Trades & Services
Bricklayers lay and bind building materials with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls and structures made of brick.
What does a Bricklayer do?
Bricklayers lay and bind building materials, such as bricks, structural tiles, concrete blocks, and glass blocks with mortar and other substances to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures.
As a bricklayer, your work would include:
- measuring the work area and setting out the first rows of bricks (courses) and the damp course
- mixing mortar by hand or with a mechanical mixer
- laying the bricks on top of each other and applying the mortar with a trowel
- shaping and trimming bricks using hammers, chisels and power tools
- checking that courses are straight using water or laser spirit levels and plumb lines.
On larger jobs, your work team would work on a particular section of a building alongside other bricklaying teams. You may also be able to specialise in stonemasonry work.
Key skills and interests
To become a bricklayer, you would need:
- good practical skills
- the ability to read plans
- the ability to work in a well organised and accurate way
- an awareness of safety issues, especially when working at heights and carrying loads
- the ability to work as part of a team and with other tradespeople
- a good level of physical fitness.
Working hours and conditions
You would normally work about 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may sometimes need to do overtime at weekends and in the evenings.
You would spend a lot of your time outside in most weathers, and the work can be physically hard. Your job may involve working at heights on scaffolding, and you would be expected to use protective equipment, such as safety helmets and boots.
You would travel from site to site. Some jobs may involve overnight stays away from home. You would usually need a valid drivers' licence.
How to become an Bricklayer?
Entry Level Education
To become a bricklayer you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in bricklaying. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Bricklayers must generally either hold, or work under someone who holds, a valid builder's licence.
Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC). Authorised training is conducted by Registered Training Organisations.
Employment of bricklayers and stonemasons is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.
Population growth will result in the construction of more schools, hospitals, and apartment buildings, especially in metropolitan areas.
In addition, masons will be needed to restore a growing number of brick buildings. Although expensive, brick and stone exteriors should remain popular, reflecting a preference for low-maintenance, durable exterior materials.