We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Stonemason?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A stonemason is an artisan who specializes in working with stone. The art of masonry includes everything from carving headstones to creating decorative finials for buildings. To become a stonemason, someone generally apprentices with another mason who can provide training. A love for art and stone will assist someone who wants to succeed at this career, although it is not required. Once someone has refined his or her skills as a stonemason, they can command a high price for their masonry services.

Masonry is a very old art form. Early humans started putting stones together to make homes thousands of years ago, and decorative work with stone soon followed. Masons pride themselves on creating functional, beautiful work which is precisely created for the needs of each client, whether it be the ornamental foundation stone of a new building, or a replacement for a worn door mantel. This craft profession is also unusual in that it cannot be entirely replaced with mechanization, although modern masons may use advanced tools like water jets and lasers for cutting.

There are a number of different types of stonemasons. Quarrymen work in quarries cutting raw stone which will be trimmed down to size and worked by other masons. Sawyers transform the rough blocks of stone cut in quarries into smaller chunks which meet specific size and composition requirements, while banker masons work in workshops to shape these pieces of stone as required for a job. A carver is a mason who specializes in creating patterns and designs, such as ornamental foliage on a building.

Fixer masons are more like contractors, focusing on fixing stones in place on a permanent structure. This job is highly skilled and also very dangerous, as the stonemason may work at high elevations with extremely heavy pieces of rock attached to block and tackle systems. Finally, memorial masons specialize in the construction and carving of memorials like stone plaques and headstones. It is not unusual for a mason to have experience and skills in several branches of the craft.

Some stonemasons talk about being able to read or listen to the rock that they work with. A good stonemason can look at a block of material and see how it will develop, with an eye to weak points and cracks which might damage the finished work. This skill is usually achieved through experience alone, as apprentices learn about how different rocks behave and feel. A fully qualified stonemason is also capable of working with a wide range of stone, from hard granite to soft limestone.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a About Mechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon977781 — On Nov 12, 2014

@Chivebasil: When we had ordered my mother's headstone, I was informed that they send the work overseas nowadays. Unfortunate, but like too many industries, much of the work formerly done in the USA is now all done by foreign concerns.

By whiteplane — On Apr 20, 2012
Where can I get stonemason training? It is not like this is a major in college -- at least not around where I live.
By gravois — On Apr 19, 2012

I remember one of the most amazing things I have ever seen was on a job site a few years. I was taking a smoke break and I was looking across the site to this section of the building that was being built with brick. It was already probably 30 feet high and was going to go up another 30 feet.

Anyway, I look over to where these bricklayers are working. I see one of them pick up a wheelbarrow filled with bricks, put it on one of his shoulders like you would a boom box and then climb the ladder one handed to a small platform at the top. The strength and the balance of that guy were incredible.

By Ivan83 — On Apr 19, 2012

My dad was a stone mason in St. Louis. The city has a ton of brick buildings and stone structures so he was always busy. When he was really in swing was in the early 80s when a part of the city called South City began to undergo a serious revitalization.

Most of the houses in the area were brick or stone and many needed some kind of fix that could only be done by an experienced stone mason. He spent years working almost exclusively in the neighborhood. The place is still thriving and it is known for the beauty of it's old brick buildings.

By chivebasil — On Apr 18, 2012

I wonder how many people there are in the country who are employed engraving gravestones? Probably more than I would expect. Everybody dies sooner or later and most of them get buried somewhere. The funeral business is predictably huge and probably one of the most stable industries in the country.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.