Bricklayers work in the general construction industry, building a wide variety of new low-rise and high-rise structures, including residential homes, units, apartment blocks, and industrial buildings. They may also perform repairs such as repairing veneer and full brick constructions, partitions, arches, fireplaces, chimneys, retaining walls, fences and other brick-based structures.
Affectionately known as “brickies,” bricklayers work with clay bricks, pre-cut stone, concrete bricks, masonry blocks, as well as other types of building bricks in mortar.
So, what do bricklayers and what does a career in bricklaying look like? While you will obviously spend a lot of time working with bricks, you will also perform additional bricklayer-related tasks from day to day. These may include any of the following:
- Simple concreting.
- Studying building plans and specifications to determine materials required and dimensions needed.
- Checking vertical and horizontal alignment.
- Erecting scaffolding.
- Sealing foundations with damp-resistant materials.
- Embedding blocks in mortar and removing excess mortar.
- Repairing and maintaining bricks and cement blocks.
- Cutting, shaping, and polishing stones and bricks using hand tools and machines.
Once you have completed your bricklaying/blocklaying apprenticeship, during which you will enrol in and complete a Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying, you will formally be qualified as a bricklayer. At this point you will now have a solid foundation to further develop your bricklaying skills in your first bricklayer job.
You will be able to choose from a number of employment options, including being employed by a bricklaying subcontractor, a building/construction contractor, or you may take the plunge, become your own boss and start an exciting career and journey as a self-employed tradesperson and small business owner.
Whichever career path you choose to take once you complete your bricklaying apprenticeship, there are five things to bear in mind throughout your career as a bricklayer:
- Your life will be a lot easier if you have your own car and car licence to ensure that you can arrive on time at job sites.
- You will need a construction White Card – and you need to carry it with you at all times when on a construction work site.
- Bricklayers often are found working at heights, meaning it will be in your interest to always adhere to safe work practices at all times while on site. Accidents on construction sites can be fatal, so avoid cutting corners in an effort to work faster
- Bricklaying work is physically demanding, and injuries can very easily happen – even in seemingly innocuous situations. As such, avoid cutting corners on job sites, and consider reducing your risk through business insurance for bricklayers such as Personal Accident and Illness insurance.
Three tips for a long and rewarding bricklaying career
Attitude and attendance: If you turn up to work on time with ambition, commitment and energy to burn, you’ll learn just what’s possible as a bricklayer –and how you can further develop as a construction professional.
Physical fitness: It will come as no surprise that bricklaying is a physically demanding trade career. As such, every day on the job will be that much more manageable if you maintain an active lifestyle and good eating habits.
Be comfortable working alone and with a team: Good productivity comes from great teamwork, but just as importantly there are times when you will need to work independently as well. As a bricklayer, you will benefit from having the ability to work with others and work alone should the need arise.
How will you manage the risks to your bricklaying business?
Bricklayers know well the risks they may encounter on construction sites throughout their career. Business insurance such as insurance for bricklayers, also known as bricklayers insurance, can help reduce the risks bricklayers face on site every day.
Common insurance cover that bricklayers may consider include:
- Public Liability insurance;
- Portable Equipment insurance;
- Personal Accident and Illness insurance; and
- Business Insurance.
To discuss business insurance for your bricklaying small business call BizCover on 1300 849 081 or learn more about insurance for bricklayers
or visit the Public Liability Australia website.
*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, Public Liability Australia is a business name of BizCover Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769).