How to Become a Bricklayer

Bricklayers are essential craftsmen in the construction industry, specialising in building and repairing walls, partitions, chimneys, and other structures using bricks, concrete blocks, and mortar. Their work not only contributes to the structural integrity of buildings but also to their aesthetic appeal. This role requires precision, skill, and a good understanding of construction methods and materials.


What Do Bricklayers Do?

Brick and Block Laying: Construct walls, partitions, and other structures using various types of bricks and blocks, adhering to specific patterns and designs.

Mortar Preparation and Application: Mix and apply mortar, ensuring the right consistency for durable construction.

Structural Assessment: Read and interpret blueprints and drawings to understand the specifics of construction projects.

Repair and Maintenance: Repair existing brick structures, matching existing patterns and materials for seamless restoration.

Custom Masonry Work: Create custom designs and features, such as archways or decorative walls, to enhance the architectural appeal of buildings.

Could I Be a Bricklayer?

This role is well-suited for individuals who enjoy practical, hands-on work and have an eye for detail. It is ideal for those who take pride in creating and building, have good hand-eye coordination, and can perform precise tasks. Physical fitness is also important, as the job involves heavy lifting and working in various weather conditions.

What Skills Do I Need?

  • Physical Fitness

    The stamina to perform physically demanding tasks for extended periods.

  • Technical Skills

    Proficiency in bricklaying techniques, understanding of construction plans, and the ability to use various tools and equipment.

  • Attention to Detail

    Precision in laying bricks and blocks to ensure structural integrity and aesthetic quality.

  • Safety Awareness

    Knowledge of and compliance with safety standards and regulations to ensure a safe working environment.

Bricklayer money

How Much Do Bricklayers Make?

Earnings for bricklayers can vary based on experience, location, and the type of projects they work on. Entry-level bricklayers might start with a salary ranging from £15,000 to £20,000 annually. With experience and proficiency, skilled bricklayers can earn between £30,000 and £40,000 per year, and those working in specialist or supervisory roles can earn even more.

  • CSCS Card

    To work on construction sites in the UK, bricklayers need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. For bricklayers, the Blue CSCS card, also known as the Skilled Worker card, is relevant. Obtaining this card requires passing the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test and possessing an NVQ or SVQ Level 2 in Trowel Occupations – Bricklaying.

  • Vocational Training

    Pursue courses or training programs in bricklaying or masonry to learn the basics and develop your skills.

  • Apprenticeships

    Consider an apprenticeship in bricklaying. This combines on-the-job training with classroom learning, offering a path to gain recognised qualifications while earning.

  • Gain Experience

    Practical experience is crucial. Start with simpler tasks and gradually take on more complex projects as your skills improve.

  • Specialise

    Over time, you may choose to specialise in areas like restoration bricklaying, architectural masonry, or refractory bricklaying, which could open up additional opportunities.

Career Progression

Starting as a bricklayer, you have numerous opportunities for career advancement. Initially, focus on honing your skills and gaining experience. As you become more proficient, you might take on supervisory roles, such as a site foreman or team leader, overseeing projects and other workers.

Further education and training can lead to roles such as construction manager, estimator, or building inspector, where you'll apply your knowledge on a broader scale. For those interested in specialised work, focusing on heritage or conservation projects can be rewarding and may require additional qualifications.

Entrepreneurial individuals might start their own contracting business, while those with a passion for education could become trainers or lecturers, sharing their expertise with the next generation of bricklayers. Continuous learning and adapting to new techniques and materials are key to a successful career in bricklaying.