What Does A Bricklayer Contractor Do?

Bricklayers construct and repair walls, chimneys, fireplaces, and other masonry structures. They also use building materials like clay bricks and concrete blocks. Brick Layer Perth WA understands how to read and interpret blueprints.

They may work alongside a general laborer or a hod carrier who completes more straightforward tasks while they focus on bricklaying. They must be comfortable working at heights.

brick layer

Job Duties

Bricklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks, tile, and other types of building materials in mortar to construct or repair walls, foundations, partitions, arches, and chimney stacks. They can also install firebrick in industrial furnaces, kilns, and other structures, as well as refurbish brickwork and masonry on restoration projects. They typically work on construction sites and may have to travel between different sites to complete a project. Other duties include interpreting work orders and determining the materials required for each job.

A brick-layer contractor works closely with other construction professionals, including welders and carpenters, and must be able to communicate effectively. They are often required to solve complex problems quickly and efficiently to meet deadlines. In addition, they must be able to read blueprints and understand the specifications for each type of structure that they are working on.

To begin a new project, a bricklayer must first measure the area where the work is to be done. He then marks guidelines on the working surface to indicate where he will place each block of brick. He then spreads a soft bed (layer) of mortar that serves as the base and binder for the brick, using a trowel. He then applies mortar to the end of each brick, positions the brick in the mortar bed, and taps it with a hammer to level and align it, ensuring that there is a specified thickness of the joint. He then removes any excess mortar from the face of the brick and fills small spaces with a trowel or pointing tool.

Because of the nature of their work, bricklayers must be able to perform their duties in all kinds of weather conditions. They also need to be able to lift heavy objects, which requires them to have a high level of physical fitness. In addition, bricklayers frequently work overtime and may need to be on call at any time. These factors mean that they must be able to maintain focus and concentration for long periods. Lastly, they need to be able to work independently, as well as in a team environment.

Education And Training Requirements

Bricklayers work with building materials to construct and repair walls, partitions, arches, and chimney stacks by blueprints. They may also refurbish existing brickwork and masonry on restoration projects. They are employed by construction companies or bricklaying contractors and may also be self-employed. Some bricklayers specialize in different areas, such as stonemasonry or heritage restoration.

To become a bricklayer, you will need a high school diploma or GED certificate and a thorough understanding of the trade. Most bricklayers begin their careers by completing an apprenticeship, which is typically three to four years long and involves on-the-job training as well as classroom instruction. Apprenticeship programs are offered by trade unions, some community colleges, and some private schools.

The job is physically demanding, requiring the strength to lift heavy materials and the endurance to stand, kneel, and stoop for extended periods. Bricklayers must also be familiar with safety regulations and practices in the workplace.

Basic math skills are important to be able to determine how many bricks and mortar will be needed for a project. A high level of verbal communication and the ability to work as part of a team are essential.

In addition to specialized training, bricklayers should have an excellent eye for detail and be able to follow directions. Some bricklayers have a bachelor’s degree in construction management or a related field, but most acquire their training through an apprenticeship. Additional training opportunities are available.

Some bricklayers choose to continue their education with a master mason’s degree in the trade, which is typically a two-year program. A master mason’s degree can open up more career options and improve a bricklayer’s salary.

A brick-layer contractor must be able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines. They will also need to have good mechanical abilities and be able to operate a variety of equipment. The job is often done outdoors, so bricklayers need to be prepared for inclement weather and other environmental factors.

Working Conditions

Bricklayers work primarily outdoors, in various environments and weather conditions. The varying working conditions make it necessary for bricklayers to adapt and have the ability to problem-solve when encountering unexpected challenges. They also have to be able to read blueprints and work with other construction professionals to complete their tasks. The bricklayer’s daily responsibilities include laying building materials such as bricks, blocks, and concrete slabs to construct or repair walls, partitions, chimneys, sewers, retaining walls, and other structures. These professionals also mix and apply mortar to bond building materials together. In addition, they must be able to shape and cut bricks using hand tools and power equipment.

While some bricklayers work as independent contractors, most are employed by foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors. These professionals usually earn a median salary of around $59,340 per year. The highest-earning bricklayers earned more than $96,750 yearly.

These professionals typically work a minimum of 39 hours per week. They often work evening and weekend overtime shifts to meet deadlines.

The job duties of a bricklayer include meeting with clients to discuss the scope and timeline of their projects. They also estimate the cost of materials such as clay, bricks, and mortar. They may also assist in designing the masonry structure or layout for their projects. Bricklayers also prepare the construction site by measuring working areas and marking guidelines for their work. In some instances, they must use a laser spirit level and a plumb bob to check the accuracy of their work.

Other responsibilities of a bricklayer include preparing materials for installation and cleaning installation surfaces and tools. They also install and dismantle scaffolding or other construction structures as needed. They may also perform masonry repairs to existing brick or stone surfaces, including caulking and acid washing. Some bricklayers specialize in tuckpointing, a process that enhances masonry’s cosmetic appearance by removing damaged and discolored mortar and filling the area with new mortar.

The skills of a bricklayer are honed through on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and experience. Some bricklayers also participate in continuing education courses or seminars on topics such as masonry, first aid, and occupational safety. They may also read pamphlets, booklets, and texts on masonry practices and techniques.

Salary

Bricklayers, or masons, work with bricks and concrete blocks to construct or repair walls, arches, chimneys, fireplaces, and other structures by blueprints. They often work as part of a team to complete large construction projects. Many bricklayers learn through a three- to four-year apprenticeship program, although some attend a trade school or gain on-the-job experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, reports that as of 2020, nearly half of all bricklayers worked for foundation, structure, or building exterior contractors and earned an average salary of $57,910.

A high school diploma is generally required to become a mason. However, most bricklayers receive on-the-job training through an apprenticeship with a certified bricklayer or journeyman. Apprentices typically earn a percentage of a journeyperson’s hourly wage while they learn their craft. Once they reach the journeyman status, their hourly wages increase. The exact pay rate of a bricklayer depends on the employer and the job market.

Many bricklayers also specialize in masonry restoration and repairs. Their expertise is invaluable in preserving historical buildings and breathing new life into older structures. They also utilize a variety of tools and equipment to ensure that their work meets the highest standards of quality.

In addition to earning regular wages, bricklayers who are members of a union can qualify for additional benefits. These include paid holidays, sick days, and vacation time. Some bricklayers are also offered life insurance, hospitalization, and pension plans.

Bricklayers are often required to travel from job to job, depending on the demands of the industry and the location of a project. As such, they may need to be away from their families for extended periods. In addition to traveling, bricklayers must be able to work in extreme weather conditions, such as high winds and heavy rains.

A career as a bricklayer is highly rewarding, but it requires physical stamina and a good understanding of construction techniques. Bricklayers must also be able to read blueprints, follow instructions, and maintain a safe working environment on the construction site. In addition, they must be proficient in a variety of construction tools and be able to work for long hours on the job site.