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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.
Pathways

Being a bricklayer: daily duties

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
Skills

Being a bricklayer: skills for success

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
Specs

Specialised roles within building and construction

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 builder
    Arch builders specialise in building arches and work with ornamental and unconventionally shaped bricks. They are also responsible for maintaining and repairing these structures.
  • Stonemason
    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.
  • Chimney builder
    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.
Pathways

Educational pathways for bricklayers

To get started as a bricklayer, you will need to complete an apprenticeship.
  • Start your career
    Kick start your career by completing an apprenticeship in bricklaying and blocklaying.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Further develop your skills by undertaking skill and safety training.
  • Build your resume
    Undertake specialist training courses for professional accreditation to develop additional skills.
  • Industry requirements
    Check with the relevant safety and industry body in your state to see what industry certification that may be required.
  • 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 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 Bricklayer

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