Career Profile: Bricklayer
When you were younger, you probably played with bricks made of plastic or wood. Many children enjoy building with toys, but sometimes that interest carries on into adulthood. One way to continue to work in this kind of area is to become a bricklayer.
Constructing a building takes many different people doing various, important tasks. Some people pour the concrete for the basement and others put the roof on at the end of the process. Bricklayers work with skilled tradespeople like brick masons or tile setters to put brick and stone together in many different kinds of buildings, such as houses, schools, and factories. Often this means working outside, and sometimes the work can be limited by the weather. However, many construction sites are now winterized so that people can continue to work, even in the snow and cold.
Depending on their level of skill and the other people on the job, bricklayers might work in different parts of the construction process. Often, they assist the masons by carrying the building materials to the right spot and making sure that the right tools are available. At the end of the job, they might be the ones to clean up the area and put the equipment away. However, some bricklayers become specialists in certain areas such as installing bricks around furnaces or other high-temperature areas. Learning to do the work on their own can help bricklayers advance in their field.
The best way to become a bricklayer is to learn on the job. However, the majority of bricklayers finish high school, and some continue on to college or university. Some mathematical skills are useful, as well as the ability to think logically and so solve problems. Bricklayers should be good with their hands and be able to use machines and small tools. They need to be able to lift heavy materials and manage work that can be physically demanding and sometimes high off the ground. This is not a good job for anyone who is afraid of heights.
Like many of the trades, job prospects for bricklayers can vary according to the rest of the economy. When most people are doing well, they spend money on new houses and other buildings, but when they are doing badly, they might cut back on any new construction. However, the bricklayers can increase their chances of getting work by learning new skills and getting additional training. Salaries generally start at about $38,000 per year, but they can grow to twice that much as bricklayers gain experience and new skills.
When you see a building under construction, do you wonder how all of the parts fit together? If so, you might want to think of becoming a bricklayer.
Careers.org. “Career Occupational Profile for: Bricklayer.” http://www.careers.org/occupations/25471/bricklayer.
Payscale.com. “Bricklayer Salary (Canada).” http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Bricklayer/Hourly_Rate.
TradesInfo.ca. “Bricklayer Description.” https://bc.tradesinfo.ca/trade-information/bricklayer/description.
Wikipedia.org. “Bricklayer.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bricklayer.