Brick Layer / Tile Setter
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The masonry trades include several occupations. Bricklayers construct walls, fireplaces, chimneys, industrial furnaces, kilns, and other structures using brick, cement, cinder blocks, stone, and marble. Marble setters cut, tool, and set marble in interior and exterior walls and floors. They repair and polish marble that is already set in buildings. Terrazzo workers cover floors, stairways, and cabinets with durable and decorative surfaces made of sand, cement, pigment, and marble chips. Tile setters install ceramic tile, marble, and granite. Finishers supply and mix construction material for the trades listed above. They apply grout, finish surface areas, and clean. They move installation materials, tools, machines, and work devices to work areas. Caulker/pointer/cleaners caulk new and existing masonry buildings and also do some waterproofing. They restore existing and old historical masonry buildings. They clean and seal new and existing masonry buildings to include graffiti removal.
Bricklayers usually work outdoors in all types of weather. Marble setters, tile setters, and terrazzo workers generally work indoors. There is considerable bending and heavy lifting for most masonry work. At times masonry workers must work at heights. Concrete blocks are used more than bricks, often weighing 30 pounds or more, which must be lifted with one hand. Caulker/pointer/cleaners work primarily outdoors and most definitely at heights. They use a lot of personal protective equipment due to heights and working with chemicals. There may be periods of unemployment between jobs.
Length of apprenticeship
Bricklayer, caulker/pointer/cleaner, marble setter, terrazzo worker, and tile setter apprenticeships are three-year programs. The finisher program lasts one year. Apprentices must complete a minimum of 144 hours per year in related classroom training for all occupations, and approximately 6,000 on-the-job training hours for the bricklayer, caulker/pointer/cleaner, marble setter, terrazzo worker, and tile setter occupations. Apprentices complete approximately 2,000 on-the-job training hours in the finisher program and advance at 500 hours.
Apprenticeship applicants must be at least 18 years of age. In addition, they must provide proof of high school graduation or general education development (GED) equivalent. Local apprenticeship committees may require additional qualifications.
Beginning apprentices start at about 50 percent of the journey-level wage. Upon successful completion of required class work and on-the-job hours, wages increase usually every six months, until the journey-level rate is achieved.