Hands-on Skills Hands-on Skills

Bricklayer

Bricklayers build and repair walls, chimney stacks, tunnel linings and decorative stonework. They might also refurbish brickwork and masonry on restoration projects. If you enjoy doing practical things and you are interested in construction, this could be the perfect job for you.

To become a bricklayer, you will need to be able to read plans. You’ll also need to be able to work in a well organised way.

You may not need formal qualifications to become a bricklayer, but employers usually want people who have some on-site experience. Some building companies may want you to have GCSEs in subjects like maths and English.​

What The Job Involves

What are the key responsibilities for this position?

Key Responsibilities

Measuring the work area and setting out the first rows of bricks (courses) and the damp course
Mixing mortar by hand or with a mechanical mixer
Laying the bricks on top of each other and applying the mortar with a trowel
Shaping and trimming bricks using hammers, chisels and power tools
Checking that courses are straight using water or laser spirit levels and plumb lines

You do not need formal qualifications to become a bricklayer, but employers usually want people who have some on-site experience. If you have not worked in construction before, you could find a job as a labourer to get site experience. Once you are working, your employer may be willing to offer you training in bricklaying. You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship scheme with a building company. You will need to check which schemes are available in your area and what the requirements are. To find out more, visit the Apprenticeships website. Another option is to take a college course in bricklaying. This would teach you some of the skills needed for the job, but employers may still want you to have some site experience. 

Entry Requirements

Labouring site experience
CSCS card
Level 1 Basic Construction Skills/ Construction Crafts (Bricklaying)
Level 1 Construction and Building (Brickwork Skills)
Level 2 Diploma in Bricklaying
Level 2/3 NVQ in Trowel Occupations (work based)

What key skills and personal attributes help with this role?

Skills & Attributes

Good practical skills
Ability to read plans
Organisation
Awareness of Health and Safety
Ability to work as a team and with other contractors.
A good level of fitness

How much can you expect to earn and what are the career progression options?

Salary & Progression

Starting salary: £15,000 a year.
Qualified bricklayers: £16,000- £23,000 a year
Experienced bricklayers/instructors: £30,000 a year
Self-employed bricklayers can set their own pay rates
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What made you enrol on the course with Construction Youth Trust?

At school I had focused on Business Management but I didn’t feel that it would lead to a clear career – I didn’t want to qualify and come out of university without a job or clear path

What attracted you to the course?

I thought I might like to try plumbing or engineering but the course gave a really good broad overview of the potential career opportunities in construction.

Read her story.

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