Houses & Buildings

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Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Bricklayers lay bricks, pre-cut stone and concrete blocks to build and repair buildings, walls and paved areas. They do this by consulting building plans, making measurements and binding bricks together with mortar. Their work is an important part of the construction process, as bricks often form the structural base of many buildings. Sometimes they do ornamental work by laying shaped or coloured patterns in buildings, archways, walls or floors. FutureGrowthModerate

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.

ANZSCO description: Lays bricks, pre-cut stone and other types of building materials in mortar to construct and repair walls, partitions, arches and other structures (registration or licensing may be required).

Alternative names: Blocklayer

Specialisations: Arch Builder, Chimney Builder, Refractory Bricklayer, Retort Setter (Bricklaying), Tuckpointer.

A small number of bricklayers may specialise in refractory work, where they build and line kilns and industrial furnaces, or in the repair of brickwork damaged by salt or damp.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

Bricklayers need:

  • a high level of physical fitness and stamina

  • to enjoy practical work

  • an ability to work to deadlines

  • the ability to work accurately, follow plans and instructions

  • good hand-eye coordination

  • an ability to follow plans and instructions

  • to be comfortable working from heights

Duties and Tasks

Bricklayers may perform the following tasks: Bricklayer

  • work from plans and specifications
  • seal foundations with damp-resistant materials
  • 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.
  • build in door and window frames
  • spread layers of mortar to serve as a base and binder for bricks, remove excess mortar and check vertical and horizontal alignment
  • use various tools and brick-cutting machines to cut and shape bricks
  • construct arches and ornamental brickwork
  • repair and maintain clay bricks, cement blocks/bricks and related structures
  • erect scaffolding (subject to licence requirements in some states).

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.

Working conditions

Bricklayers work outdoors on construction sites, or at locations that require building or repair work. They work at heights on scaffolding, in tight spaces and in different weather conditions. 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.

Bricklayers normally work in teams and must be very accurate and safety conscious.

They may work on large-scale construction projects, such as schools or hospitals, or on smaller housing projects. Bricklayers work mainly for builders and may have some contact with the public.

In specialised work they may operate in tunnels and shafts.

Tools and technologies

Bricklayers use trowels, hammers, shovels, bolsters and spirit levels to measure and lay bricks and other building materials. Mortar and concrete are made up in buckets or mixers to keep them from setting. Sometimes they also use special machines to cut bricks into required shapes and sizes. All bricklayers must wear safety equipment such as hard hats, dust masks, steel-capped boots, earmuffs, safety glasses and protective or high visibility clothing.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a qualified bricklayer, you have to complete an apprenticeship in bricklaying or bricklaying (housing). The apprenticeships usually take between 24 and 48 months to complete.

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.


Did You Know?

A bricklayer or mason is a craftsman who lays bricks to construct brickwork. The term also refers to personnel who use blocks to construct blockwork walls and other forms of masonry. In British and Australian English, a bricklayer is colloquially known as a "brickie".

A notable person who laid bricks (as a hobby) was Sir Winston Churchill.
(Source: Wikipedia

Winston Churchill

Did You Know? Convict History

Only one person on the First Fleet was skilled at making bricks — James Bloodsworth, a former London bricklayer who had been transported for forgery. He was responsible for designing and building many of Sydney’s first brick structures.
(Source: Daily Telegraph)

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Materials sourced from the Job Guide;
Jobs & Skills WA [Bricklayer; ]
JobOutlook [Bricklayer]






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