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Bricklayer

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2019: 10,001 to 25,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: < $920 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
Brief There are currently around 1,700 bricklayers employed in South Australia. Employment is largely full-time and most work in the construction industry. Most persons in this occupation are male and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. This occupation has a median age of 40 years old.

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Bricklayer

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Introduction

Whether you need an indoor or outdoor structure built, repaired or decorated, a bricklayer can do the job for you. Using masonry materials such as bricks, tiles, concrete, mortar, cement or granite blocks, bricklayers can build a house, wall, chimney, arch or fireplace. Before building starts, a bricklayer has a few things to get sorted. Initially, they will consult with their client or the builder, in order to gain an understanding of their building requirements. Working plans are then drawn up from sketches, or architectural drafts will be used. A bricklayer also estimates the amount of materials required and the cost of construction to the client.

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Education Requirements

TAFE SA offers the following courses that may help you enter this industry: Certificate II Program in Construction (Bricklaying, Tiling and Plastering) and Package Program in Construction (Bricklaying).

Still unsure? Then try a short course also offered through TAFE SA such as Bricklaying Basics. Check the website for the full list of short courses.

SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at http://www.skills.sa.gov.au/apprenticeships-traineeships or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.

Career Path

It is recommended that students interested in becoming bricklayers try to obtain some form of work experience, as apprenticeships can be hard to come by. Work experience can be sought by contacting building companies directly. Career advisers at your school may also be aware of opportunities for structured work experience while you are still at school. 'Many of today's successful builders, construction managers and construction industry specialists learned about the industry through their apprenticeship in bricklaying,' states a Master Builders Association former Safety Manager.

Industry

Construction

Nature of the Job

Once building begins, a bricklayer uses various tools and machinery. A spirit level makes sure that each layer of bricks is even. A bricklayer's line, where a piece of string is run between two points, provides an even line for bricklayers to work to. Other tools such as a bolster or saw are used to cut and shape bricks to the right size. A trowel is used to lift and spread the mortar, which holds the bricks together. There are a number of specialist areas that a bricklayer may enter into. Some of these areas involve repairing existing brickwork that is in need of fixing, such as crumbling mortar, limestone repair and rising damp. Others may undertake ornamental or decorative brickwork.

Typical Physical Working Environment

Bricklaying is physically tiring work, and in many instances, heavy weights will have to be carried. If you are considering this as your occupation, you'll have to have physical strength and a high level of fitness. Have you an eye for detail? Basic mathematical skills are useful when estimating the cost and amount of materials required to complete a job. Good hand-eye coordination, and an excellent eye for detail are necessary to ensure that each layer of bricks is even. If you finish building a brick wall only to discover it's uneven, it's back to the drawing board and starting all over again! Most work occurs between the hours of 7am and 4pm. However, if working to a deadline, some overtime can be expected either on weekends or in the early evening. The length of each working day is dependent on weather conditions and the amount of daylight.

Typical Occupational Example

Safety is a major concern and working conditions depend on the type of construction site being worked on, and the nature of each particular contract. Work may be in or outdoors and in some cases quite high up on scaffolding. Because of this, and the dangers associated with construction sites in general, a good knowledge of occupational health and safety is critical for bricklayers. It is important for them to keep up to date with new information and requirements throughout their working lives.

For further information, contact:

Construction Industry Training Board SA
Phone: (08) 8172 9500
Email: citb@citb.org.au
Website: www.citb.org.au

Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council
Phone: (02) 6253 0002
Mail: info@cpsisc.com.au
Website: www.cpsisc.com.au

Earning Potential

The level of employment is strongly influenced by the overall level of building activity. Following a long boom in the construction industry in the late 1990s, activity in the area has now dropped, however industry sources suggest that opportunities for employment persist and some shortages of qualified bricklayers are currently being experienced throughout the state. The labour market picture for bricklayers can quickly change. Those starting out in bricklaying have the opportunity to earn about $18,000 per year. Bricklayers with more experience can earn approximately $50,000, while those who contract their services to larger firms can earn even higher.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online