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Bricklayer Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Bricklayer. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Bricklayer
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Bricklayer Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Bricklayers build and maintain a range of structures including internal and external walls on new houses and commercial projects, chimney stacks, tunnel linings and decorative work such as archways and garden walls. They also deal with the repair and refurbishment of existing brickwork or masonry.

They use a variety of hand and power tools and various materials such as bricks, blocks, lintels, stone and mortar, depending on the job.

A typical new-build housing job will include the following tasks:

  • measuring the area and setting out first courses and damp course, following architects'or designers'plans
  • working from the corners, building up the courses using bricks and mortar (for efficiency, bricklaying teams or ''gangs'' often employ a labourer to keep them constantly supplied with bricks and mortar)
  • using a variety of hammers and other tools to shape and trim bricks, trowels to apply mortar, and spirit-levels and plumb-lines to check courses are correctly aligned.
  • As the building goes up, bricklayers or scaffolders will raise platforms to reach the higher storeys; joiners usually follow closely behind fitting frames for doors and windows as designated by the design blueprints.
  • Depending on the size of the project, gangs of bricklayers may work on different sections at the same time. Some bricklayers may also specialise in stonemasonry work. See: Stonemason.

Hours and Environment

The usual working week is 39 hours, Monday to Friday, although overtime at weekends and evenings is common to meet deadlines.

Bricklayers work outside in most weather conditions, and spend much of the time standing, kneeling and carrying heavy loads. The environment can be noisy, dirty and wet, and involves climbing ladders and working off scaffolding when working at higher levels.

Basic safety equipment such as safety helmets and protective footwear are worn and, depending on the job, sometimes gloves, goggles or ear defenders. There may be travel from site to site, and it is often necessary to work away from home for short or long periods. A driving licence would be useful.

Skills and Interests

To be a bricklayer you should:

  • be able to understand technical drawings and plans
  • have a careful, methodical and accurate approach to work
  • have good practical ability and manual dexterity
  • have an awareness of safety issues, especially for working at heights
  • have the ability to work as part of a team within the gang and with other tradespeople
  • be physically fit.


There are no set entry requirements, but some employers may look for some GCSEs/S grades in subjects such as maths, English, and design and technology, or equivalent vocational qualifications such as a Foundation/Intermediate GNVQ/GSVQs in Construction and the Built Environment.

There are a number of entry-level awards offered by colleges that can be used as a stepping stone into the trade, including: City & Guilds Certificate in Basic Bricklaying Skills (6081), Edexcel (BTEC) First Diploma in Construction (contains bricklaying options), OCN Bricklaying Certificate, and NCFE Bricklaying Basic Certificate.

In addition, for those outside the industry, there may be the option to undertake a Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Intermediate/Advanced Construction Award (Trowel Occupations - Bricklaying) at a further education college. Check with CITB-Construction Skills and local colleges for details.

A background in more general construction as a labourer or trades person, may be helpful in gaining an initial position with a company, although this is not essential.

To gain entry to an apprenticeship or training scheme you may have to pass a selection test.


Training is normally provided on the job with day or block release at local colleges or training providers leading to NVQ/SVQ qualifications. You work towards NVQs/SVQs in Trowel Occupations levels 1 to 3.

You complete mandatory units including: erecting and dismantling working platforms, setting out and erecting masonry structures and carrying out safe loading and unloading of materials. Depending on your area of work, you take additional optional units from:

Stone Fixing
Craft Masonry.

A three-year Construction Apprenticeship Scheme (CAS) is open to people between the ages of 16-25 in England and Wales, or a four-year apprenticeship in Scotland registered with the Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council. Contact CITB-Construction Skills for details.

New Deal schemes may be available for people who have been unemployed for six months or more. These provide an allowance and training and can lead to a job and further training through the CITB-Construction Skills. Contact your local Jobcentre Plus for details.

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24. For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.

For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).


Bricklayers may work for a building contractor or local authority, but many are self-employed and work on a sub-contract basis for contractors as ''labour only'' with materials supplied by the building contractor. There may be opportunities to work abroad on contracts.

It may be possible for bricklayers to progress to technician level, supervisory or estimating roles and then into construction management.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only. The Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC) agrees minimum wage rates annually.

For trainees, depending on the stage of training they are at, salaries range between £7,100 to £13,000.
With qualifications, bricklayers can earn from £16,600 upwards.
Experienced bricklayers can earn around £25,000 a year.

Overtime and various allowances can significantly increase income. Those self-employed negotiate their own rates.

Further information:

Bircham Newton
Kings Lynn
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577

Other Useful Bricklayer Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Bricklayer job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Bricklayer Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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