What Are the Specific Qualifications Needed to Be a Bricklayer?

Bricklaying involves more than just setting bricks in mortar at the construction site. Bricklayers must have excellent math skills and good hand-eye coordination, and most professionals in this field complete 3-year or 4-year apprenticeships to gain the necessary technical skills. Schools offering Carpentry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Bricklayers, also known as brickmasons, build and repair surfaces and structures using bricks, stones, and concrete. They build walls, roads, fences, buildings, fireplaces, chimneys, and sidewalks. Bricklayers must be detail-oriented when taking measurements, doing calculations, and reading blueprints. The work is usually done outside at construction sites, in residential neighborhoods, or in commercial areas.

Important Facts About Brickmasons, Blockmasons, and Stonemasons

Key Skills Color vision, hand-eye coordination, visualization, math skills, physical stamina and strength
Entry-level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Similar Occupations Carpenters, construction laborers, insulation workers
Work Environment Indoors and/or outdoors as specialty contractors or masonry workers at residential and/or nonresidential facilities

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education

Bricklayers learn the required career skills through on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs, or vocational educational programs. Apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training and classroom instruction that takes 3-4 years to complete. Bricklayers may start out as helpers or laborers and do simple jobs, like carrying materials, mixing mortar, and assembling scaffolding. Once bricklayers have gained more job experience, they lay brick, spread mortar, set stone, and restore structures.

Skills and Abilities

Bricklayers must know how to read blueprints and safety warnings, and how to follow written directions. Bricklayers should also have excellent math skills in algebra and geometry so they can know how to read, solve, and interpret measurements. They should also know how to produce technical and mechanical drawings with drafting experience. Bricklayers must be strong so they can lift and set heavy stones and bricks in place.

Job Outlook and Salary Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) reports that job opportunities for brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons are expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 19% between 2014 and 2024. Bricklayers with restoration skills will find the most employment opportunities. The BLS published that the middle half of bricklayers and blockmasons earned a median wage between $36,340 and $63,030 per year in 2014. The majority of bricklayers work for construction industries where there may be slow and busy seasons due to seasonal changes.

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