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Bricklayer

Brickie

Bricklayers lay bricks, pre-cut stone and concrete blocks in mortar. They construct, extend and repair domestic and commercial buildings, and other structures such as foundations, walls, chimneys or decorative masonry work. Bricklaying offers a real sense of achievement. At the end of a project, you’ll see the results and be able to say, ‘I built that’.

Average salary*

£17000

-

£40000

Typical hours per week

42 - 44

Number employed in the UK

72,240

How to become a bricklayer

There are several routes to becoming a bricklayer. You can gain the qualifications you need by doing a college course, an apprenticeship or on the job training.

You should explore these routes to find which one is right for you. Although some options will list qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and able to follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

College

Your local college or training provider may offer courses such as a Level 1 Certificate in Construction Skills, Level 2 Diploma in Bricklaying or Level 2 Diploma in Trowel Occupations.

You’ll need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent (level 1 course)
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent (level 2 course).

Some colleges offer part-time, short courses in bricklaying which could be a good way to find out if this job is for you, especially if you have no experience or are thinking of changing career.

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship with a construction firm is a good way into the industry.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

An intermediate bricklaying apprenticeship offers two years of on-the-job training and time with a training provider. For this, you’ll need GCSEs (including English and maths), or equivalent qualifications.

Work

If you can get a job as a construction site labourer, your employer may provide training so you can become qualified.

Work experience

To help decide whether this job is for you, further your skills and impress employers, you could gain some work experience.

Skills

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a bricklayer include:

  • Knowledge of building and construction
  • Be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Be flexible and open to change
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Ambition and a desire to succeed
  • Ability to work well with your hands
  • Able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What does a bricklayer do?

As a bricklayer, you will be responsible for one of the most important elements of construction within the housing industry. Duties include laying bricks, measuring out areas, and repairing or maintaining existing structures.

The job role of a bricklayer includes the following duties:

  • Laying bricks
  • Applying or removing mortar with a trowel
  • Working accurately from detailed plans and specifications
  • Sealing foundations with damp-resistant materials
  • Using spirit levels and plumb lines to check building alignment
  • Using hand tools, power tools and brick-cutting machines
  • Constructing arches and ornamental brickwork
  • Repairing and maintaining building blocks
  • Measuring out build areas and setting out the first rows of bricks and damp course
  • Working outdoors on construction sites, in all weathers and at height.

How much could you earn as a bricklayer?

The expected salary for a bricklayer varies as you become more experienced.

  • A newly trained bricklayers construction salary can be in the region of £17,000 - £20,000
  • Trained with experience bricklayers can earn in the region of £20,000 - £30,000
  • Senior or master bricklayers can earn in the region of £30,000 - £40,000

Salaries typically depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do. 

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary.

Career path and progression

Once you’ve trained as a bricklayer, you could progress to a role as a site supervisor or foreman and earn a higher salary. There are also senior roles as construction managers, or you could start your own business and work as a self-employed subcontractor.

You could specialise in one area of bricklaying such as estimating, training, heritage restoration, or stonemasonry. With a Personal Track Safety (PTS) Card you could work on or near a railway line.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Bricklayer Highly in demand, bricklayers construct & repair different structures unique to ...
    Read more
  • Current role Construction manager Construction managers are required to handle the practical side of managing & pl...
    Read more
  • Current role Self-employed contractor A self-employed contractor or sub-contractor runs his or her own construction bu...
    Read more
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