How to become a Bricklayer

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Bricklayers build, repair and maintain interior and exterior walls, as well as any other type of brickwork.

The majority of their work is carried out within the home, however, they are absolutely vital in a number of other areas of construction, with everything from archways and partitions through to chimney stacks and tunnel linings requiring a Bricklayer’s expertise.

Although bricks are their primary material, they may also use concrete blocks, stone, or precast panels to complete the job.

Day-to-day duties for a Bricklayer may include:

  • Measuring the work area
  • Cutting bricks to size
  • Mixing mortar
  • Laying horizontal rows of bricks (known as ‘courses’)
  • Checking that all rows are level, and fixed into place
  • Making access holes for other tradesman
  • Ensuring that walls are waterproof, and weatherproof

It takes a good level of physical strength and stamina to become a Bricklayer, not to mention excellent hand-eye coordination.

The majority of your time will be spent working outside, sometimes in difficult and dangerous conditions, so may not be ideal for anyone who isn’t a big fan of heights or standing on scaffolding (see also: adhering to health and safety regulations).

Finally, as the role involves a lot of repetition, patience will similarly be a virtue. Something which may be worth bearing in mind if you want to avoid hitting a brick wall – literally.

N.B. Terrible bricklaying puns may not be essential…

Other key skills for a Bricklayer include:

  • Excellent mathematical ability
  • Organisational skills
  • The ability to read and understand blueprints
  • Attention to detail
  • An in-depth knowledge of construction materials and processes
  • Proficiency using both hand and power tools

Apprentice Bricklayer

Up to £12,000

Bricklayer

Up to £24,000

Bricklaying Instructor

Up to £30,000

I started doing casual labour and construction work pretty much as soon as I left school. If I’m honest, mainly because I didn’t really know what else I wanted to do. After doing some basic brickwork on a few sites, I decided to enrol on a bricklaying apprenticeship – and, to this day, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. As a full-qualified Bricklayer, I mostly work on house construction these days, erecting walls and helping building the shell of the house. But it’s great. I get to do something I love and work outside, come wind, (light) rain or shine. Just not heavy rain. It ruins the bricks…

Get qualified

You will not generally need any formal qualifications in order to become a Bricklayer. However, on-site experience (such as through an apprenticeship) may help you get started, and specific bricklaying certifications could help you get your foot in the door.

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