How To Become A Bricklayer In Australia: A Complete Guide

Students want to know how they can get started with a bricklaying apprenticeship in Australia, and what qualifications are needed.

 

Are you comfortable working at heights with bricks, stones, and concrete? Then, you may be suitable for a bricklayer profession in Australia.


Bricklayers consult building plans and specifications, take measurements and carry out brick and blockwork to build a variety of structures.

 

They set bricks, blocks of concrete, and pre-cut stones to construct and renovate walls, foundations, buildings, partitions, internal and external walls, cemented regions, and other structures.


This article discusses the role of a bricklayer, and the necessary qualifications and steps to pursue this career. You will also learn about their salary, work conditions, job prospects, and career opportunities to make an informed career decision.

 


1. Who Is A Bricklayer?


Bricklaying is tangible, fulfilling, and a hands-on type of work where a bricklayer can see, and touch the things they create.


Bricklayers are majorly involved in building an array of structures for residential homes and commercial buildings.


They cut stones, bricks, and concrete to their desired shapes and use cement and mortar to build and repair a variety of building structures.


On average, a bricklayer sets between 300 to 500 bricks a day based on weather and the project complexity.


Occasionally, they also do ornamental work that involves putting colored or designed patterns in walls, buildings, floors, or archways.


Bricklayers usually work in a group with other construction professionals on the job site.

 


2. What Tools Does Bricklayer Use?


Bricklayers make use of shovels, trowels, bolsters, hammers, and spirit levels to measure and place bricks and other construction materials.

 

They also use brick cutting machines and hand tools to shape a stone/brick to fit in irregular spaces easily.

 


3. Tasks And Duties Of A Bricklayer


A bricklayer work with concrete blocks, clay bricks, and other building materials in mortar to build and mend full brick construction, veneer construction, and other structures.

 

  • Identify the appropriate material, and the dimension of construction material and installation procedures to perform the manual bricklaying work based on building plans and specifications.

  • Use hand tools or operate brick cutting machines to cut, shape, and refine blocks, bricks, and stones to fit asymmetrical spaces.

  • Use mortar as a base and binding agent to join bricks in several rows, shapes, and designs. 

  • Spread layers of mortar between joints and remove excess mortar

  • Seal foundations using water-resistant materials

  • Repair and maintain cement blocks, cement bricks, clay bricks, and other related structures

  • Erecting scaffolding (as per the state-level license requirements).

  • Perform ornamental brickwork and build arches

  • Checks horizontal and vertical alignment of blocks, and bricks

  • Build window and door frames

 


4. Desirable Skills To Become A Bricklayer


Bricklaying is a physically demanding job that requires you to have good stamina and fitness.


As a bricklayer has to mandatorily study the construction plan and specs before placing the bricks and blocks, aspiring bricklayers would also need to have good technical aptitude and interpretation skills to understand specs and plans properly.


Bricklayers also require good hand-eye coordination that helps them accomplish finished work with greater accuracy and in less time.


Here is a complete list of the most sought skills and abilities for the successful execution of a bricklayer job:

 

  • Kowledge of construction and building

  • Like doing practical hands-on work

  • Knowledge of safety rules and standards

  • Detail-oriented

  • Precision

  • Flexible in work and workplace

  • Physical strength

  • Technical aptitude

  • Good interpretation skills 

  • Good hand-eye coordination

  • Patience 

  • Able to work well under pressure

  • Able to work at varying heights and outdoors. 

  • Able to work as a team and independently 

  • Dedication 

  • Ambition

 


5. Qualification Requirements For Bricklayer In Australia

 

  • Complete your Year 10 education

  • Complete a Certificate III in Bricklaying/Block laying (CPC30111) at either TAFE, or RTO, or as part of an apprenticeship (under the direction of a registered building practitioner).

  • Undergo safety induction training and get a Construction Induction Card from a Registered Training Organization.

  • Some Australian states and territories require bricklayers to be accredited. So, check with the concerned building authority in your state to know any further requirements to work as a Bricklayer.

 


6. Steps To Become A Bricklayer In Australia


From preparing bricks to reinforcing and repairing building structures, bricklayers take complete charge of the process right from the beginning to its completion.


So, here are the steps that will help you build a strong foundation in your bricklaying profession:

 


Step 1: Get Construction Induction Card


In Australia, it is mandatory to have a Construction Induction Card (CIC) to engage in any form of work within the construction industry.

 

Thus, being a bricklayer, you must undergo safety induction training from a registered training organization that is approved by the WorkSafe Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety and secure a CIC card.

 


Step 2: Get Qualified


Most states in Australia require bricklayers to complete a Certificate III in Bricklaying/Block laying.

 

The bricklayer course develops skills and confidence in students to work with concrete blocks, clay bricks, and mortar and make a promising career in a thriving industry.


Undertaking a bricklayer apprenticeship at TAFE is beneficial as it provides students an on-site experience and further boosts their job prospects.

 

You get the opportunity to earn while mastering the job-specific skills. The program also enables the students to attend their classroom learning and practical sessions at the same time.


There are two ways to undertake a bricklayer apprenticeship:

 


Onsite training conducted by the employer

 

  • In this mode, an applicant has to register himself as a trainee with the employer before starting the apprenticeship training program. The usual duration for this form of an apprenticeship program is 3 to 4 years.

 

 

Offsite training offered by RTO or TAFE

 

  • This is the second option wherein apprentices can choose to undertake off-site training at any local TAFE or RTO. The course locator tool can help you with the available TAFE/RTO certification courses in major cities of Australia.

 


Step 3: Get Licensed

 

Once you are qualified and hold a CIC card, the next step is to apply for a bricklaying license. As the bricklaying licenses requirements can vary from state to state, aspiring bricklayers should check with the building commission of the state where they want to work.


Getting the right bricklaying contractor license will permit you to work on building and construction projects while abiding by the requisites of state-level licensing authorities.


To become a licensed bricklaying contractor in NSW, you can apply for a license through a government service website like Service NSW. In Queensland, you can directly apply for the license through the Building and Construction Commission website.

 

In the case of Western Australia, you have to obtain a license from the Building Commission of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

 


7. National Resources For Bricklaying In Australia

 

 


8. Certification Courses For Bricklayers In Australia


Certificate III in Bricklaying/Block laying teaches students how to understand construction plans, take measurements, use specialty brick cutting tools and perform veneer, solid brick construction, masonry blockwork, leveling, and scaffolding.

 

Successful completion of the course makes a student ready to work in construction sites for public, domestic, and commercial buildings. You can study bricklaying in TAFE or at any of the below accredited training institutes in Australia.

 

 

  • TAFE Gippsland

  • TAFE NSW

  • North Metro TAFE

  • TAFE QLD

  • Bendigo TAFE

  • Chisholm TAFE

  • TAFE International WA

  • South Regional TAFE

  • TAFE SA

  • South Metro TAFE

  • Holmesglen TAFE

 


9. How To Become A Bricklayer Without Experience?


If you want to work as a bricklayer without any experience, then you must undertake the Work Ready Program by the Australian Brick and Block laying Training Foundation (ABBTF) that funds and run this workshop.

 

The bricklaying apprenticeship in Australia is mainly conducted in those states that experience an acute shortage of qualified bricklaying workforce.


Work Ready Program is a free 5-day workshop that gives you a hands-on introduction to the trade of bricklaying and teaches basic laboring skills including mortar batch preparation, tool operation, and site safety.


The main objective of this program is to inform and prepare trainees for their initial weeks in the trade. It gives you a clear picture of the role, job responsibilities of an apprentice bricklayer, and the employment opportunities available post successful completion of the internship.


Work Ready Program is conducted in a TAFE or any comparable learning center and repeated periodically in regional and metropolitan centers based on the request for apprentices.


However, you should note that this isn’t an accredited course and doesn’t deliver any competencies against the Certificate III Bricklaying/Block laying qualification.


To participate in this program, students need to complete their Year 10 with written consent from your school principal and/or the TAFE Institution.

 


10. Working Conditions For A Bricklayer In Australia

 


Type of Work


The typical day of a bricklayer involves working outdoors on construction locations, or areas that need building or renovation work.

 

They majorly engage in studying plans and specs, operating brick cutting machines, placing blocks, mortar, and bricks, waterproofing foundations, constructing arches and repairing structures.


Bricklayers usually work at varying heights on scaffolding, operating tunnels and shafts, in congested spaces, and under different weather conditions. They often work as a part of a team with builders and other construction professionals. The job involves some contact with people.

 


Place of Employment


Most bricklayers are employed in the Construction industry working on small-scale housing projects, or large-scale commercial construction projects, including hospitals, schools, and more.

 


Nature of Employment


Around 77% of bricklayers work full-time for 42 hours per week.

 


Average Age


The average age of workers in this profession is 38 years

 


Gender


Out of the total bricklaying workforce, only 1% of them are female. This shows that the profession is best suited for male candidates.

 


Safety Gears and Equipment


The job of a bricklayer involves a certain level of risk and safety issues. Due to this, they must wear safety gears that include dust masks, earmuffs, steel-capped boots, hard hats, safety glasses, and high visibility and shielding clothing.

 


11. Employment Opportunities For Bricklayers In Australia


Once qualified, a bricklayer can work in diverse settings that include housing, civil and commercial construction sites.


The profession gives flexibility to bricklayers to work as full-time employees, self-employed, or on a subcontracted basis with general building contractors or bricklaying contractors. As per the Job Outlook website, the majority of bricklayers are employed in Western Australia.


As you get experienced, you can even advance to supervising, professional building and management roles within the building industry such as:

 

  • Building estimator

  • Building supervisor

  • Building inspector

  • Registered builder

  • Project manager


An experienced bricklayer can progress their career by specializing in the following areas within the building and construction industry:

 

  • Arch builder

  • Chimney builder

  • Tuck pointer

  • Retort Setter (Bricklaying)

  • Refractory Bricklayer

  • Stonemason

 


12. What Is The Job Outlook For Bricklayers In Australia?


Brick and block layers form an integral element in any construction and building project.

 

Considering the population growth and economic expansion, there will be constant availability of work for bricklayers in new housing projects, civil jobs, commercial buildings in almost every state in Australia.


The Government’s Job outlook website projects a stable future growth in the bricklaying profession, thereby, assuring a consistent demand for bricklayers throughout Australia.


By taking relevant courses and gaining work experience, a qualified bricklayer can find a lot of employment opportunities and scope for progression in this profession.

 


13. How Much Does A Bricklayer Earn In Australia?


The salary of a qualified bricklayer in Australia depends on several factors, such as experience, supply and demand of bricklaying in the market, employer, and work location.


Bricklayer roles are generally advertised in the range of $30k to $70k in Australia.

 

The average hourly bricklayer salary in Australia is AU$31.58. Based on Job Outlook data, a qualified bricklayer draws $2,070 per week on average.

 


As per the PayScale data

 

  • The average hourly bricklayer salary in Canberra, ACT is AU$37.00.

  • The average hourly bricklayer salary in NSW is AU$36.06. 

  • The average hourly bricklayer salary in Victoria is AU$30.94. 

  • The average hourly salary for a Bricklayer in Perth, Western Australia is AU$30.43. 

  • The average hourly bricklayer salary in Adelaide, South Australia is AU$29.28.

 


14. Conclusion


Bricklaying is among the stable professions in Australia that allows you to work anywhere in the country. The sight of your finished work gives a sense of pride and achievement and that’s what makes the profession worthwhile.


Bricklaying qualifications and apprenticeships open your way to plenty of growth and work opportunities to help you make a promising and lucrative career ahead.

 

 

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