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Job Photographs

  • A man, wearing a hard hat, is using a hammer and chisel on a brick.

    Cutting a brick to size.

  • A man, wearing a hard hat, is using a hammer on a brick.

    Using a brick hammer to trim and shape a brick.

  • A man, wearing a hard hat, is standing on a building site.  He is mixing mortar on a mortar board.

    Teamwork is important in all construction craft careers.

  • A man, wearing a hard hat, is standing on a building site.  He is standing next to a brick wall, using a spirit level.

    You'll need to be a careful worker in this type of career.

  • A man in a high-visibility jacket and white hard hat is signing a sheet of paper.

    Signing in on site before starting work.

  • A man in a high-visibility jacket and white hard hat is placing a large breezeblock on to some other breezeblocks.

    Different types of bricks are used for particular jobs.

  • Bricklayer

Bricklayer

Introduction

Bricklayers build the interior and exterior walls of buildings. This may involve constructing new buildings or repairing and maintaining existing ones. They use a variety of tools and materials.

Also known as

  • Builder - Bricklayer

Work Activities

Bricklaying involves building all types of walling, from plain walls to more detailed work. Bricklayers work incredibly quickly and skillfully.

As a Bricklayer, you will need to be able to read plans and drawings to find out how the structure is to be built and take account of where corners need to be or where gaps must be left for doors and windows. You need to be able to follow these plans very closely.

A variety of tools are used including trowels for spreading the mortar, club hammers and bolsters to cut bricks, and brick hammers to trim the bricks.

Your work as a Bricklayer will mainly be outdoors and conditions can be dirty and dusty as well as cold, damp and muddy. You may also need a good head for heights, as you could be working on a tall building! In this situation, you will work on scaffolding.

Health and safety is an important part of the job, so you will need to wear protective footwear, a safety helmet and, sometimes, safety glasses.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Bricklayer, you'll need:

  • to be good with your hands
  • good teamworking skills as well as the ability to work well on your own
  • to be physically fit, as the work involves bending, stretching and lifting
  • to understand the importance of health and safety in the construction industry
  • the ability to follow written plans and instructions
  • some number skills

Many companies will provide transport, but having a driving licence can be useful in this type of work.

This job might not be suitable for people who have skin conditions, such as eczema, or breathing complaints, such as asthma.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £21,000 - £23,000
  • With experience: £24,000 - £25,500
  • Senior Bricklayers earn £27,000 - £28,000

Hours of work

Bricklayers work a 39-hour week. Overtime, including Saturday working, may be available.

Where could I work?

Employers are building, construction and civil engineering companies of all sizes. These range from local building firms employing one or two Operatives, to nationally known firms employing hundreds of Operatives.

Opportunities for Bricklayers occur on building sites in towns, cities and rural areas throughout the UK.

Self-employment

Opportunities occur for Bricklayers to work independently as self-employed sub-contractors.

Take a look at our information article on contract working for more details

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, on recruitment and employers' websites, and on Find a Job (www.gov.uk/jobsearch).

Social media websites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, are a great way to network, find vacancies and get in contact with possible employers. Make sure that your profile presents you in a professional manner that will appeal to potential employers.

Take a look at our General Information Article 'Finding Work Online'

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship will help you to get into this job.

There are various relevant qualifications available, such as City & Guilds and BTECs. These courses may be in a more general subject area, such as construction.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

You need a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card to work on site. These cards show that you are qualified to do the work you've been employed for.

CSCS cards will cost £36 and you will have to pass the appropriate Construction Industry Training Board health, safety and environmental test. This costs £21. You will then complete an application form and pay the total price of £57.

The CSCS application form has four sections that you will have to complete:

  • section A: This section is where you complete your personal details and attach a passport photo or your Health, Safety & Environment Test photo
  • section B: This is where you fill in your occupation details and state which card you need. The different cards are skilled, craft and operative cards.
  • section C: This a declaration section where your current employer, previous employer or a CSCS card holder will declare that you meet the requirements of the card
  • section D: This is the details of your card requirements and what evidence you need to get a CSCS card

Training

Apprenticeships will usually involve work- and college-based training. You will also receive training in subjects like health and safety.

If you would like some training, BTEC offer a extended certificate, foundation diploma, diploma and extended diploma in construction and the built environment. This course has a range of mandatory and optional units, which include:

  • construction principles
  • construction design
  • construction technology
  • health and safety in construction
  • management of a construction project
  • projects in construction
  • quantity surveying
  • construction in civil engineering

Other courses could be available in your area.

Work Experience

Previous experience gained as a Building Operative would be really useful for this career.

Progression

In the construction industry, it is possible to work up from craft-level positions to managerial roles, such as Construction Site Manager.

Qualifications

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

The following vocational qualifications could help you to stand out from the crowd:

  • BTEC level 1, level 2 , or level 3 - construction and the built environment
  • City & Guilds - level 1, level 2, or level 3 - construction

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Related skills, for example, gained as a building operative, are useful.

Courses

Many people go into this career via a Construction Building Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

LGjobs

Local government vacancies

Website: www.lgjobs.com

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

myjobscotland: Scottish local government vacancies

Scottish enquiries

Email: myjobscotland@cosla.gov.uk

Website: www.myjobscotland.gov.uk

City & Guilds

Address: 1 Giltspur Street, London EC1A 9DD

Tel: 020 7294 2468

Email: learnersupport@cityandguilds.com

Website: www.cityandguilds.com

CITB-ConstructionSkills

Skills for the construction industry

Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH

Website: www.cskills.org

National Heritage Training Group (NHTG)

Address: Carthusian Court, 12 Carthusian Street, London EC1M 6EZ

Tel: 01342 326171

Email: rayrobertson@nhtgskills.org

Website: www.nhtg.org.uk

CITB NI

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Nutts Corner Training Centre, 17 Dundrod Road, Crumlin, County Antrim BT29 4SR

Tel: 028 9082 5466

Email: info@citbcsni.org.uk

Website: www.citbcsni.org.uk

Construction Employers Federation (CEF)

Irish enquiries

Address: 143 Malone Road, Belfast BT9 6SU

Tel: 028 9087 7143

Email: mail@cefni.co.uk

Website: www.cefni.co.uk

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH

Tel: 0844 5768777

Website: www.cscs.uk.com

bConstructive

Publisher: CITB-ConstructionSkills

Tel: 0344 994 4010

Email: myapprenticeship@citb.co.uk

Website: www.bconstructive.co.uk

Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council (SBATC)

Scottish enquiries

Address: Crichton House, 4 Crichtons Close, Holyrood, Edinburgh EH8 8DT

Tel: 0131 5568866

Email: registrar@sbatc.co.uk

Website: www.sbatc.co.uk

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP

Tel: 01923 260000

Email: ecitb@ecitb.org.uk

Website: careers.ecitb.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

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