For young men and women looking for the way into a rewarding, hands-on career, apprenticeship is hard to beat. Masonry is one of the few fields that allow you to earn a healthy wage straight out of high school – a wage that increases each year, in tandem with your skill set – until you’ve learned everything you need to know to become a skilled professional.
In Canada, each province and territory has its own criteria for completion of a masonry apprenticeship. Depending on your place of residence, a masonry apprenticeship may take three or four years to complete.
Typically, the majority of your required hours will be spent on the job under an employer, while a smaller portion of each year is spent in the classroom and workshop of a masonry training centre or college. While curriculum may vary somewhat between schools, the same basic skills are taught in each.
This work/school balance has proven to be an ideal way to give apprentices valuable real-life experience, coupled with the opportunity to perfect basic skills and gain exposure to more advanced aspects of the trade. In-school training incorporates, but isn’t limited to, the laying of brick, block and stone; arch, fireplace and chimney construction; restoration technique; and basic estimating and blueprint reading. Masonry school is a chance to explore aspects of the trade that may be particularly suited to your gifts.
To find out how to get started in your area, contact your local masonry training centre/college or CMCA chapter