Bricklayers (NOC 7281)

About this job

Bricklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks, stone and other similar materials to construct or repair walls, arches, chimneys, fireplaces and other structures in accordance with blueprints and specifications.

People in these occupations:

  • work for construction companies and bricklaying contractors
  • may be self-employed
  • should be in good physical condition, be aware of safety issues and have good manual dexterity
  • need to have a good sense of balance to work with heavy equipment and materials on narrow platforms and scaffolds
  • need to have a have an artistic eye and be able to recognize patterns, lines and proportions
Common job titles
  • bricklayer, chimney / chimney repair
  • bricklayer, furnace lining / kiln repair
  • bricklayer, journeyman / journeywoman
  • bricklayer, refractory
  • brickmason, fireplace / industrial furnace
  • erector, masonry silo

Duties

Bricklayers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • read sketches and blueprints to calculate materials required
  • cut and trim bricks and concrete blocks to specification using hand and power tools
  • prepare and lay bricks, concrete blocks, stone, structural tiles and similar materials to construct or repair walls, foundations and other structures in residential, industrial and commercial construction
  • lay bricks or other masonry units to build residential or commercial chimneys and fireplaces
  • lay radial bricks to build masonry shells of industrial chimneys
  • lay or install firebricks to line industrial chimneys and smokestacks
  • line or reline furnaces, kilns, boilers and similar installations using refractory or acid-resistant bricks, refractory concretes, plastic refractories and other materials
  • lay bricks, stone or similar materials to provide veneer facing to walls or other surfaces
  • construct and install prefabricated masonry units
  • lay bricks or other masonry units to build patios, garden walls and other decorative installations
  • may restore, clean or paint existing masonry structures

Work environment

Bricklayers usually work outdoors during a 40-hour workweek. Some overtime may also be required to meet construction schedules. Workers may have to work longer hours when the weather is good.

Protective enclosures and portable heaters may be used to protect workers in poor weather conditions. Bricklayers must sometimes work at heights on scaffolding. In addition to hazards related to working at heights, the work site may also be noisy and dirty. The work is physically demanding and workers routinely lift heavy materials.

Safety precautions and the use of safety equipment (hard hats, steel-toed boots and safety glasses) reduce risk of injury.

Insights from industry

Of the new openings that arise in the coming years, more than half are expected from new job growth.

In recent years, the strong economy in B.C. resulted in a rapid increase in construction activity, which created a strong demand for bricklayers.

Within the Construction industry, the majority of bricklayers work in the commercial and institutional construction sub-sectors, installing facades, walls, courtyards and entrance ways. The use of brick is also becoming more popular in multi-unit residential construction.

Future demand for workers will depend on growth in the Construction industry and the retirement of current workers. In the next few years, activities in residential construction are expected to be slow, while the pace of industrial construction is expected to remain stable.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Workers typically begin by working as bricklayer apprentices. After completing their certification most apprentices continue to work for a contractor or large company.

With experience, bricklayers are can advance to supervisory positions or start their own businesses.

Additional resources