New York State Department of Civil Service

Division of Classification & Compensation

Occ. Code 7120150


Trades Specialist (Mason & Plasterer), Grade 12



Brief Description Of Class


Trades Specialists (Mason & Plasterer) perform journey-level masonry and plastering work and may supervise 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.



Distinguishing Characteristics


Trades Specialist (Mason & Plasterer): non-competitive; responsible for all masonry and plastering work including the planning and laying out of work. 


A Trades Specialist (Mason & Plasterer) may supervise others in this work including semiskilled and unskilled workers. 



Related Classes


A Trades Supervisor (Mason & Plasterer) is a working supervisor of skilled journey-level masons and plasterers and semiskilled and unskilled positions in the masonry and plastering trades, and occasionally other trades such as carpentry. 


A Trades Generalist 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 in the practice of the trade.


Maintenance Assistant (Mason & 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.


Facility Operations Assistants 1 assigned to a masonry crew assist 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 Trades Specialist (Carpenter) and Trades Specialist (Electrician).



Illustrative Tasks


Lays building materials such as stone, brick, and concrete cinder block 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, gauge line, 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.






Applies ceramic tiles to walls, floors, and ceilings.





Applies coats of plaster to walls and ceilings.






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.


May supervise and instruct others in performing masonry and plastering work.






Independence of Operation


Trades Specialists (Mason & Plasterer) are supervised by higher-level trades positions such as Trades Supervisor (Mason & Plasterer), Maintenance Supervisor 1, or Maintenance Supervisor 2. Generally, work priorities are prescribed, material is furnished, the nature and extent of the work to be performed is given, and detailed plans, diagrams, and specifications are provided. In the absence of such direction, the Trades Specialist (Mason & Plasterer) sets priorities, requisitions materials, determines the work that must be done, and lays out the work.


Although the work of a Trades Specialist (Mason & Plasterer) is inspected periodically by a supervisor, incumbents are expected to work with considerable independence as is typical of a skilled tradesperson.





The nature of a Trades Specialist (Mason & Plasterer) activities generally restricts relationships to employees working within the same organizational unit, including skilled tradespersons in other trades. 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.


Trades Specialists (Mason & Plasterer) may supervise a maintenance crew. 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 involvement with others is not a factor in determining classification.



Supervision Exercised


A Trades Specialist (Mason & Plasterer) may supervise a subordinate maintenance staff and/or individuals for whom the State has custody or responsibility by making assignments, giving instructions, and observing and inspecting work performed to ensure that instructions have been followed and that the quality of the work is satisfactory.



Minimum Qualifications


Trades Specialist (Mason & Plasterer)


Non-competitive: Four years of full-time experience in masonry under a skilled tradesperson which would provide training equivalent to that given in a training, apprenticeship, or equivalent program, or an equivalent combination of experience and training gained by completion of technical courses in masonry at a school, institute, or branch of the Armed Services; OR successful completion of the two-year Trades Specialist (Mason & Plasterer) traineeship or a two-year masonry training, apprenticeship, or equivalent program* such as the New York State Civil Service Employees Association-Partnership Applied Skilled Trades Traineeship and Certificate Program.


* 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.


Trades Specialist (Mason & Plasterer) Trainee 1


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; 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; and be proficient in English and math.


Trades Specialist (Mason & Plasterer) Trainee 2


Successful completion of a 52-week probationary period as a Trades Specialist (Mason and Plasterer) Trainee 1; 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.


When required to operate motor vehicles, candidates must possess a valid New York State driver's license appropriate for the type of vehicle to be operated.




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.