Bricklaying can be a highly rewarding career with excellent career progression prospects. Bricklayers work in the construction industry, typically on a construction site.
The primary responsibilities of a Bricklayer include measuring work areas to set out rows of bricks, mixing mortar, laying bricks, shaping, and trimming bricks using specialist tools and checking rows are straight. The work is physically demanding, and you will be required to spend a significant amount of time working outdoors in all weather conditions. You should also be available to work on weekdays, weekends and commit to some overtime if needed.
A career in bricklaying will suit you if you pay attention to detail, work well in a team, stay calm in stressful situations, and like to work with your hands. With experience, you could train to become a Project Manager, where you and manage building projects, or a Construction Manager, where you will be responsible for construction projects from planning through to completion.
The State of Bricklayer Apprenticeships in Australia
Bricklayers are in high demand in Australia as the country continues to experience a construction boom. For example, in West Australia, a shortage of qualified Bricklayers is expected to increase construction times on new homes. But the skills shortage is not isolated to Western Australia; other states are experiencing similar problems. In response to the bricklaying skills shortage, the Australian Government introduced the AISS payment, encouraging bricklayers to complete an apprenticeship by providing financial incentives at different stages of training.
The Bricklayer profession is expected to experience stable growth over the next five years; it is a sector ripe with job opportunities across all states and territories.
Typical Duties of a Bricklayer Apprentice
During your bricklaying apprenticeship, which will take approximately three years to complete, you will learn the skills and gain the experience required to succeed by working on construction sites with the help of a qualified bricklaying employer. Training will involve handling and preparing brick and block laying materials, laying masonry walls and corners, applying basic levelling procedures, and constructing masonry steps, stairs, fireplaces, chimneys, walls and piers. Please visit the Australian Apprenticeship Pathways website to learn more about the training involved in a Bricklayer Apprenticeship.
Typical Entry Requirements
Bricklaying employers will accept prospective apprentices who have completed Year 10 and can demonstrate soft skills that align with the role, including good interpersonal skills and effective teamwork. Employers can take on individuals who have not gained a relevant qualification through an apprenticeship, but this is uncommon. For example, 67.7 per cent of Bricklayers have a Certificate III or IV qualification, whereas 8.4 per cent passed Year 12, 4.2 per cent passed Year 11, and 16.8 per cent passed Year 10 and below.
Qualified Bricklayer Average Wage
The full-time median earnings for Bricklayers in Australia is $2,070 per week. However, wages vary between states based on demand and experience level.
The average hourly wage for a qualified Bricklayer varies by state or territory:
To become a Bricklayer, you will need to undertake formal training, usually in the form of an on-the-job apprenticeship. Once you have completed a Certificate III Bricklayer Apprenticeship, you will be required to undertake construction induction training to obtain a ‘white card’, which will allow you to carry out construction work legally. Additionally, depending on the state where you reside, you may need to obtain additional certifications to work as a Bricklayer. Contact the relevant building authority to confirm which qualifications you need to work as a Bricklayer in your state.
To find a Bricklayer apprenticeship, you should contact the Australian Apprenticeship Network, the first point of contact for all apprenticeship queries. Please note that you cannot undertake an apprenticeship without the help of an Apprenticeship Network provider, an organisation that offers personalised advice to those seeking an apprenticeship in Australia. Additionally, they will help you locate a suitable registered training organisation.
On the Australian Apprenticeships website, you will find a list of certified Apprenticeship Network providers to contact, filtered by region.
Certificate III Bricklayer Qualification
Completing the Certificate III Bricklayer qualification will allow apprentices to receive on-the-job training with an employer in the industry.
Once qualified, Bricklayers will bind building materials such as brick, blocks, concrete and glass with mortar to construct and repair residential and commercial structures.
Apprenticeship training will involve:
Learning how to work effectively and sustainably in the construction industry by planning and organising work.
Operating safely at heights.
Constructing various masonry structures.
Adhering to basic levelling procedures.
Installing glass blockwork.
You can learn more about what training will involve here.
Certificate III Heritage Bricklayer Qualification
Completing the Certificate III Heritage Bricklayer qualification will allow apprentices to learn the necessary skills to succeed in the role. Once qualified, Heritage Bricklayers will restore and refurbish masonry and brickwork by repairing walls, stonework, chimneys and fences.
Apprenticeship training will involve:
Learning how to handle and prepare materials.
Carrying out masonry veneer and cavity brick construction,
Constructing masonry arches and stone walls.
Constructing curved walls.
Working safely at a considerable height.
You can learn more about the training involved in a Heritage Bricklayer apprenticeship here.
Start Your Bricklaying Career Today
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a Bricklayer, completing an on-the-job apprenticeship will provide you with the skills you need to excel in the role. Start your journey today by visiting the Australian Apprenticeships website. Furthermore, if you require assistance, the Australian Apprenticeship Pathways website offers plenty of information and guidance to help you determine if an apprenticeship is right for you.
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