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Occupational Profile
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.

  • Avg. Salary $86,765.00
  • Avg. Wage $41.50
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook N/A
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Construction Tradesperson, Mason

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

66%
66%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Bricklayer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Bricklayers
NOC code: 7281
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

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 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 More

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Bricklayers work with masonry materials such as brick, concrete block, stone, structural tile and precast panels. They also lay or install fire brick or castable materials in commercial and industrial furnaces and incinerators, and acid tile and acid brick in 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 Dec 14, 2016

Bricklayers usually work outdoors, often on scaffolding.  They sometimes use protective enclosures and portable heaters in adverse weather conditions. The work is physically demanding and requires routinely handling items that weigh up to 25 kilograms. Some travel may be required to get to work sites.

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

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Bricklayers need the following characteristics:

  • the physical strength and stamina required to work with heavy tools and materials
  • manual dexterity and a good sense of balance
  • the ability to get along well with co-workers
  • an eye for colour, line and proportion.

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

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:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2 and Math 10-3, or equivalent, or a pass mark in all 5 GED tests, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.   

The term of apprenticeship is three years (three 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,600 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training 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 credit or certification.

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).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary and in Edmonton.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Bricklayers are employed by trade, building and general contractors. Some bricklayers are self-employed, usually contracting on small jobs such as patios and fireplaces. Bricklayers may experience periods of unemployment during an economic downturn when construction slows down or during cold weather.

Many bricklayers stay in the trade until they retire. Others move into estimator, inspector or foreman positions. Alberta certified journeyperson bricklayers who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

In Alberta, 81% of people employed as bricklayers work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Journeyperson wage rates vary, but generally range from $30 to $42 an hour for red brick and $48 to $53 an hour for the refractory sector, plus benefits (2016 estimates). Apprentice bricklayers 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.

Bricklayers
NOC code: 7281

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $20.00 $48.01 $40.48 $37.58
Overall $27.00 $48.01 $41.50 $38.43
Top $30.00 $48.01 $42.71 $42.13

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.

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.


Industry Information
Construction
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

66%
66%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

74%
74%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

26%
26%

2015 Vacancy Rate

4%
Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Construction
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

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

BuildForce Canada website: www.buildforce.ca

Construction Sector Council website: www.csc-ca.org

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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 25, 2015. 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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