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Bricklaying 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 Bricklaying. This page details the following Information:-

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

Finding Suitable Work

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The following description is an overview of what the above job position entails, what kind of salary you can expect, what hours are involved in carrying out the work, where you can find additional information about the job in both web and trade publication formats and the required skills that may help you in looking for employment in this particular field.

Working Duties Expected

Build the interior and exterior walls of buildings, and other types of walls such as the linings of tunnels. They also repair existing walls and refurbish old buildings.

The job involves:

• cutting bricks using hammers, chisels or portable power tools
• laying bricks in courses
• spreading mortar with trowels
• checking that the wall is straight and level.

The usual working week is 37.5 hours, Monday to Friday, but overtime at weekends or in the evening is common. Bricklayers usually work on building sites, outside in all weathers, and often at high levels.

Bricklayers need:

• practical ability, especially hand skills
• a head for heights
• to be careful, methodical and accurate
• to work well in a team
• an aptitude for maths
• to be fit and healthy.

Bricklayers may work for private householders, building or mechanical engineering services contractors, local authorities or specialist contractors.

Young people can start work straight from school and learn on the job, or train through a Modern Apprenticeship or Construction Apprenticeship. Employers usually expect three to five GCSEs/S grades (A-E/1-5).

It is possible to train at any age, but employers may be unwilling to train older people.
Most people train on the job as a craftsman/woman, attending college or a training centre to gain qualifications such as NVQs/SVQs or City & Guilds certificates.
Experienced bricklayers may specialise, or progress to technician level and then to construction management. They may become self-employed.

What does the role encounter?

Bricklayers build the interior and exterior walls of buildings, as well as other types of walls such as the linings of tunnels. They also repair existing walls and refurbish old buildings.

Bricklayers use different grades of standard and special bricks. They also use materials such as mortar, firebricks, blocks and patterned blocks for work such as ornamental walls or archways.

Building a wall is a skilled job. On larger sites, designers and engineers set out the positioning of the walls. The bricklayer's job is then to:

• cut bricks using hammers, chisels or portable power tools
• lay bricks in courses
• spread mortar with trowels
• check that the wall is straight and level using lines and spirit levels.

On smaller jobs they may have to carry their own bricks, mix the mortar and erect scaffolding.

They might lay several hundred bricks a day in a team of bricklayers working on different sections of a building at the same time.

What type of hours will I have to work?

The usual working week is 37.5 hours, Monday to Friday, but times can vary to make the most of daylight hours or to avoid disrupting business. Overtime at weekends or in the evening is common.

Self-employed bricklayers often work additional hours, especially when first becoming established.

Bricklayers usually work on building sites. Much of the work is outside, in all weathers, as well as in noisy, dusty, dirty or wet areas. A lot of building work takes place at high levels so they need to climb ladders and work from scaffolding.

The work involves a lot of standing, kneeling and movement, often using heavy tools or carrying loads of bricks and mortar. On some jobs they wear safety helmets and protective footwear, gloves, goggles or ear defenders.

As construction projects start and finish, bricklayers travel from site to site, working on one job and then moving on to the next. This may involve working away from home.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

There is a national minimum rate of £7.62 per hour for all craftspeople working on construction sites, although the hourly rate for certain crafts is much higher.

• Trainees usually earn about £12,500.
• With a first NVQ, pay would rise to £14,500.
• A qualified bricklaying expert could expect to earn around £20,000 a year.

Some employers pay much more, and there may also be bonuses and overtime pay. National rates are set for travelling time, travel expenses and the cost of accommodation, but these can also vary.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• to be fit and healthy
• practical ability, especially hand skills
• a head for heights
• careful, methodical and accurate planning skills
• an ability to carry out various tasks quickly and in the right order
• awareness of safety - their own and other people's
• to work well in a team
• an aptitude for maths - essential for understanding drawings and plans
• the ability to carry out written or spoken instructions.

What type of training will I receive?

Most people train on the job as a craftsman/woman, attending college or a training centre to gain qualifications such as:

• NVQs/SVQs in Bricklaying at Levels 2 and 3
• City & Guilds certificates in Basic Bricklaying Skills (6081)
• Intermediate GNVQ/GSVQ Level II in Construction and the Built Environment.

Apprenticeships normally take three years, although in Scotland construction apprenticeships last four years. In England and Wales, Modern Apprenticeships lead to NVQ Level 3.

Career Progression:

There are opportunities to specialise in areas such as restoration and conservation.

Some bricklaying workers progress to technician level and then to construction management. Many site managers at large building sites are qualified and experienced bricklayers.

Self-employment is possible, with experienced bricklayers setting up and running their own specialist firm, employing other craftspeople.

Are there similar types of job or related industries?

Yes, this list is not exhaustive but see the following categories:

Building Technician
Cavity Wall Insulator
Chimney Sweep
Construction Operative
Painter and Decorator
Window Installer.

Where can I find further information?

CITB-ConstructionSkills, 4 Edison Street, Hillington, Glasgow G52 4XN. 0141 810 3044. Website:

Construction Apprenticeship Scheme Helpline: 01485 577877.

Construction Confederation, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4JX. 020 7608 5000. Website:

Federation of Master Builders, FMB Head Office, Gordon Fisher House, 14-15 Great James Street, London WC1N 3DP. 020 7242 7583. Website:

SummitSkills, Gear House, Saltmeadows Road, Gateshead NE8 3AH. 0191 490 3306. Website:

Women and Manual Trades, 52-54 Featherstone Street, London EC1Y 8RT. 020 7251 9192. Website:

Other Useful Bricklaying Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Bricklaying 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 Bricklaying 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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