Bricklayers

(NOC 7281)

in All Trades and Transportation

Bricklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks, stone, and other similar materials to build or repair walls, arches, chimneys, fireplaces, patios, garden walls, and other structures in accordance with blueprints and specifications. They work for construction companies and bricklaying contractors or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 20 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 205 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4385 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Bricklayers most commonly work full-time hours. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 27% of Bricklayers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $44,758. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$26.00

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,255

Minimum

$28,768

Median

$63,271

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.50

Minimum

$27.25

Median

$35.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Bricklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks, stone, and other similar materials to build or repair walls, arches, chimneys, fireplaces, patios, garden walls, and other structures in accordance with blueprints and specifications. They work for construction companies and bricklaying contractors or they may be self-employed.

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 in residential, industrial, and commercial construction.
  • Lay bricks or other masonry units to build residential or commercial chimneys and fireplaces.
  • Lay radial bricks to build masonry shells of industrial chimneys.
  • Lay or install firebricks to line industrial chimneys 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

This work requires a sense of balance, an eye for line and proportion, and the ability to work with precision. You should be in excellent physical condition, coordinated, and comfortable working at heights. The ability to follow instructions and cooperate with others is important. A good imagination and creative ability are also assets in this trade.

Job requirements

  • High school is usually required.
  • A three- to four-year apprenticeship program or a combination of over four years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in bricklaying is usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Trade certification for bricklayers is compulsory in Nova Scotia.
  • Trade certification for restoration stone masons is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified bricklayers upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Other considerations

Jobs in the construction industry are strongly affected by seasonal changes and general economic conditions. As a result, workers in these jobs should be prepared for periods of unemployment. Also, many work on a project basis and can expect periods of unemployment throughout the year. The wage rate for apprentices is usually a percentage of the journeyperson rate, increasing upon completion of each stage of the apprenticeship program. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

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

16.0%

Cape Breton

13.3%

Annapolis Valley

12.0%

North Shore

9.3%

Southern

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%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

3.3%

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

3.3%

Other services (except public administration)

3.3%

Manufacturing

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%

Apprenticeship

$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%

Apprenticeship

$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

Adult High School Siploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Masonry

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

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Building Trades Advancement College of Nova Scotia

Lakeside, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Bricklayer

Compulsory Certification (Mandatory): This job is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. A valid Certification of Qualification, an apprentice ID, or a temporary work permit is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Restoration Stone Mason

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

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651

Contacts

Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
Halifax, NS