Bricklayers in Australia: Work, Qualification, Salary and More
If creating things is your forte and you do not mind working with bricks and concrete, then a profession as a bricklayer may be for you.
A bricklayer works with bricks, pre-cut stones and blocks of concrete, in construction projects. The tasks involved are typically constructing, repairing or renovating buildings, walls, paved areas, arches and other areas. A bricklayer may also create customized patterns on walls, arches and floors.
Bricklayers study building blueprints and understand requirements before taking measurements and starting their work. Their work primarily consists of securing bricks together using mortar. A bricklayer can also be seen examining the alignment of laid bricks to ensure consistency.
Bricklayer Work Environment
In addition to learning about the work of a bricklayer, it is important to know about the work environment. These details can help you make a well-informed career decision.
The nature of work of bricklayers keeps them outdoors mostly, at construction sites. They may be involved in building, renovation or fixing existing buildings. As mostly an outdoor profession, bricklaying requires aspirants to be exposed to different weather conditions.
Given the nature of their work, bricklayers mostly work at heights, on top of a scaffolding. They have to be safety-conscious at all times. Bricklayers may also work in narrow spaces, which requires them to bend, sit, crouch or crawl. Bricklayers must exercise caution and be physically fit, to prevent risks of injuries and accidents.
Accuracy is key to success as a bricklayer, especially on large-scale projects where tiny errors can impede entire construction. Bricklayers are usually part of teams in construction projects.
The working conditions of bricklayers require them to use different tools and technologies. These professionals use tools for measurement, brick-laying, and laying other materials. Their toolkit usually consists of shovels, hammers, trowels and spirit level instruments. They employ specialized equipment for brick-cutting in specific sizes and shapes.
Other tools that bricklayers use, include buckets and mixers for mixing mortar and concrete. These tools prevent the materials from undergoing setting process.
Safety gear is an important tool for bricklayers as it protects them from injuries. Bricklayers typically wear masks, ear coverings, boots with steel caps, protective eyewear, sturdy hats and high-visibility clothing, at work.
Safety risk can also be in the form of injuries to other people on the premises such as clients, due a bricklayers’ nature of work. This can lead to loss of job and reputation. Sometimes, damage can occur due to loss of equipment.
A trade insurance can protect bricklayers from lawsuits and claims by third parties. A comprehensive cover protects against damage due to loss of tools by theft or other reasons. Visit here for more information.
Becoming a Bricklayer in Australia
Schooling and apprenticeship are essential to becoming a bricklayer. Apprenticeship can take 3 to 4 years and can be started at school itself. For success as a bricklayer, complete the following:
To start an apprenticeship, Year 10 schooling is required as employers prefer trainees that have completed their secondary education. So, complete your school education.
Earn Certification in Bricklaying
Becoming an apprentice or undergoing training in Bricklaying in Australia involves getting a Certificate III in Bricklaying/ Block laying. The duration of a typical program is 104 weeks spanning 4 semesters.
The program prepares an aspirant in bricklaying in different environments, including industrial, commercial and residential. The program trains candidates in bricklaying for both new and existing constructions.
As part of the apprenticeship or training, an aspirant may work under the supervision of a large construction establishment or an independent contractor.
The bricklaying industry deems training of an aspirant in a real or close-to-real environment extremely important. Only such apprenticeship can lead to skill recognition. Aspirants also get an opportunity to learn the job while getting paid.
Get a White Card
A White Card is key to working in a construction business anywhere in Australia. This is called the Construction Induction Card. A safety induction training is essential to obtain a White Card. An RTO or Registered Training Organization offers safety induction training and issues a White Card upon completion of training.
Licensing requirements differ among states. Approach your building commission to know about your state’s licensing requirements. With a relevant contractor license, you can work on construction projects as a bricklayer in adherence to state laws.
Technical qualification is mandatory for a bricklayer. Becoming a successful bricklayer is also about having the following skills:
- Physical fitness
- Meticulous attention to details
- A willingness to learn
- Being proactive
- Ability to stay calm under pressure
- Flexibility to accommodate different work schedules
- Excellent hand-eye coordination
Job Opportunities for Bricklayers
Job outlook for bricklayers is stable, according to Australian government data. These professionals are likely to stay in jobs as long as there are construction projects. The construction sector is the major industry that employs bricklayers. With ongoing civil work, housing projects and commercial constructions, the demand for bricklayers is likely to grow.
Qualification and experience make bricklayers preferred candidates for employers. Updating oneself continuously in the bricklaying industry improves chances of career growth and salary hike.
Bricklayers may work part-time or full-time. Full-time workers earn $1, 401 on a weekly basis.
A bricklayer is a profession that is always needed. Many bricklayers find enjoyment in being outdoors as part of their work. Though the physical side of the work can be heavy, the job gives utmost satisfaction upon completion.
With a White Card and applicable licensing, you can work anywhere in Australia. You can build a fulfilling career for yourself by updating yourself with relevant skills and experience.