How to become a Bricklayer

Bricklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks and building blocks in mortar to construct and repair internal and external walls, partitions, arches and other structures.

Personal requirements of a Bricklayer

  • Enjoy practical work
  • Good hand–eye coordination
  • Able to perform technical activities
  • Able to interpret and follow plans
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job

Education & Training for a Bricklayer

To become a bricklayer you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Bricklaying/Blocklaying. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Bricklayer

Bricklayers may perform the following tasks:

  • work from plans and specifications
  • seal foundations with damp-resistant materials
  • build in door and window frames
  • spread layers of mortar to serve as a base and binder for bricks, and remove excess mortar
  • check vertical and horizontal alignment of bricks and blocks
  • 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 and territories).

Working conditions for a Bricklayer

Bricklayers mainly work outdoors and may have to work at heights. In specialised work they may operate in tunnels and shafts. They usually work in teams. Bricklayers work mainly for builders and may have some contact with the public.

Employment Opportunities for a Bricklayer

Most work is in housing and commercial construction on a self-employed, subcontracted basis. Supply and demand can change quickly due to market conditions within the building industry. Qualified tradespeople are less likely to be affected by downturns in demand than unqualified bricklayers. Employment may be sought with bricklaying contractors and general building contractors. By undertaking further studies, experienced tradespeople may be promoted to supervisory positions. They can also advance to other positions within the building industry such as building inspector, building estimator, project manager or registered builder.

Additional Information
In some states and territories, bricklayers must either be accredited as, or work under the supervision of, a registered building practitioner. Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC).
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