Saturday, September 4, 2010

Masonry as a Career

Today’s economy seems plagued with chronic unemployment. For many open jobs, the number of unemployed exceeds the positions available. Wages for much of today’s service economy are depressed, leaving people underemployed. Not much satisfaction in flipping burgers or serving meals.

Masons are in pretty high demand right now. The wages are fairly respectable, ranging from around $40,000 per year up to around $80,000 per year, depending largely on location. This seems like an odd circumstance to me. Remember the ”Jetsons” cartoon? By now we are supposed to have buildings made in a matter of minutes, done completely by automated robotic equipment.

Many people today tend to be critical of organized labor, or unions. The fact is that the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union (BAC) is an excellent organization that provides highly trained and skilled laborers who will do the job right. If you really want a great job done, with excellent workmanship, go with the union masons. If you are a mason, and you want to be paid well, go with the union.

Masonry as a career is not for everyone. It is hard work, requires skill and manual dexterity, and the work days are long and tough. But if you enjoy working with your hands, masonry can be very rewarding. You are building structures that should outlast other forms of construction, and can aspire to the highest forms of art and architecture.

Finally, there is a huge demand for skilled masons overseas, especially in Europe right now. It could be an exciting adventure, well paid, new surroundings and interesting work. If younger people are considering their future, masonry might be a career worth looking at. You can be making good money doing important work early in your career.

Or there are positions in the service industry. You want fries with that?

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