Bricklayers work alongside other builders in the construction industry to build and repair architectures that involve bricks or another stone-like material, be it a wall, fireplace, foundations, archways or similar. Bricklayers, which sometimes referred to as a mason, use cement, stone and brick to work on both residential and commercial projects. Usually starting as an apprenticeship, there are plenty of ways to gain access to this industry, with job opportunities looking promising over the coming years.
Bricklayers, or “brickies” as nicknamed in Australia, neatly and efficiently lay bricks or similar in a type of mortar to form a structure. You will work on building sites, collaborating alongside carpenters, plumbers, tilers and other construction workers involved in the project to complete work as outlined in planning documentation. You will find yourself working on all sorts of projects such as paving, cutting hard materials like cinder block, walls, arches and even artistic creations for an ornamental affect.
If you think you’d enjoy working as a bricklayer, you will also need to consider the physical requirements of the job, which at times can be demanding. You will need to work as part of a team and able to effectively communicate your issues and concerns, should you envisage problems down the track. The role of a bricklayer requires a practical, common sense approach, with the ability to follow instruction and understand planning blueprints.
Although most bricklayers work independently as contractors, there are opportunities to gain permanent employment with construction industries or work in council development. Further studies can see you branch out into stone masonry or conservation work.
The process of building arches can be extremely complicated and requires someone who understands the different requirements for such a structure. You will work with shaping different bricks to build the arch as well as implementing repair and maintenance programs.
Stonemasons work primarily with crafting, shaping and cutting all kinds of stone, from hard limestone to soft sandstone. They work in a variety of contexts, including the restoration of heritage buildings, new construction projects, making tombstones and other monuments, ornamental sculpture work and polishing or restoring stone surfaces for cosmetic purposes. As a highly specialised trade, there are health and safety qualifications pertaining to working on a construction site that must be met prior to employment.
Refractory bricklayers install cement, stone and brick that can withstand high temperatures, such as in an industrial furnace. This is often work completed for gas or mining companies, and usually requires a sound understanding of building materials as well as WHS protocols.
Similar to a refractory bricklayer, chimney builders need a good understanding of materials that can tolerate hot conditions that a chimney will face in its lifetime, as well as requirements in residential or commercial building codes.
If you think bricklaying is the job for you, check out the many opportunities below to get you started in an apprenticeship.
Complete an apprenticeship in bricklaying and block laying to kick-start your career. Most people in the construction industry will undertake a TAFE course where they are required to do an apprenticeship alongside theoretical study.
Undertake skill and safety training to develop your skills in the construction industry.
As an employed bricklayer, develop additional skills by undertaking different specialist training courses for professional accreditation. You will be able to add these skills to your resume, making you a better prospect for employment.
There are lots of construction, bricklaying and stone masonry bodies that you can earn recognition through to help boost your professional reputation. Check out the resource section to find those that are relevant to your state or territory.
Get a head start in your bricklaying career by developing a great job application. Check out our sample resumes and cover letters to give you some ideas.
Although the industry recently fell slightly in the last ten years, it is predicted to be on the up again, with growth in Australia’s construction industry. On average, a bricklayer’s yearly salary is estimated at $51,668 at around $27.33 as an hourly rate.