Career Development

What Does a Bricklayer Do?

Find out what a bricklayer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a bricklayer.

Bricklayers are responsible for the construction of many of the buildings we see every day. They lay the bricks, blocks, and other materials that form the walls and foundations of homes, businesses, churches, schools, etc.

Bricklayers must have a strong knowledge of building codes and standards as well as an understanding of how different types of materials interact with one another when subjected to pressure or stress. This is especially true when it comes to working with concrete, which requires careful attention to ensure its stability during the construction process.

Bricklayer Job Duties

Bricklayers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Reading blueprints and other drawings to determine layout and measurements, noting any special requirements or accommodations for materials or equipment
  • Planning, measuring, cutting, drilling, and laying bricks or blocks in accordance with project specifications
  • Installing scaffolding, hoists, ladders, cranes, or other equipment needed for specific projects
  • Mixing mortar, sand, or other ingredients as requested by the project specifications
  • Standing for long periods of time while working on scaffolds or high places
  • Installing brick veneer on walls and repairing cracks or other damage
  • Using bricklaying tools such as trowels, saws, hammers, levels, plumb bobs, stakes, and string lines to measure, layout, and cut bricks
  • Inspecting completed work to ensure that it meets specifications
  • Cutting and shaping masonry materials such as stone, concrete, and ceramics, using power saws and other equipment

Bricklayer Salary & Outlook

Bricklayers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $52,500 ($25.24/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $96,500 ($46.39/hour)

The employment of bricklayers is expected to decline over the next decade.

The need for bricklayers is expected to decrease because some types of bricklaying work, such as chimney repair and restoration, are less expensive when done by specialty contractors. In addition, many buildings are being renovated or rebuilt with materials other than brick, such as vinyl siding or steel and glass.

Related: Bricklayer Interview Questions and Answers

Bricklayer Job Requirements

A bricklayer typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Bricklayers typically need a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate. Some bricklayers choose to pursue a technical degree, such as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in masonry. An AAS takes about two years to complete and includes courses in mathematics, building design and construction, and masonry.

Training & Experience: Bricklayers typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other experienced bricklayers. This training helps them learn the specific techniques and methods used by the company. It also helps them learn the safety procedures and equipment use for the job.

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field.

Bricklayer Skills

Bricklayers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Bricklaying requires a variety of technical skills, including the ability to read and understand construction plans, the ability to use a variety of tools and equipment and the ability to use math to calculate measurements and other building details.

Communication skills: Bricklayers often work with other construction professionals, including carpenters, electricians and plumbers. They need to be able to communicate effectively with these individuals to ensure they understand the project’s goals and the best way to achieve them. Bricklayers also need to communicate with clients to understand their expectations and answer any questions they may have.

Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are essential for bricklayers, as they often encounter challenges during their work. For example, they may need to find a solution to a problem with the materials they’re using or find a way to complete a task in a small space. Bricklayers can use their problem-solving skills to find solutions to their challenges and complete their work successfully.

Physical stamina: Bricklaying is a physically demanding job that requires a great deal of stamina. You may be on your feet for long periods of time and lifting heavy materials. You may also be exposed to extreme weather conditions, so it’s important to be in good physical health.

Teamwork skills: Bricklaying is a team-oriented job that requires collaboration with other construction professionals. You may work with carpenters, electricians, plumbers and other bricklayers to complete a project. Your ability to work well with others can help you develop positive relationships with your coworkers and lead to more opportunities for career advancement.

Bricklayer Work Environment

Bricklayers typically work outdoors on construction sites, where they are exposed to a variety of weather conditions. They may work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to meet deadlines. They also may work overtime during peak construction periods. Because bricklayers work with heavy materials and tools and often must stand, stoop, and kneel for long periods of time, the job can be physically demanding. In addition, bricklayers must be able to lift heavy bricks and mortar and must have good hand-eye coordination to lay bricks correctly.

Bricklayer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how bricklayers work. Bricklayers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of BIM in the Construction Industry

The use of BIM (Building Information Modeling) in the construction industry is becoming increasingly popular, as it allows for a more efficient and accurate way to plan and execute projects. This trend is likely to continue as BIM becomes more widely accepted by the construction industry.

Bricklayers who are able to utilize BIM will be better equipped to work on projects that use this technology. They will also be able to take advantage of the many benefits that BIM has to offer, such as improved communication between team members and a better understanding of the project’s scope.

A Focus on Sustainability

As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, bricklayers are beginning to focus on sustainability. This means that they are looking for ways to build structures that are not only beautiful and functional, but also eco-friendly.

By learning about sustainable building materials and practices, bricklayers can become valuable assets to any construction team. In addition, they can also educate their clients about the importance of sustainability and help them make informed decisions about what materials to use in their projects.

More Collaboration Between Bricklayers and Other Professionals

In recent years, bricklayers have begun to collaborate with other professionals in order to create better buildings.

This trend is likely to continue as bricklayers realize the value of working together with other professionals to create better buildings. By collaborating with others, bricklayers can learn new skills and improve their craft. In addition, they can also help to create buildings that are both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound.

How to Become a Bricklayer

A career as a bricklayer can be both rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to start off on the right foot by getting certified, which will help you stand out from the competition. You should also stay up-to-date on the latest trends in bricklaying so that you can offer your clients the best possible service.

To further your career as a bricklayer, you may want to consider becoming a supervisor or manager. This will give you more responsibility and allow you to oversee a team of bricklayers. Additionally, you can take on additional training to become a master bricklayer, which will increase your earning potential.

Advancement Prospects

After completing an apprenticeship or on-the-job training, bricklayers are able to find entry-level work. With experience, they may advance to positions such as supervisor, project manager, or estimator. Some bricklayers start their own businesses.

Many bricklayers learn their trade through an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs typically last 3 to 4 years and combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. During their apprenticeship, bricklayers learn safety procedures, blueprint reading, and masonry techniques.

Bricklayer Job Description Example

We are looking for an experienced and qualified bricklayer to join our team. The ideal candidate will have experience working on commercial and residential projects, and will be able to work independently with little supervision. He or she will be responsible for laying bricks, block work, and stone work, as well as mixing mortar and performing other related tasks. The candidate must be able to read and follow blueprints, and have a strong attention to detail.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Read and interpret blueprints, drawings, and sketches to determine specifications and calculate quantities of materials required
  • Mix ingredients to create mortar, using hoes, trowels, scrapers, or power-mixing equipment
  • Spread mortar on bricklaying areas using brushes, trowels, or spray guns
  • Lay bricks in mortar beds, according to blueprint specifications, using trowels and other hand tools
  • Build arches, columns, walls, or other structures, using masonry techniques
  • Install metal ties, dowels, or anchor bolts to reinforce joints between units
  • Clean work area, using rags, brooms, or power-washing equipment
  • Cut bricks or blocks, using power saws, miter boxes, or hand tools
  • Shape or trim excess mortar from joints, using trowels, chisels, or groovers
  • Smooth or brush surfaces of wall sections to prepare them for painting or finishing
  • erect scaffolding or set up ladders to gain access to high walls
  • direct crane operators to move loads of bricks, blocks, or stone

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven experience as a bricklayer
  • Solid understanding of construction principles and materials
  • Ability to follow blueprints and instructions from supervisors
  • Good physical strength, stamina, and coordination
  • Excellent attention to detail and safety consciousness

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Vocational training or certification in masonry
  • Experience with various types of bricks and mortar
  • Creativity and artistic ability
  • A strong work ethic and willingness to learn new techniques


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