brickie builder
Construction and building

Career outlook for bricklayer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You’d build and repair walls, chimneys, tunnel linings and archways to make people’s homes and other buildings safe,and protected from the weather.

You might also refurbish brickwork and masonry to restore old buildings.

It’s likely that you’d work on extensions to people’s homes to give them more room without moving house.

You would:

  • Read the engineers’ or architects’ plan
  • Measure the work area
  • Set out the first rows of bricks (courses) and the damp course
  • Mix mortar by hand or with a mechanical mixer
  • Lay the bricks on top of each other and apply the mortar with a trowel
  • Shape and trim bricks using hammers, chisels and power tools
  • Check that courses are straight and level using water or laser spirit levels and plumb lines.

On larger jobs, your team - or gang - would work on a particular section of a building alongside other bricklaying gangs. You’d need to be aware of safety issues, particularly when working at heights and carrying loads.

You might also do ornamental brickwork or decorative stonework to add interest to walls and buildings and make them look good. Or you might specialise in stonemasonry work.

Working conditions


You would normally work about 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may sometimes need to do overtime at weekends and in the evenings.


You would spend a lot of your time outside in most weathers, and the work can be physically hard. Your job may involve working at heights on scaffolding, and you would be expected to use protective equipment, such as safety helmets and boots.


You would travel from site to site. Some jobs may involve overnight stays away from home.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Problem solving
  • Observation
  • Attention to detail
  • Concentrating
  • Managing resources
  • Time management
  • Making decisions

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You must complete a Modern Apprenticeship with an employer and work towards a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Trowel Occupations (SVQ level 3). 

Useful subjects

  • Maths
  • English
  • Technologies subjects

You will also need

You must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to work on a site. You must pass a health and safety test to qualify for this scheme.

You usually need to take an aptitude test.


Helpful to have

Qualifications that show practical skills and experience such as Skills for Work Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5).

Another option to help develop skills for an apprenticeship is to take a college course in Bricklaying. This would teach you some of the skills needed for the job.

College options could include National Progression Award (NPA) Brickwork, City & Guilds level 1 Brickwork or Pre-Apprentice courses.