What does a Bricklayer do?

Learn all about Bricklayer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Bricklayer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A bricklayer is a tradesperson who specializes in the laying of bricks, concrete blocks, stone, and other masonry units. Bricklayers are also known as masons.

Bricklayer job duties include:

  • Read and interpret blueprints, drawings, and specifications to determine job requirements
  • Select and mix ingredients to create the perfect mortar mixture
  • Apply mortar to bricklaying projects using trowels of various sizes
  • Lay bricks in a variety of patterns including running bond, herringbone, and basket weave
  • Create arches, columns, and other decorative features using bricks
  • Install metal ties to reinforce brickwork
  • Cut bricks and stones to size using masonry saws and power cutters
  • Smooth out rough spots on bricks using chisels and hammers
  • Clean up job sites after completing projects

Bricklayer Job Requirements

Most bricklayers have completed an apprenticeship, which takes four to five years. During their apprenticeship, bricklayers learn safety procedures, blueprint reading, and other skills. Some states require bricklayers to be licensed. To become a licensed bricklayer, one must pass an exam that tests knowledge of the trade. Many bricklayers have previous experience working as masons' helpers or in other construction trades.

Bricklayer Skills

  • Laying bricks
  • Mixing mortar
  • Building brick walls
  • Building foundations
  • Building chimneys
  • Building fireplaces
  • Restoration work
  • Tuckpointing
  • Installing brick veneers
  • Laying pavers
  • Building outdoor kitchens

Related: Top Bricklayer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Bricklayer

There are many reasons why someone might want to become a bricklayer. Maybe they enjoy working with their hands, or they like the challenge of creating something that will last for generations. Whatever the reason, becoming a bricklayer is a process that takes time, patience, and practice.

If you're interested in becoming a bricklayer, the first step is to find an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships typically last three to four years, and during that time you'll learn the basics of the trade. You'll start by learning how to mix mortar, lay bricks, and finish surfaces. As you progress, you'll learn more advanced techniques, such as how to lay complex patterns and create custom designs.

Once you've completed your apprenticeship, you'll be able to find work as a journeyman bricklayer. Journeymen typically work on larger projects, such as commercial buildings or homes. If you're looking for a challenge, you can also become a master bricklayer. Master bricklayers have the skills and experience to create truly unique and intricate designs.

Becoming a bricklayer takes time and dedication, but it can be a rewarding career. If you're willing to put in the work, you can create beautiful structures that will stand the test of time.

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