Bricklayers build and repair chimney stacks, walls, tunnel linings, and decorative work like archways.  They are responsible for using blocks, including bricks, and mortar to set out buildings and in line with approved construction plans.  People in bricklayer jobs may also refurbish masonry and brickwork on projects of restoration.  The range of sites and projects which bricklayers will work on include large commercial developments, new builds in housing, alterations, and extensions.  The responsibility of a bricklayer is to construct the first shell of a building. This is true whether the development is a house, school, a bridge, or some other type of construction. 

Buildings certainly would not get built without the skills of a bricklayer.  People skilled in the construction role will create walls that are waterproof and weatherproof as well as secure.  Candidates for this type of job will be in great demand as government spending is focused on construction of new houses and schools in the coming years.  This makes bricklayer jobs a career choice that is quite secure.

Training and qualifications for bricklayer jobs.

Formal qualifications are not a requirement for bricklaying jobs; however, higher wages are often given to those who are more technically skilled.  Candidates can take a variety of basic courses that are likely to increase the starting salary.  One of the easiest ways to enter this sector is by way of an apprenticeship with a building firm.  Candidates will be paid to learn, but the ease of access to an apprenticeship is really dependent upon the local area.  In order to begin an apprenticeship, candidates are usually required to have GCSEs in English and technical subjects like design and technology as well as maths.  Candidates may also be required by some firms to have a basic building qualification prior to beginning an apprenticeship. 

The Edexcel Introductory Certificate or Diploma in Construction is the most widely accepted qualifications.  A bricklayer career may also be prepared by way of certain college courses like the City & Guilds Basic Skills in Construction Awarded in Bricklaying, the Edexcel First Diploma in Construction, or the Intermediate / Advanced Construction Award (Trowel Occupations - Bricklaying).

A Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is also now being sought after by many employers.  This is a certification that gives an employer more confidence that the candidate will be safe to work on-site.  Formal qualifications are needed in order to get this certification, like that of a Trowel Occupations NVQ as well as passing a health and safety test.  To begin a bricklaying career these qualifications should be all that is needed, but once working in the role further qualifications can be obtained to increase employability.  There are further skills to be learned at advanced levels like laying out work areas, laying different types of bricks, mixing different types of mortars, and building advanced masonry structures.

Working environment.

Depending upon the season, bricklayers will normally work thirty-nine hours each week. There are often evening, all-night, and weekend overtime shifts required in order to finish a project at or before its deadline. The role will entail working outside in all types of weather as well as a bit of moving around, from site to site.  Sites are likely to be relatively local, but sometimes the role will take candidates away from home. Accommodation and food are usually provided for under these circumstances, as is a higher level of pay.

Training in health and safety are precautions taken for all building sites due to the potential for accidents. Some safety equipment that is required to be worn includes work boots and a safety helmet. Some bricklayer jobs require wearing gloves, goggles, ear defenders, or even a safety harness. 

When it comes to larger commercial buildings there are instances in which workers will be high up and in noisy or dusty conditions. Candidates for this role must have a head for heights and be constantly vigilant when it comes to health and safety awareness.The time up a ladder or on scaffolding may be significant, but there are great benefits in doing such practical work in the fresh air.  There are many opportunities for travel for highly trained British construction workers. 

There are even short-term overseas contracts with great financial rewards. Unskilled or inexperienced bricklayers can earn up to £15,000 annually. The salary can range from £16,000 to £23,000 with more formal qualifications, while highly qualified and experienced bricklayers can earn £30,000 per year. Bricklayers with a great deal of experience and qualification can then start their own construction business or become self-employed in that role. They could also gain specialist training in fields like stonemasonry, restoration, or conservation. There is also a demand for experienced bricklayers to help the next generation of workers in the sector by transitioning into education.