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Bricklayer Mason, brickie

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Bricklayers build houses, repair walls and chimneys, and refurbish decorative stonework. They also work on restoration projects.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 to 45 per week

1. Entry requirements

Many people start this job by doing a bricklaying apprenticeship. You may need some GCSEs including maths and English, or equivalent qualifications, depending on the employer. An apprenticeship can take between 24 and 30 months.

You could take a college course in basic construction skills or bricklaying, then try to find a trainee job with a building company.

Labouring or other building site experience can be helpful.

You'll also need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a building site.

Go Construct has more information on becoming a bricklayer.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to read building plans
  • maths skills for measuring and mixing materials correctly
  • attention to detail
  • a good level of fitness
  • teamworking skills
  • a responsible attitude to safety

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • measuring work areas and setting out the first rows of bricks or blocks
  • mixing mortar by hand or with a mechanical mixer
  • applying mortar with a trowel and laying bricks on top of each other
  • shaping and trimming bricks using hammers, chisels and power tools
  • checking that rows are straight using a spirit level and plumb line

You'll usually work with other bricklayers and site labourers in a small team.

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £19,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £30,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000

Some contract jobs pay a daily rate.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work up to 45 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Some jobs may involve working away from home.

You'll spend a lot of your time outside, working in all weather conditions.

The work can be physically demanding and you'll often be working at height on scaffolding.

You'll wear protective equipment like a safety helmet and boots.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a construction site supervisor, or move into related areas like estimating or apprentice training.

You could also specialise in heritage work, stonemasonry, or set up your own business.

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Last updated: 10 September 2018