Is becoming a stone cutter right for me?
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How to become a Stone Cutter
Available training for aspiring stone cutters include college-level diploma programs, associate degree programs, formal apprenticeship, and informal training on the job. Informal learning however, cannot be awarded with a diploma or certification since it usually takes place outside educational institutions and does not follow any specified curriculum.
Diploma Programs - These programs are offered by technical colleges and last for approximately one year. Students are awarded with a diploma upon completion. Courses include college work where students learn building, hewing and theory involved in masonry with on-site learning experience and hands-on workshops, and may also include estimating, applied communication and specialized masonry.
Associate Degree Programs - Masonry is either offered as an associate of applied science degree or as an associate in occupational studies. The former requires the student to take general education courses while the latter only includes courses in masonry and construction. May also emphasize managerial skills to prepare students for advanced positions in the field. Diploma and associate degree programs are intended for unemployed masons as well as professionals seeking additional training and experience.
Formal Apprenticeship - Formal apprenticeship is sponsored by labor unions or industry groups, and consists of three years of on-the-job training with four hundred hours of classroom instruction, after which the apprentice will be awarded a certification. This requires working full-time at a contract company, where apprentices work in the field during the day and take courses at night in a classroom setting. Applicants for this program should be at least seventeen years of age and in good physical condition.
Masons with informal training learn their skills on the job. They start out by working as helpers for experienced stone masons. These employers are mostly self-employed and own their own business. The aspiring stone cutter will need to further their education on their own in order to become certified.