An igneous rock formed by the cooling of molten magma, granite is widely used in construction. Granite fabricators use this natural-cut stone to create structural and decorative elements for buildings and their interiors. These may include pillars and floors, as well as cornices and basins. The fabricator use precision, diamond-blade tools to cut and shape the granite to the required shape, and often also installs the piece.
For the purposes of its May 2010 national employment survey, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classified granite fabricator alongside their fellow stonemasons working with other materials. It concluded that the mean annual salary across the profession was $39,850, or $19.16 per hour. Those in the top 10 percent of earners received salaries of over $61,370, while their contemporaries in the bottom 10 percent earned less than $23,560 per year.
Salary by Industry
The largest numbers of stonemasons such as granite fabricators work within foundation, structure and building exterior contracting, according to the bureau’s figures. It gave the mean annual wage within this sector of the industry as $41,270. Individuals working for building finishing contractors earned a mean of $38,170 per year, while those engaged by specialty trade contractors earned $38,980. Within services to buildings and dwelling, the mean rate was $43,280, while in non-metallic mineral product manufacturing, the mean wage level was $37,260.
Salary by Location
Location can also impact a granite fabricator’s earnings. The bureau listed Massachusetts as the state in which, across all industry sectors, a stonemason such as a granite specialist was likely to secure the highest wages, with an annual mean of $56,200. Nevada and Rhode Island were also listed as comparatively lucrative locations, with respective means of $55,970 and $53,240. Pay levels were almost identical between New York State and Pennsylvania -- $43,560 and $43,500, respectively – while Texas was among the locales with the lowest compensation rates, a mean of just $28,710 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities for granite fabricators and their fellow stonemasons, as well as for brickmasons and blockmasons, will grow by around 12 percent until 2018. This is in line with estimates for the country as a whole across all occupations, put at between seven and 13 percent through 2018. Population growth will fuel rising construction levels across residential, commercial and municipal sectors. As such, wage levels for the profession should remain very competitive.