How to Get a Job as a Bricklayer
Do you enjoy working outdoors? Why not get a job as a bricklayer? This old trade is experiencing a revival of late: current surges in the construction industry mean that building companies are hungry for hard-working and skilled bricklayers. The past year as seen a 13% increase in wages for full-time brickies – and this some looks set to increase on an annual basis.
In fact, bricklayers are one of the most highly-paid construction workers in Australia. The average worker earns about 100 000 dollars per year with a 52 hour work week. This means that the time is ripe to start a career in bricklaying. But how does one start?
Doing a Pre-Apprenticeship
Instead of going straight into a regular apprenticeship, why not get the edge on the competition and do a six month pre-apprenticeship course first? This program combines the theoretical and practical components bricklaying for the attainment of a Certificate I in General Construction. Here, you’ll learn the essentials of skilled and disciplined bricklaying work. This includes the planning of projects; how to measure, interpret and apply building plans; and how to implement the rules of Workplace Health and Safety.
You’ll also learn how to operate power tools safely and effectively, and how to erect and dismantle scaffolds for working at height. Financial management and client communication are two more aspects in what constitutes a holistic, basic approach to bricklaying.
Starting an Apprenticeship
If you’d rather forgo the studying and get stuck right into the action, then an apprenticeship is for you. An apprenticeship is an on-the-job training program, in which you’ll also get remunerated with good wages for your efforts. All the nuances of working as an effective bricklayer are to be learned here. You will discover what constitutes good team-work, clear on-the-job communication, and how to think on your toes in the event of an emergency.
Apprenticeships for bricklayers usually last about three years. As a first year bricklayer earns about 270 dollars a week, which increases to weekly earnings of 600 dollars. As stated earlier, bricklaying is on the fast track to becoming one of Australia’s best-paid trades.
Can Anyone Be a Bricklayer?
Don’t let the large salaries fool you – bricklaying is gruelling hard work. As a result, it’s not for everyone, especially those who prefer to keep their hands clean and their heads in the shade. However, if you enjoy the Great Outdoors and love the satisfaction of seeing a building job completed, it’s the job for you.
You need to be highly motivated to succeed and prepared to put in long hours of grinding labour – especially in your first year as an apprentice. Therefore, it helps to be physically fit enough to work up a sweat without falling over. It’s also important to have good hand-eye co-ordination. You need to be comfortable with heights, and able to work in all kinds of weather conditions. And of course, it doesn’t hurt to have an aptitude for all things mechanical and technical.
With enough drive and discipline, you’ll be able to qualify as an experienced bricklayer. After that, the world’s your oyster, and you can take on any project you want.