What does a bricklayer do?

Bricklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks and building blocks in mortar to construct and repair a variety of internal and external structures, including walls, arches, partitions and other structures.

Tasks:

  • Construct ornamental brickwork and arches
  • Build from plans
  • Seal foundations with damp-resistant materials
  • Cut and shape bricks with various tools and machines
  • Repair and maintain bricks

What skills do I need to be a bricklayer?

To be a bricklayer, you should enjoy practical work and be fit enough to cope with the physical demands of the job. Having the ability to work in a team, as well as work independently is important. The job requires technical aptitude and the ability carefully interpret specifications and plans.

Skills/attributes
  • Ability to work at heights and outdoors
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Strength and physical fitness
  • Able to work in a team or independently
  • Enjoy practical work and have technical aptitude

Specialisations

Bricklayers can specialise in refractory work or later move into stone masonry, restoration or conservation. Bricklayers may also work in a number of different environments ranging from tunnels and shafts through to working at heights. Some move into professional building or in management in the building and construction industry.

Arch builder

This job specialises in the building of arches and involves working with ornamental and unconventionally shaped bricks. Arch builders are also responsible for the maintenance and repair of these structures.

Stonemason

Stonemasons work with hard and soft stone blocks and masonry to construct and renovate stone structures. Some focus on monumental masonry for cemeteries and older buildings. This role comes with a set of special skills that include cutting lettering into stonework, working with granite or marble, and affixing stone facades to buildings.

Refractory bricklayer

Refractory bricklayers specialise in installing heavy-duty firebrick, high temperature cement, and work to build industrial furnaces and kilns. As such, working as a refractory bricklayer may involve working in the mining or petrochemical industry.

Chimney builder

These bricklayers specialise in the building of chimneys. Similar to that of a refractory bricklayer they work with materials that can withstand a large amount of heat and have an understanding of the unique shapes and requirements in building and maintaining these structures.

Study pathways for bricklayers

Begin your career and training in bricklaying by completing an apprenticeship, and develop specialist skills through professional development courses and on-the-job training.

Getting Started

Complete an apprenticeship in bricklaying and blocklaying to kick-start your career.

Skill Building

Undertake skill and safety training to develop your skills in the construction industry.

Professional Development

As an employed bricklayer, develop additional skills by undertaking different specialist training courses for professional accreditation.

Industry Recognition

Get industry certification in bricklaying, stone masonry, or any of the career specialisations with the relevant safety and industry body in your state.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your building and construction career. Take a look at our sample resume and cover letter and put your best foot forward when you apply for bricklaying jobs.

Job Prospects and Salaries

The industry is expected to be stable, despite employment falling slightly in the past ten years. There is future growth for bricklaying and stonemasonry in all areas as work in construction, manufacturing, and mining grows.