- Option to specialise in decorative brickwork, stone masonry, or set up your own business
- Involves physically demanding work in all weather conditions
- You'll wear protective equipment like safety helmets and boots
As a bricklayer you could be building anything from a chimney to a fireplace to entire buildings. You would be responsible for supplies and cutting bricks and other materials to fit the project that you are working on. You will need to know how to read and follow blue prints and to follow precise directions.
- Measuring work areas and setting out the first rows of bricks or blocks
- Mixing mortar by hand or with a mechanical mixer
- Applying mortar with a trowel and laying bricks on top of each other
- Shaping and trimming bricks using hammers, chisels and power tools
- Checking that rows are straight using a spirit level and plumb line
As a bricklayer, you may work on a construction site and your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers. You'll work on a particular section of a building alongside other bricklayers on larger jobs. Your salary could increase with overtime and allowances.
If you're self-employed, you'll set your own pay rates. You may need to do overtime at weekends and in the evenings. Some jobs may involve working away from home.
The work can be physically demanding and you'll often be working at height on scaffolding. You'll wear protective equipment like safety helmets and boots.
To become a bricklayer you can take a college course like a Level 1 Certificate in Construction Skills, Level 2 Diploma in Bricklaying, Level 2 Diploma in Trowel Occupations or a T Level in On Site Construction. These courses will teach you some of the skills needed for the job and can help you to find a trainee position with a building company.
You could also start by doing an intermediate bricklaying apprenticeship. This will usually take 2 years to complete. You'll do on the job training and spend time with a college or training provider.
Alternatively, you could start as a construction site labourer and take training on the job to become a bricklayer.
You'll need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to train and work on a construction site.
You can join an organisation like the Federation of Master Builders, for professional recognition and training opportunities.
With experience, you could become a construction site supervisor, or move into related areas like estimating or apprentice training.
You could also specialise in decorative brickwork, stone masonry, or set up your own business.