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Bricklayer

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Summary of occupation

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.

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
Job prospects: Average
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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
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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.

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.

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Salary details

 

On average, bricklayers and stonemasons can earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the type of organisation they work for and their level of experience. As a bricklayer develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.​

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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.

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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. 

In Western Australia, bricklayers carrying out work valued at more than $20 000 must be registered as, or work under the supervision of, a registered building practitioner. Contact the Building Commission Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety​ for more information. 

Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card. In WA, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by the WorkSafe Division, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.​

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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Related videos

Bricklayer Video Bricklayer Occupation

Bricklayers lay bricks, pre-cut stone and concrete blocks to build and repair buildings, walls and paved areas.

Bricklayer Video Bricklayer Occupation

Bricklayers lay bricks, pre-cut stone and concrete blocks to build and repair buildings, walls and paved areas.

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