all day. My job keeps me active, which I enjoy. When I finish a piece of stonemasonry I know it’s going to be installed in a building that will be there for years and years, which is great.

What skills do you need?

Patience is really important. You’re hitting a stone all day and you need to have the patience to wait for the stone to take shape. You also need good eyesight and good attention to detail, checking that you are shaping the stone correctly and following the drawings accurately. A passion for the job also helps to make you a good craftsperson.

Proudest career moment?

I’m really proud of winning a silver medal at the 2013 WordSkills competition. I also achieved my NVQ 3 in stonemasonry, which felt good.

Where is your career heading next?

I’d like to stay with this company and develop my skills.

Any advice on how to get into construction?

The skills you learn in the industry will be with you for life and it’s a lot more fun than being stuck in an office!

Qualifications & Training

There are no specific entry requirements for this course, but Maths, English and Design and Technology GCSEs at C or above are useful to have. In Scotland, Standard Grades/Scottish Nationals and in Wales, the Welsh Baccalaureate or WJEC in Construction are equivalents.

As an experienced stonemason you may choose to undertake a level 3 apprenticeship which would incorporate the diploma and NVQ qualification.

Construction apprenticeships with stonemason or building firms are a good way into a career. Apprenticeships include a training qualification known as a Diploma or technical certificate, a work-based qualification known as a SVQ/NVQ and basic English and Maths (Functional Skills, Essential Skills in Wales) to help you get on in the workplace. The training also covers employment responsibilities along with personal learning and thinking skills.

If you can’t find an apprenticeship, college courses such as Stonemasonry Level 2 Diploma are available but employers will still want you to have some on-site experience.

A level 3 Diploma generally follows on from the level 2 qualification and will provide you with enhanced stonemasonry skills as well as skills and knowledge to undertake a supervisory role.

To search for apprenticeship vacancies in your area, visit the government's vacancy matching site, or in Wales, Careers Wales. For more details on this occupation in Scotland, visit My World of Work.

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

Total Jobs

The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

72,760 total people needed

The UK construction industry will need a total of 72,760 bricklaying roles (which includes stonemasons) to meet demand between 2017 - 2021, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI). The majority of the demand for these construction jobs in the UK will be in the South West, North West and Wales.

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Find out more about other roles in the construction industry and what they involve.

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