If the idea of working with bricks and blockwork excites you, we highly suggest looking into the profession of bricklaying. Bricklayers in Australia, also called “brickies”, earn anywhere between A$300 and A$350 every week! No wonder many Australians are interested in the lucrative benefits of this skill and want to know how to become a bricklayer.
Trying to understand specific responsibilities and requirements for the job can be confusing. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you with just that! Let’s explore the process of becoming a bricklayer in Australia.
Bricklaying in Australia: Opportunities & Future Prospects
The construction industry is booming across Australia. But there is a massive shortage of manual labour in the country. Bricklayers have to be physically tough and work in stressful conditions. Due to all these factors, the skill is in great demand in the country. According to a 2021 report, wet trades like bricklaying have a severe shortage of skilled workers.
With further qualifications and experience, you can even shift to other career options like project manager, construction supervisor, or registered builder.
Definition of a Bricklayer
To put it simply, the name says it all: a bricklayer is someone who lays bricks. But that’s not everything that someone in the profession will do! Besides laying up to around 500 bricks a day, he/she has to work with other craftsmen on construction sites.
As a bricklayer, you have to use bricks, stones, and blocks for building and repairing purposes. You have to get comfortable working with concrete and mortar on a regular basis. Additional responsibilities may include decorating construction structures like floors or walls.
Bricklaying is a very hands-on skill and appeals to those looking for practical, high-paying, and challenging work.
What Does a Bricklayer Do?
Let’s go through the common responsibilities of a typical bricklayer in more detail. Remember that your responsibilities and tasks will vary greatly based on your position and project.
- Repair and construction of various structures using a wide range of building materials. Concrete, mortar, bricks, and clay are some of the most commonly used materials. You’ll get to work on walls, ceilings, flooring, archways, and many other interesting structures.
- Understanding the fundamentals of building design and specifications. A bricklayer has to choose the right material for the project. He/she also has to plan the process and take measurements before starting the actual work.
- One common bricklaying task is cutting bricks and blocks. For this purpose, you have to learn to operate a diverse set of manual tools and electric machines. You will use brick cutting machines, shovels, and hammers, to name a few. You also have to shape and refine construction blocks to ensure a perfect fit.
- Using building materials like mortar to connect bricks in different patterns. This agent is heavily used in the construction industry for foundation and binding. Water-resistant materials are also applied for sealing.
- Repairing brick and other construction block structures. Regular maintenance is a requirement for many projects that you’ll come across.
- Different states have separate requirements for scaffolding. It refers to structures that help construction workers safely stand and work at inaccessible heights. Bricklayers are often involved in setting up these structures.
Qualities and Qualifications
As we’ve mentioned before, building a career in this profession can be challenging. The work is very physically demanding. Bricklayers need to accurately understand design specifications. You’ll have to adapt to changing conditions and weather as well.
Therefore, you clearly need a combination of certain qualities and qualifications. Before learning about how to become a bricklayer, let’s go through these requirements.
A bricklayer should possess the following qualities to be successful in the construction industry:
- A strong work ethic and an aptitude for hard work.
- Sound technical knowledge in the field (construction tools, techniques, regulations, and standards).
- Good physical fitness and stamina.
- Attention to detail and focus on accuracy.
- Flexibility and adaptability.
- Ability to work under pressure.
- Good hand-eye coordination.
Qualifications Required in Australia
Let’s look at the basic qualifications or certifications for becoming an Australian bricklayer:
- You have to complete your compulsory education (Year 10 in Australia).
- You will need a Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying.
- You need to undergo construction induction training. After its successful completion, you have to get a Construction Induction Card from an RTO (Registered Training Organization).
- Some Australian states and territories may require accreditation. Don’t hesitate to contact your local building authority to understand additional requirements.
Putting It All Together: The Whole Process in 3 Simple Steps
Now you know about the basic qualities and qualifications needed for this job. We’ll now break down the process of becoming a bricklayer and explain each step.
Step-1: Get a Construction Induction Card
A Construction Induction Card, or CIC, is mandatory for anyone who wants to work in the Australian construction industry. To obtain this card, complete induction training at an RTO (Registered Training Organization). The RTO should be recognised by the WorkSafe Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation, and Safety.
Step-2: Have the Required Qualification
In most areas of Australia, bricklayers must have their skills certified through Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying. There are many institutions throughout the country that provide this certificate course.
As a student of this course, you’ll learn about the theoretical aspects and practical applications of this trade. You’ll get to understand different techniques, tools, and materials, including bricks, blocks, mortar, concrete, clay, and so on. Make sure that you get your certification from a valid organization.
Step-3: Get a Licence
After getting certified, it’s time for you to obtain a licence. A bricklaying licence is necessary for bricklayers to get involved in a construction project. The licencing requirements are not the same all over Australia. Before choosing a state for work, contact their building commission to clear up any confusion about licencing criteria.
Once you’ve completed all three steps, congratulations! You are now a qualified and licenced bricklayer in Australia.
Bricklaying is a great profession that is in high demand in Australia. Working in the construction industry can be physically difficult and stressful. However, the rewards are amazing as well.
We hope that our guide on how to become a bricklayer will help you better understand this profession. We highly suggest researching a career before choosing it. Get a better understanding of job requirements and expectations. Last but not least, communicate with bricklayers to learn about their experiences.