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Brickwork

Bricklayers build and repair walls, chimney stacks, tunnel linings and decorative stonework. They might also refurbish brickwork and masonry on restoration projects. If you enjoy doing practical things and you are interested in construction, this could be the perfect job for you.

To become a bricklayer, you will need to be able to read plans. You’ll also need to be able to work in a well organised way.

You may not need formal qualifications to become a bricklayer, but employers usually want people who have some on-site experience. Some building companies may want you to have GCSs in subjects like English and Maths.

Work activities

As a bricklayer, your work would include:

  • Measuring the work area and setting your the first rows of bricks (courses) and the damp course.
  • Mixing mortar by hand or with a mechanical mixer.
  • Laying the bricks on top of each other and applying the mortar with a trowel.
  • Shaping and trimming bricks using hammers, chisels and power tools.
  • Checking that courses are straight using water or laser spirit levels and plumb lines.

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Working hours and conditions

Bricklayers commonly work Monday to Friday and start early because of the need to travel to jobs, weekend and evening work is sometimes necessary to complete work and meet deadlines. Some jobs may involve overnight stays away from home.

You would spend a lot of your time outside in most weathers, and the work can be physically hard. Your job may involve working at heights on scaffolding and you would be expected to use protective equipment, such as safety helmets and boots.

Income

Salaries vary greatly nationally for construction operatives, with the South East being particularly attractive.

Qualified bricklayers can earn anything between £16,000 and £23,000. Experienced bricklayers, including instructors, can earn up to £30,000 a year. Overtime and various allowances can add to your income, however self employed bricklayers set their own pay rates.

Entry Requirements

You do not need formal qualifications to become a bricklayer, however employers usually want people who some form of on-site experience. If you have not worked in construction before you could find a job as a labourer to get some on-site experience. Once you are working, your employer may be willing to offer you training in bricklaying.

Primarily the majority of careers in construction are realised through Apprenticeships. You can obtain the relevant qualifications and employment by taking an Apprenticeship scheme with a plastering, dry lining or building firm.

NSPP regularly updates our vacancies section and list appropriate Apprenticeships within our local area.

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Courses

Diploma Level 2 in Brickwork (click here for further information)

Aimed at those not yet working in construction but may have previous experience or knowledge. The course includes a practical assessment to test the application of building methods and construction technology.

NVQ Level 2 Trowel Occupations (Brickwork)  (click here for further information)

This qualification is based solely on site in the chosen trade area. You will produce an NVQ portfolio based on the work you complete whilst in employment.

Some of the units you will complete are:

  • conforming to general safety in the workplace
  • conforming to efficient working practices in the workplace
  • moving and handling resources in the workplace
  • erecting masonry structures in the workplace

NVQ Level 3 Trowel Occupations (Brickwork)  (please click here for further information)

 A Level 3 qualification involves complex skills and can be used as a pathway to assessing, supervisory and management positions.

Some of the units you will complete are:

  • confirm the occupational method of work
  • set out complex masonry structures
  • repair and maintain masonry structures
  • place and finish non-specialist concrete

If you have any questions or queries relating to our courses or learning with NSPP contact us on 01457 238014, alternatively we can be reached via email at info@nspp.co.uk

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