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Apprenticeship

Bricklayer

Bricklayers prepare and lay brick and other masonry units to construct and repair structures such as walls, partitions, patios, arches, fireplaces and chimneys.

Also Known As

Construction Tradesperson, Mason

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 7281: Bricklayers

2006 NOC-S

  • H131: Bricklayers

2011 NOC

  • 7281: Bricklayers

2016 NOC

  • 7281: Bricklayers

2021 NOC

  • 72320: Bricklayers

2023 OaSIS

  • 72320.00: Bricklayers
Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Bricklayers work with masonry materials such as brick, concrete block, stone, structural tile and precast panels. They also lay or install firebrick or castable materials in commercial and industrial furnaces and incinerators, and acid tile and acid brick for various industrial purposes such as pulp mills.

Duties vary from one position to another but, in general, bricklayers:

  • Interpret drawings and blueprints and calculate materials required
  • Measure from an established starting point and construct corners first, using a plumb line and mason’s level to ensure each layer will be level from corner to corner
  • Spread mortar over the base or previous layer, spread more mortar on one end of each brick to be laid, and lay the bricks into position
  • Remove excess mortar after the brick (or other masonry material) is in position
  • Use a hammer and chisel or a masonry saw to cut bricks to fit as required
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Bricklayers usually work outdoors, often on scaffolding. On industrial work sites, it is common for refractory bricklayers to work in confined spaces and at some heights. They sometimes use protective enclosures and portable heaters in adverse weather conditions.

Bricklayers work a 5-day, 40-hour week. Overtime is sometimes required to meet construction schedules.

The work is physically demanding and requires handling items that weigh up to 25 kilograms. Some travel may be required to get to work sites.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Bricklayers

2006 NOC: 7281

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to lay bricks and other masonry units to build residential and commercial chimneys and fireplaces; to lay radial bricks to build masonry shells of industrial chimneys; to lay and install firebricks to line industrial chimneys and smokestacks; to lay bricks, stone and similar materials to provide veneers to walls and other surfaces; to lay bricks and other masonry units to build patios, garden walls and other decorative installations; and to cut and trim bricks and concrete blocks using hand and power tools

METHODICAL

Interest in lining and relining furnaces, kilns, boilers and similar installations using refractory and acid-resistant bricks, refractory concretes, plastic refractories and other materials; may restore, clean and paint existing masonry structures

INNOVATIVE

Interest in compiling information to construct and install prefabricated masonry units

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Bricklayers need:

  • Manual dexterity and a good sense of balance
  • An eye for colour, line and proportion
  • The ability to use proper lifting techniques to work with heavy tools and materials
  • The ability to work as a team

They should enjoy working with their hands on a variety of projects, which sometimes require creativity.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Bricklayers

2016 NOC: 7281

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 99 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 02, 2021 and Jul 18, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Prepare and lay bricks, concrete blocks, structural tiles or other masonry units
Tasks: Lay bricks, stone or similar materials to provide veneer facing
Tasks: Construct and install prefabricated masonry units
Tasks: Cut and trim bricks and concrete blocks to specification using hand and power tools
Tasks: Read sketches and blueprints to calculate materials required
Experience: 3 years to less than 5 years
Tasks: Lay radial bricks to build masonry shells of industrial chimneys
Work Setting: Construction
Tasks: Lay bricks or other masonry units to build residential or commercial chimneys and fireplaces
Construction Specialization: Team player
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship

Bricklayers must know the properties of mortars and other bonding materials, and how to handle different types of masonry units.

To work in Alberta, a bricklayer must be ONE of the following:

  • A registered apprentice
  • An Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • Someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate
  • Someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • Self-employed

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train them. They must also meet ONE of the following:

  • Have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2, Math 10-3, or equivalent
  • Have a pass mark in all 5 Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests
  • Pass an entrance exam

The term of apprenticeship is 3 years (three 12-month periods) that include a minimum of 1,600 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of classroom instruction each year.

High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for admission, credit, or certification. Credits may reduce the period of apprenticeship.

Bricklayer apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Classroom instruction is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. For more information, see the Apprenticeship Training Catalogue.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Apprenticeship Trades

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Bricklayer

Bricklayers prepare and lay brick and other masonry units to construct and repair structures such as walls, partitions, patios, arches, fireplaces and chimneys. For more information, see the Designated Trades Profile on Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act [pdf], you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Bricklayer.

Additional Information

Certified tradespeople who want to build their business skills may obtain an Achievement in Business Competencies (Blue Seal) Certificate from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Bricklayers are employed by trade, building and general contractors. Some bricklayers are self-employed, usually contracting on small jobs such as patios and fireplaces. Many bricklayers stay in the trade until they retire. Others move into estimator, inspector or supervisor positions.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 7281: Bricklayers occupational group, 92.3% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 7281: Bricklayers occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 2.4% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 13 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Bricklayers may experience periods of unemployment during an economic downturn when construction slows down or during cold weather.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Journeyperson bricklayers wage vary, but generally range from $30 to $42 an hour for red brick and $45 to $50 an hour for the refractory sector, plus benefits (2019 estimates). Apprentices earn at least 60% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 80% in the second and 90% in the third.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Bricklayers

2016 NOC: 7281
Average Wage
$40.97
Per Hour
Average Salary
$86,045.00
Per Year
Average Hours
40.4
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 7281 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $40.31 $34.03 $34.47
Overall $20.89 $47.14 $40.97 $41.44
Top $20.89 $58.37 $46.77 $44.85

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

ALL INDUSTRIES
Construction

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
56%
56%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
64%
64%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
25%
25%
Vacancy Rate
4%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Masonry Contractors Association of Alberta website: www.mca-canada.com

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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