Occ. Code 7010000





New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




Mason and Plasterer performs journey level masonry and plastering work and frequently supervises others in the construction and repair of buildings and structures involving the use of a variety of masonry materials including brick, stone, plaster and concrete.


Mason and Plasterers are employed by many agencies with the greatest number of positions in the Offices of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and in the State University.




Typically a Mason and Plasterer supervises a work crew normally consisting of less than ten Maintenance Assistants, Maintenance Helpers, Laborers, and occasionally other Mason and Plasterers including the planning and layout of work. Such supervision is generally exercised on a project basis and involves a maintenance crew of two to three semiskilled or elementary skilled positions for each journey level Mason and Plasterer. In an agency such as the Department of Correctional Services where inmates or residents perform some masonry tasks, a Mason and Plasterer may work with, lead, and provide practical instruction to a small group of such individuals.


A Supervising Mason and Plasterer supervises large scale masonry operations involving ten or more skilled, semiskilled, and relatively unskilled personnel. Such personnel may include those engaged in crafts other than masonry.


A General Mechanic may also perform journey level masonry and plastering activities. However, such positions are classified only where the incumbents perform skilled and semiskilled level work in a combination of trades.


In many State facilities a Vocational Instructor specialized in masonry formally instructs inmates and/or residents in the practice of the trade.


Maintenance Assistant (Mason and Plasterer) as a semiskilled employee, performs many of the manual tasks of the masonry trade but is generally not required to plan and lay out work. Incumbents may perform journey level activities and tasks under supervision or after receiving detailed instructions.


Maintenance Helper assigned to a masonry crew assists in construction and repair work performing the heavier, less difficult, and repetitive activities involving elementary skills while learning the trade.


Employees engaged in other building and maintenance trades are classified under a variety of commonly used titles descriptive of their work such as Carpenter or Electrician.




Lays building materials such as stone, brick, concrete cinder block and the like to construct or repair walls, partitions, utility manholes, firebrick linings in furnaces, and chimneys.


-          Lays out work following blueprints and specifications by measuring distance from reference points and marking guidelines on working surface.


-          Mixes or directs the mixing of mortar.


-          Spreads mortar on working surface and to block or stone, and positions and aligns the block using a plumb bob, gageline, and level.


-          Removes excess mortar from face of block and finishes mortar between brick with pointing tool or trowel.


Smooths and finishes surfaces of poured concrete floors, walls, and sidewalks to specified texture.


-          May mix or direct the mixing of concrete.


-          Spreads concrete to specified depth and workable consistency.


-          Levels and smooths surface of freshly poured concrete using straightedge and float.


-          Removes rough or defective spots and patches holes with fresh concrete.


Applies ceramic tiles to walls, floors, and ceilings.


-          Prepares surface by removing damaged tiles or applies plaster or concrete base.


-          Spreads adhesive base on surface.


-          Cuts, shapes, and applies tiles to surface according to specifications.


Applies coats of plaster to walls and ceilings.


-          Mixes or directs the mixing of plaster and the erection of scaffolds if needed.


-          Removes broken or loose plaster and otherwise prepares surface.


-          Applies scratch coat of plaster.


-          Applies finish coats of plaster to desired thickness and texture.


May draw rough sketches or prepare plans to scale from oral or written instructions to accomplish the project.


From blueprints, specifications or oral or written instructions, may estimate labor, materials, tools and equipment necessary for the project.


Assembles materials, tools, and equipment required to complete the project according to plans.


As assigned, supervises and instructs others in performing masonry and plastering work.


-          Assigns work to masonry crew.


-          As required gives verbal instructions and/or demonstrates proper masonry or plaster techniques and the use of masonry and plastering tools and equipment.


-          Observes and inspects the work while in progress and when completed to insure that the job is done properly.


-          When supervising wards of the State a Mason and Plasterer must be aware of and account for their activities at all times while on the job and insure that the rules and regulations of the facility governing such activities are followed.




The nature of a Mason and Plasterer's activities generally restricts relationships to employees working within the same organizational unit including artisans in other trades. On occasion, however, incumbents may be required to orally communicate with others in a State agency or facility on the reasons why work is being accomplished in the manner selected.


Typically, they supervise a masonry crew which may include State wards. Such relationships are characterized by frequent verbal communications in assigning work and providing instructions. Written and oral communications with the general public are not typical of this class. The tasks of this class are predominantly thing oriented and the involvement with others is not a factor in determining classification.




Mason and Plasterers are usually supervised by higher level trades positions such as Supervising Mason and Plasterer, Maintenance Supervisor 1, or Maintenance Supervisor 2. Generally work priorities and the nature and extent of the work to be performed are prescribed and materials are furnished. However, in the absence of such direction a mason may set priorities, requisition materials, and determine the work that has to be done.         I


Although the work of a Mason and Plasterer is inspected periodically by the supervisor, incumbents are expected to work with considerable independence as is typical of a skilled trades worker.


As assigned a Mason and Plasterer will supervise other trades positions including other Mason and Plasterers and subordinate employees and/or wards of the State in making assignments, giving instructions, and observing and inspecting work performed to insure that instructions have been followed and that the quality of the work is satisfactory.




Mason and Plasterers use the tools of the masonry and plastering trades including hand tools such as hammers, floats, trowels, plumb bobs, chisels; standard measuring instruments such as levels, tape measures and rules, and squares; and power tools such as saws for cutting and fitting masonry materials.




-          Working knowledge of the methods, materials and equipment used in masonry and plastering work.


-          Working knowledge of physical properties of masonry materials, mortar, and plaster.


-          Working knowledge of the arithmetic of the masonry trade.


-          Basic knowledge of building and safety codes applicable to masonry work.


-          Ability to plan, lay out, and complete masonry and plastering work.


-          Ability to read, interpret, and work from plans, drawings, and specifications.


-          Ability to use the tools, machines, equipment, and materials of the masonry and plastering trades.


-          Ability to understand and carry out oral and written instructions.


-          Ability to stand for prolonged periods of time, to climb, bend, and to do moderately heavy lifting.


-          Ability to work from scaffolds and ladders.


As assigned:


-          Working knowledge of the rules and regulations of the facility governing the activities of State wards under the supervision of a Mason and Plasterer.


-          Ability to estimate labor, material requirements, and costs of masonry work.


-          Ability to supervise and train others.




Mason and Plasterer Trainee 1, NS:  Must be 18 years of age or older; possess a High School diploma or general equivalency diploma recognized by the New York State Education Department; be proficient in English and math; full-time permanent service in a position allocated at Grade 12 or below which is primarily engaged in the performance of unskilled and/or semiskilled labor and trades tasks. 


Mason and Plasterer Trainee 2, NS:  Successful completion of a 52-week probationary period as an Mason and Plasterer Trainee 1, NS; completion of 45 hours of Technical Math coursework and 15 hours of Blueprint Reading/Schematics coursework or passage of an equivalency exam or proof of successful completion of equivalent training; 144 hours of mason and plaster trade-specific instruction; and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.  Trainees must maintain a C or better average in their coursework.


Mason & Plasterer, Grade 12: Successful completion of a NYS two-year Mason & Plasterer Traineeship or NYS two-year masonry training program; OR successful completion of any equivalent masonry two-year training or apprenticeship program;* OR four (4) years of full-time experience in masonry under a skilled journey-level mason which would provide training equivalent to that given in an apprenticeship program.  Apprenticeship training in masonry or training gained by completion of technical courses in masonry at a school, institute, or branch of the Armed Services may be substituted on a year-for-year basis.


* Successful completion of the traineeship and the training program includes a total of 288 hours of trade-specific class room instruction, 45 hours of technical math course work, 45 hours of technical communications course work, and 15 hours of blueprint/schematic reading course work.  Course work must be completed with an average of C or better.  Additionally, successful completion of the traineeship also includes 4,000 hours of on-the-job training.



Revised:  4/09


NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.