apprentice stonemason
We’re a vibrant and growing business, so if you’re looking for an exciting career and a trade that is highly sought after, then stonemasonry could be for you.

Stonemasonry is one of the world’s oldest professions. From ancient Roman and Greek temples to the amazing Egyptian pyramids, stonemasons have been involved in the building of some of the world’s most amazing buildings. Unlike many ancient trades and traditions, stonemasonry is alive and well and is an exciting area of work for people to enter.

What do stonemasons do?

Stonemasons use their skills to work with stone, carving it, laying it or repairing it. Stonemasons work usually as a banker mason who is based in a workshop or as a fixer mason who is based on a construction site.

  • Banker masons follow design instructions to carve and shape pieces of stone, dress it (such as giving it a textured or polished finish) all using traditional and modern power tools.

Stonemasons can work on a wide variety of projects including:

  • New builds
  • Repairing or carving statues and headstones
  • Making and fitting various types of stonework such as ornamental garden structures, frames and archways.
  • Anything involving stone!

What skills and qualities do you need to become an apprentice stonemason?

  • Hard working
  • The ability to follow plans and architectural drawings
  • An attention to detail
  • Good maths and measuring skills
  • Practical tool skills
  • A good head for heights if working as a fixer mason)
  • Physically fit
  • Teamwork skills
  • Creative
  • An awareness of health and safety

Entry requirements to become an apprentice stonemason

There are usually no set requirements for becoming a stonemason although on-site experience is always useful. This can often be gained as a labourer and can give you a good understanding of how construction sites work.

Apprenticeships are often available as are college courses and these teach some of the skills needed for a successful career as a stonemason. It is ‘on the job’ though that most of the skills needed will be learnt.

Training and development

Once working as a stonemason, most stonemasons study towards industry qualifications offered by institutions such as City and Guilds. These include:


These qualifications include units on things such as:

  • Installing cladding
  • Repairing memorial stones
  • Making and repairing architectural structure and features
  • Reading building plans

For stonemasons working on historical buildings, they may choose to study for a Level 3 qualification specialising in heritage skills.

Stonemasons working on construction sites will need to complete training towards a CSCS card which allows access to construction sites.


Stonemasonry is a highly sought after skill and good stonemasons are highly regarded. Starting out as a stonemason, with experience people can progress to supervisory or management roles or take part in the training of new stonemasons.

Why Choose Us:

  • We have over 30 years hands-on experience as stonemasons
  • We have a full range of expert stonemasonry and sandstone restoration skills
  • We only use lime mortar for re-pointing, sandstone repairs and building work
  • We choose our team based on the quality of their work and quality of their character
  • Flexible Quoting: we come at a time that suits you, even on the same day if required

Stone Repairs

Do your stones’ need repairing due to weathering and old age? If so, we can bring them back to new again. As James Allan Stonemasons (Edinburgh), we can offer you two effective methods for repairing your stones, which are part Indenting and lithomex.

Lime Pointing

Properly executed Lime Repointing of masonry using lime mortars is critical to the long term health of stone structures. It is strongly advised that repointing is carried out using proper lime mortars & correct technique and preparation.

Church Stone Repairs

Repairs to churches call on every type of stonemasonry skill imaginable, including stone replacement, stone restoration, stone carving and lime pointing. We are able to carry out the stonemasonry restoration of our city’s churches.