Is masonry right for you? Hayward Field worker talks pay, training and more

If you want to be a mason, all you need is a good work ethic and a willingness to learn, one mason told KEZI 9 News.

Posted: Sep 9, 2019 5:43 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- If you take a 10 minute drive through Eugene, you'll see a handful of construction projects going on -- maybe the most noticeable being Hayward Field.

KEZI 9 News spoke with Phillip Russo, a mason working on that project.

RELATED: HAYWARD FIELD ON TRACK TO BE COMPLETED BY SPRING 2020, OFFICIALS SAY

Russo is a mason with the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers and is a third-generation mason himself.

He said a huge misconception about his line of work is that it takes no education and little skill to be successful.

Similar to a four-year university, Russo needed to complete a four-year construction degree, linked through a community college. And he was able to get on-the-job training and pay.

"We have scheduled school,” said Russo. “It's about a week at a time, like three times a year, and there's other smaller classes we take in between. Most of it's on-the-job training with other craftsmen guiding you, knowing that you're there to learn."

Russo said you only need to be 18 to begin the process of becoming a mason, and the pay is great.

At the very beginning of your training, you make close to $20 an hour, Russo said, and as you advance, you could see upwards of $40 an hour.

All you need to be successful in the masonry industry is a hard work ethic and willingness to learn, he added.

KEZI 9 News partners with employers in our area to address the lack of workers for skilled jobs. To learn more about our “Skilled to Work” initiative, click here.

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