Bricklayer Careers

Bricklayers are in demand as new houses go up across the country. If you want to become a bricklayer you should have little trouble finding suitable work, providing you know what you are doing. This article will give you an insight into what you can expect from bricklaying and how your career can progress.

Become a Bricklayer

What does a bricklayer do?

To say that a bricklayer lays bricks is really an over simplified description of the job, even though this is what they do among other things. They will work on new builds as well as on restoration work, so there is a lot more diversity in the job than you might initially think. For example they do not just build houses.

They will also build walls and make repairs when old brickwork crumbles or gets knocked down for some reason. While they will lay plain bricks for new houses, they will also work with ornamental bricks and stonework in order to create new structures.

Bricklayer Training

While there is no rule that says you have to be properly trained to become a bricklayer, most brickies do go down this route. Even those who go on an apprenticeship or find a trainee position will train for bricklaying while they are in this position.

Bricklayer Training

So what should you expect when you start bricklayer training?

Which course is best to go on to start with?

Perhaps the best known course is the City and Guilds Bricklaying Certificate course. This is widely recognised as a good starter in the industry, and there are other accredited courses you can take to further your skills later on if you wish.

What is in the course?

This particular course consists of a number of units. Seven of these have to be done by everyone on the course. You must pass them all to be awarded your certificate. Another two units can be chosen at random by you from a selection you will be given. You will be tested on these as well, so it makes sense to pick the two you have the most skills and abilities in. It makes it easier to pass the course and get your certificate.

Do you have to study bricklayer training full time or part time?

You can actually choose either route, depending on the opportunities to train near you and your own personal requirements. If you are currently in another job and you want to retrain to become a bricklayer you will probably want to get a part time course that will fit in around your job. However many people opt to take an intensive course that gets all the learning out of the way in around six to eight weeks. This means you can get your first job as a bricklayer just a couple of months after you begin your training, if you choose to go down the faster route.

Do you need to get other training and qualifications once you have got the City and Guilds qualification?

Actually yes you do. You should be able to get a job once you have your initial qualification, but every fully qualified bricklayer will have an NVQ as well. So once you are working on your first job you should look into how this will happen for you.

You will be professionally assessed so you are able to attain an NVQ to add to your list of qualifications. This will make it even easier to get work in the future, because they set you out as being a properly qualified and experienced bricklayer. Even though you will probably be self employed as a bricklayer, the people who employ you to work for them will want to see you are fully qualified for the job.

So make sure you have all the qualifications and certificates you need to enjoy this career.

Bricklayer Jobs

Bricklayers have extremely physical and tough jobs to do. While bricklaying may look easy it takes many years of practice and skill to get to a stage where it looks this easy. If you are thinking of training to be a bricklayer so you can go for one of the many bricklayer jobs around, it is wise to find out more about these jobs. It will help you to understand what to expect when you finally get to the stage of working in this role.

Bricklayer Jobs

Will you work on small or large jobs?

Both – it all depends on the individual job and situation you are in. For example if you work on a construction site you will likely find yourself building the walls of a house and also perhaps later on the garden walls as well. At the other end of the scale many bricklayers also get involved in building small structures for private clients. For example you might build a simple brick surround for a barbecue in someone’s garden, or you might re-point their chimney for them. There are lots of options and jobs you must be prepared to do.

Can you work as a bricklayer for a private company?

Yes you can – many construction firms and contractors will look for bricklayers to help them complete a certain job. Another possibility is to be employed by a smaller company and to work with them on every job they get.

Are bricklayer jobs taken on in a self employed capacity?

For most of the time this will be the case, yes. Companies advertise for self employed bricklayers to work with them for a specific job or length of time. Of course once you become known to one or more companies you will probably find they keep coming back to you – presuming of course you are reliable and you do a good job.

Can bricklayer jobs be taken on privately as well?

Yes. You can search for your own private clients for smaller jobs such as the barbecue example indicated above. You might be able to help someone who wants a new garden wall built for example, or perhaps a new low wall to create raised flowerbeds. Another option might be to find work building the low wall required for many conservatories before they are built. You just never know what opportunities will come your way next.

So not all bricklayer jobs are on construction sites?

No. It all depends on the type of work you look for. If you would rather go it alone and set up your own business you can do this quite easily. But most bricklayers do start out on construction sites of various sizes, since this gives them practical experience around other bricklayers as well.