Employment of masonry workers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Although employment growth will vary by occupation, growth will depend on the number of commercial, public, and civil construction projects such as new roads, bridges, and buildings.
Employment of brickmasons and block masons is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Population growth will result in the construction of more schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, and other structures, many of which are made of brick and block. In addition, masons will be needed to restore a growing number of brick buildings. Although expensive, brick exteriors should remain popular, reflecting a preference for low-maintenance, durable exterior materials.
Employment of cement masons and concrete finishers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. More cement masons will be needed to build and renovate highways, bridges, factories, and residential structures in order to meet the demands of a growing population and to make repairs to aging infrastructure.
The use of concrete for buildings is increasing because its strength is an important asset in areas prone to severe weather. For example, residential construction projects in Florida are using more concrete as building requirements change in reaction to the increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes. The use of concrete is likely to expand into other hurricane-prone areas as the durability of Florida homes built with concrete becomes more established.
Employment of segmental pavers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Segmental pavers install a wide variety of durable walkway and driveway material options that are in demand.
Employment of stonemasons is projected to grow 14 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 2,100 new jobs over the 10-year period. Natural stone is both a durable and popular material. As incomes and the population continue to grow, more homeowners will want natural stone to differentiate their homes from those around them.
Employment of terrazzo workers and finishers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Terrazzo is a durable and attractive flooring option that is often used in schools, government buildings, and hospitals. The construction and renovation of such buildings will spur demand for these workers. However, because polished concrete is similar to terrazzo and usually less expensive, this may limit the need for terrazzo workers.
Overall job prospects for masons should continue to be favorable as construction activity continues to grow to meet the demand for new buildings and roads. As with many other construction workers, employment of masons is sensitive to the fluctuations of the economy. On the one hand, workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. On the other hand, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity.
While many masons are expected to retire over the next decade, more job openings will result from employment growth.
Workers with a good job history and with experience in construction should have the best job opportunities. Those who have taken masonry courses in high school or technical college should have slightly better opportunities. In addition, workers with military service experience are viewed favorably during initial hiring.
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Construction trades workers
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program