What they do
Stonemasons cut and shape a range of hard and soft blocks in materials such as granite, marble, limestone, sandstone, bluestone and slate to produce stone monuments and structures. They make kitchen benchtops and bathroom vanities, or may specialise in commercial stone facades, architectural features such as fireplaces and window frames, or ornamental garden pieces. They may also repair and maintain historical monuments or buildings.
In Western Australia, stonemasons work on residential and commercial projects, and on old buildings, churches and monuments throughout the State.
Specialisations include: Monumental Stonemason
Stonemasons work both indoors in manufacturing workshops or factories, and outdoors on residential, commercial and historical buildings. Stone workshops and factories are well ventilated spaces. Stonemasons may be required to work at heights on scaffolding and are required to follow proper workplace safety standards, which minimises any associated risks. They may work overtime or on weekends, depending on the project requirements.
Tools and technologies
Stonemasons interpret blueprints to plan the materials required, and use a range of equipment such as planing machines, gang saws, diamond circular saws and polishers to split, shape and polish stone products. They work from templates and use a variety of chisels, punches and hammers to cut and carve ornamental masonry.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a stonemason you need to complete an apprenticeship. The stonemason (monumental) and stonemason (restoration) apprenticeships usually take 42 months to complete and are available as school-based apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing
Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a “white card”). In Western Australia, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by the WorkSafe Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
In Western Australia, sub-contractors carrying out construction work valued at more than $20 000 must be accredited or work under the supervision of someone who is accredited, as a registered building practitioner. Contact the Building Commission Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety for more information.