Employment in the detailed occupations that make up this group in 2014 was distributed as follows:
Cement masons and concrete finishers
Brickmasons and blockmasons
Terrazzo workers and finishers
About 66 percent of masonry workers were employed in the specialty trade contractors industry in 2014. About 1 in 10 masons were self-employed in 2014. Although most masons work in residential construction, many also work in nonresidential construction because most nonresidential buildings are now built with walls made of some combination of concrete block, brick veneer, stone, granite, marble, tile, and glass.
As with many other construction occupations, the work is fast-paced and strenuous. Masons often lift heavy materials and stand, kneel, and bend for long periods. The work, either indoors or outdoors, may be in areas that are muddy, dusty, or dirty. Poor weather conditions may reduce work activity because masons usually work outdoors.
Injuries and Illnesses
Brickmasons and blockmasons and cement masons and concrete finishers have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. Common injuries include muscle strains from lifting heavy materials, as well as cuts from tools and falls from scaffolds. To avoid injuries, many workers wear protective gear, including kneepads, harnesses, and water-repellent boots.
Although most masons work full time, some work more hours to meet construction deadlines. However, because they primarily work outdoors, masons may have to stop work in extreme cold or rainy weather. Nonetheless, new materials, such as concrete additives that cure at lower temperatures, have been developed that allow masons to work in a greater variety of weather conditions than in the past. Terrazzo masons may need to work at night when businesses are closed.
About 1 in 10 masonry workers were self-employed in 2014. Self-employed workers may be able to set their own schedule.