If you like doing practical work and if you wish to make a career out of construction industry, you may consider becoming a bricklayer.
A Bricklayer is a craftsperson who lays bricks to construct brickwork. He is responsible for building and repairing walls, chimney stacks, tunnel linings and decorative stonework like archways. He may also be entrusted with the job of refurbishing brickwork and masonry on restoration projects.
As a bricklayer, you are expected to perform various tasks such as:
- Taking measurements and setting out the brick courses and the damp course
- Mixing mortar by hand or with a mechanical mixer
- Applying the mortar with a trowel
- Laying all the bricks in measured work area
- Shaping and trimming bricks using hammers, chisels and power tools
- Checking the courses using water or laser spirit levels and plumb lines
Working Hours and Conditions
Your working hours are usually around 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may also have to work overtime in the evenings and over weekends.
The work is laborious and involves a lot of physical strength. You spend most of your time outside and you must be prepared for all weather conditions. You may have to wear protective gear as a part of your job.
Since every time you work on a new site, you may have to travel a lot and your job may demand overnight stays away from home.
The average pay for bricklayers is as follows:
Up to £15,000 a year
£16,000 to £23,000 a year
Up to £30,000 a year
You may earn overtime and various allowances as well.
To become a bricklayer, you do not need any formal qualifications but many employers seek on-site experience. If you have no previous experience in construction, you may start off by working as a laborer on site. Once employed, your employer may offer you training in bricklaying.
You may also consider entering into this profession through an Apprenticeships scheme with a building company.
There are numerous college courses offered in bricklaying as well. Through these courses you easily learn the skills needed for the job.
- Level 1 Award/Certificate in Basic Construction Skills (Bricklaying)
- Level 1 Certificate in Construction Crafts (Bricklaying)
- Level 1 Certificate in Construction and Building (Brickwork Skills)
- Level 2 Diploma in Bricklaying
You may refer to bConstructive website for further information about careers and qualifications in the construction industry.
Once employed, you may consider working towards various industry qualifications which include:
- Level 2/3 (NVQ) Diploma In Trowel Occupations
- Level 3 Diploma in Bricklaying
You may refer to CITB website for information on work-based qualifications and training providers.
Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
Many employers seek CSS card before employing you to work on their sites. This card certifies your efficiency and ability to carry out the job safely and in an appropriate manner. To qualify for the card, you must:
- pass the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test
- prove your occupational competence (by holding appropriate qualifications)
To be a bricklayer, it is vital that you demonstrate the following:
- Physical fitness
- Excellent team working skills
- Good practical skills
- Organised approach towards work
- Ability to understand projects
- Health and safety awareness
As a bricklayer, you may find easy employment with building contractors and local authorities.
After gaining some experience, you may set up your own business in the future. You may also choose to work as a sub-contractor for a building company or contractor or get promoted to the roles of a site supervisor or clerk of works. With further training, you may also work as a bricklaying instructor at a training centre or college.
This job is highly laborious and demands a lot of physical strength. Only if you are motivated enough to work diligently and sincerely, you should consider getting into this profession.
Image source: http://www.photo-dictionary.com/