Trade Career Profile: Bricklayer
If you are good with your hands and can work with precision using tools, being a bricklayer, also known as a stonemason, may be the career for you.
Bricklayers build and repair a variety of different things from building floors to fireplaces to chimneys. They use a variety of different materials such as bricks, blocks, stones, mortar, and more. They use levels to measure for accuracy and to keep everything in line. It is said, “A good bricklayer can lay around 750 bricks in a single day.” (careersinconstruction.ca).
Typical working day
Like most other careers, bricklayers work 40 hours a week. They work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. However, depending on the season, there may be the requirement to work overtime. This career is mostly outdoors, dependent on the project. This includes hot summers and cold winters where there are protective enclosures or heaters used to continue working despite the weather conditions. This career is physically demanding and requires team-work as a group even when working on a single project. Luckily, people in this career are properly trained and must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) because of the potential danger on the job.
Education and Training
Unlike common schooling where you go to school to study, bricklaying does not require this type of education. Rather, you must go through an apprenticeship. This includes being both in the classroom and working under supervision. As you go through apprenticeship, you earn money while working. You begin earning 50% of what your journeyperson (supervisor) earns per hour; your rate increases as you work until you reach the full wage. To enter an apprenticeship, you must be at least 16 and have your grade 10 education. Some provinces and territories offer apprenticeship programs to allow you to work towards your career.
The apprenticeship program is usually three, twelve-month periods but it varies across Canada. As well, you must achieve at least 1,600 hours of training, three, eight-week blocks of technical training and a final certification exam. You must complete the apprenticeship program and the requirements to become a certified bricklayer.
The salary for a bricklayer depends on a variety of different factors such as experience-level, contract, company and location, to name a few. Salary can be anywhere between $32,000 and $75,000.
A career as a bricklayer is physically-demanding but with a good outlook for jobs of 15% growth rate between 2014 and 2024. If this job appeals to you, it is an excellent career to consider.