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Bricklayer Mason, brickie

Bricklayers build and repair walls, chimney stacks, tunnel linings and decorative stonework. They may also refurbish brickwork and masonry on restoration projects.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 38 to 42 per week

1. Entry requirements

Some employers may expect you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in maths and English.

You'll also need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card.

Labouring or experience on a building site would be helpful.

You could complete a college course, but this isn't essential.

You could get a bursary, if you want to work in heritage conservation.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Go Construct has more information on becoming a bricklayer.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to read plans
  • the ability to work in a well-organised and accurate way
  • a good level of fitness
  • teamworking skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • measuring the work area and setting out the first rows of bricks (courses) and the damp course
  • mixing mortar by hand or with a mechanical mixer
  • laying the bricks on top of each other and applying the mortar with a trowel
  • shaping and trimming bricks using hammers, chisels and power tools
  • checking that courses are straight using spirit levels and plumb lines

You'll work on a particular section of a building alongside other bricklayers on larger jobs.

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000

Experienced: £17,000 to £25,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000

Your salary could increase with overtime and allowances.

If you're self-employed, you'll set your own pay rates.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday.

You may need to do overtime at weekends and in the evenings. 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 safety helmets 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 decorative brickwork, stonemasonry, or set up your own business.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017