Bricklayers

(NOC 7281)

in All Trades and Transportation

Bricklayers build and repair walls, floors, fireplaces, and walkways with bricks, blocks and stones. Restoration stone masons build and repair structures using stone. Bricklayers work for construction companies, landscaping companies, bricklaying or masonry contractors or they may be self-employed. Apprentices are included in this group.

Job Outlook

Good

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  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 15 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Outlook for Bricklayers: good, employment prospects are attractive or improving. Bricklayers are identified as being at risk of their not being enough tradespeople for future projects.

Local Observations: bricklayers have been difficult to find in Cape Breton.

Size of the occupation in Nova Scotia: small, with infrequent job opportunities.

Demand: moderate employment growth with retirements as a key contributor to job opportunities.

Work hours: full-time, normally. Both permanent and temporary positions are common.

Self-employment: a portion of the workforce is self-employed, which may appeal to some people’s interests/motivations.

Hourly Pay

$19.00

Minimum

$26.00

Median

$38.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,255

Minimum

$28,768

Median

$63,271

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$37.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Bricklayers build and repair walls, floors, fireplaces, and walkways with bricks, blocks and stones. Restoration stone masons build and repair structures using stone.

Bricklayers work for construction companies, landscaping companies, bricklaying or masonry contractors or they may be self-employed. Apprentices are included in this group.

Job duties

Bricklayers:

  • Read sketches and blueprints to calculate materials required.
  • Cut and trim bricks and concrete blocks using hand and power tools.
  • Prepare and lay bricks, concrete blocks, stone, structural tiles, and similar materials to build or repair walls, foundations, and other structures.
  • Ensure each layer is level from corner to corner.
  • Spread mortar over 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 masonry material is in position.
  • Lay bricks or other masonry units to build chimneys, fireplaces and smokestacks.
  • Line or reline furnaces, kilns, boilers, and similar installations using refractory or acid-resistant bricks, refractory concretes, plastic refractories, and other materials.
  • Lay bricks, stone, or similar materials to provide veneer facing to walls or other surfaces.
  • Build and install prefabricated masonry units.
  • Lay bricks or other masonry units to build patios, garden walls and other decorative installations.
  • May restore, clean or paint existing masonry structures.

Sample job titles

  • brick and stone mason
  • brick setter
  • bricklayer
  • brickmason
  • chimney repair stonemason
  • concrete block setter
  • restoration stonemason
  • stonemason

Skills

  • Physical strength and stamina.
  • 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 with precision.
  • Coordinated and comfortable working at heights.
  • The ability to follow instructions.
  • The ability to work as a team.
  • Imagination and creativity are assets.

Job requirements

Bricklayer:

  • High school or equivalent.
  • Training through a 5,400-hour apprenticeship program with three apprenticeship levels: to become an apprentice first you need to have a job - enter an apprenticeship agreement either directly through an employer or after graduating from a college-level pre-apprenticeship program; learn on the job, mentored by a certified journeyperson who signs off on skills in a logbook.
  • Trade qualifier option, 8,100 hours and other criteria.
  • Trade certification for bricklayers is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for bricklayers.
  • Bricklayer: Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.

Restoration Stone Mason:

  • High school or equivalent.
  • Trade qualifier option, 10,800 hours and other criteria.
  • Trade certification for restoration stone masons is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the certification exam for restoration stone masons.

Other considerations

  • Setting: outdoors, often on scaffolding, and in confined spaces. They sometimes use protective enclosures and portable heaters in poor weather.
  • Work hours: 40-hour week. Overtime may be required.
  • Physically demanding and requires handling items that weigh up to 25 kilograms.
  • Some travel may be required to get to work sites.
  • Apprentices usually earn a percentage of the journeyperson (fully qualified) rate. This percentage increases as each level of the apprenticeship program is completed.
  • Jobs in the construction industry are affected by seasonal changes and economic conditions. Work may be on a project basis. Workers should be prepared for periods of unemployment.
  • Experience bricklayers may move into supervisor positions or related fields like estimator, inspector or construction manager. They may also become contractors.
  • Everyone has fair access to participate and succeed in the apprenticeship system. Everyone who develops the necessary skills and abilities should be able to succeed in the trades and trade qualification system. Work environments in the province support women and equity-seeking communities.

By the numbers

Quick look

380

employed in 2016

85.3%

employed full-time

20.0%

self employed

4.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
96%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.9

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

49.3%

Halifax

$33,450 median annual income
16.0%

Cape Breton

$24,330 median annual income
13.3%

Annapolis Valley

$23,533 median annual income
12.0%

North Shore

$16,808 median annual income
9.3%

Southern

N/A

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

83.6%

Construction

3.3%

Professional, scientific and technical services

3.3%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

3.3%

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

3.3%

Other services (except public administration)

What is the age of Employment?

30.0%

55-64

20.0%

45-54

16.0%

35-44

15.0%

25-34

14.0%

15-24

5.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

48.0%

Trade Certification

$30,149 median annual income
17.3%

High school

$23,428 median annual income
16.0%

College Diploma

$34,353 median annual income
13.3%

Less than high school

$22,454 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Apprenticeship - Bricklayer

Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship is a structured training program leading to certification in the skilled trades. An apprenticeship combines supervised on-the-job training and experience with theoretical technical training. You find a job in your trade first and then enter into an apprenticeship agreement. You work 5,400 hours mentored by a certified journeyperson and gain the required skills and knowledge. You also take some technical courses. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency administers the trades training and certification system. A bricklayer apprenticeship prepares apprentices to apply technical knowledge and skills in the laying and/or setting of brick, concrete block, hard tile, marble and related materials, using trowels, levels, hammers, chisels, and other hand tools.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Masonry - Pre-apprenticeship College Program

College or Trades Program

These programs preapre students to apply technical knowledge and skills in the laying and/or setting of brick, concrete block, hard tile, marble and related materials, using trowels, levels, hammers, chisels, and other hand tools. They include courses in technical mathematics, blueprint reading, structural masonry, decorative masonry, foundations, reinforcement, mortar preparation, cutting and finishing, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Building Trades Advancement College of Nova Scotia

Lakeside, NS

Trade Qualifier

Trades Program

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency also offers a path to trades certification outside of a formal apprenticeship agreement with a qualified journeyperson. This option includes a set amount of required hours of related experience in the trade, passing a certification exam, and other criteria. Contact the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency for more details.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Bricklayer

Compulsory Certification (Mandatory): This is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Individuals must hold a Certification of Qualification, be a registered apprentice, or hold a temporary work permit to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS
Restoration Stone Mason

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Construction Association of Nova Scotia
Dartmouth, NS
BuildForce Canada
Ottawa, ON
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
Halifax, NS
Mainland Nova Scotia Building Trades
Lakeside, NS
Cape Breton Island Building and Construction Trade Council
Sydney, NS
Atlantic Masonry Institute
Dartmouth, NS
Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS