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
The number of people working as Bricklayers (in their main job) fell over 5 years: from 20,800 in 2011 to 19,300 in 2016.
Median weekly earnings: $2,070.
Source 2020
Bricklayers lay bricks, pre-cut stone and other types of building blocks in mortar to construct and repair walls, partitions, arches and other structures. There are currently around 19,300 bricklayers and stonemasons employed in South Australia. Employment is largely full-time and most work in the construction industry. The majority of persons in this occupation are male and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. The average age of people employed in this sector are 38 and work on average 42 hours per week.

TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Bricklayer

Accredited (Award)

  • 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.

    OutdoorPractical and Manual

  • TAFE SA offers Certificate III in Bricklaying and Blocklaying that is completed under a contract of training as an apprentice.

    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 or phone 1800 673 097.

  • 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.

  • 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: Chimney Builder, Refractory Bricklayer, Retort Setter (Bricklaying) and Tuckpointer.

  • 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.

  • 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

    Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council
    Phone: (02) 6253 0002