How to become a bricklayer in Australia: careers in building and construction

How to become a bricklayer in Australia: careers in building and construction
Bricklayers are involved in constructing and repairing walls, foundations, arches, partitions and other structures. They construct a range of structures such as residential homes through to commercial buildings. Bricklayers cut bricks and stone, use cement and work from specifications and plans to build these structures. They usually start their careers with an apprenticeship and learn their skills on-the-job while also completing their studies.
Bricklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks and pre-cut stone in order to build and repair buildings, paved areas and walls. To do this they consult building plans, take measurements and use mortar to bind bricks together. They may also do ornamental brickwork, creating coloured or shaped patterns in buildings, walls, floors or archways.
Tasks:
  • Construct ornamental brickwork and arches
  • Build from plans
  • Use damp-resistant materials to seal foundations
  • Cut and shape bricks
  • Repair and maintain bricks
To be a bricklayer you will need to have a good level of fitness as it is a physically demanding job. You may also be required to work at heights and outdoors. Bricklaying requires technical aptitude and the ability to carefully interpret specifications and plans. The ability to work in a team, as well as independently is important.
Skills/attributes
  • Able to work at heights and outdoors
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Physical strength and fitness
  • Teamwork skills
  • Technical aptitude

There are different ways that bricklayers can specialise and advance their careers within the building and construction industry. They may choose to specialise in refractory work or move into stone masonry conservation and restoration. Or they might move towards professional building or management roles within their industry.

Arch builders specialise in building arches and work with ornamental and unconventionally shaped bricks. They are also responsible for maintaining and repairing these structures.
Working with hard and soft stone blocks and masonry, stonemasons construct and renovate stone structures. They may focus on monumental masonry for cemeteries or older buildings. Special skills are required for this job, including cutting letters into stonework, working with marble and granite, and affixing stone facades to buildings.
Specialist bricklayers who are experts at building chimneys. They work with materials that are able to withstand large amounts of heat. Chimney builders have an understanding of the unique shapes and requirements to build and maintain these structures.
To get started as a bricklayer, you will need to complete an apprenticeship.
Getting Started

Start your career

Kick start your career by completing an apprenticeship in bricklaying and blocklaying.
Strengthen your skills

Strengthen your skills

Further develop your skills by undertaking skill and safety training.
Build your resume

Build your resume

Undertake specialist training courses for professional accreditation to develop additional skills.
Industry requirements

Industry requirements

Check with the relevant safety and industry body in your state to see what industry certification that may be required.
Finding Work

Finding work

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your building and construction career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
Employment Prospects

Employment prospects

Employment has fallen slightly in the last 10 years, but the industry is expected to remain stable. There is some future growth predicted for bricklaying and stonemasonry in all areas.

Resources for bricklayers