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Bricklayers

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NOC:7281
Occupation:Bricklayers
Category:Trades and Transportation

About the job

Nature of work:

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

Job duties:
Bricklayers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Read sketches and blueprints to calculate materials required.
  • Cut and trim bricks and concrete blocks to specification using hand and power tools.
  • Prepare and lay bricks, concrete blocks, stone, structural tiles and similar materials to construct 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.
  • Construct 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:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of 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.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Limited

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “limited”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average when compared with other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent and jobseekers may face competition. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. 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. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

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)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Bricklayers295decline5High
Minimum: $17.00
Median: $24.00
Maximum: $34.00
Minimum: $7,255
Median: $28,768
Maximum: $63,271
Occupations in Trades and Transportation57,925Decline slightly3,400High
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $20.35
Maximum: $34.00
Minimum: $7,580
Median: $37,269
Maximum: $79,787
BricklayersCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
Percent employed full-time89%89%
Percent self-employed4%13%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentBricklayersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern9%x12%$30,581
Northern12%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton16%x13%$32,974
Halifax49%$25,98447%$41,209
Annapolis Valley13%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeBricklayersCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
15-2410%x
25-347%13%
35-4414%33%
45-5431%34%
55-6421%19%
65+17%x
Median Age4747
GenderBricklayersCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
Female4%5%
Male96%95%
EducationBricklayersCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school14.3%$25,45818.2%$25,753
High school18.6%$30,52025.5%$28,089
Trades certificate45.7%$28,52729.4%$40,890
College certificate or diploma17.1%$31,28522.6%$39,023
University certificate or diploma2.9%x1.0%$35,969
Bachelor's degree2.9%x2.7%$36,972
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/Ax0.2%$41,705
Master's degreeN/Ax0.3%x
Doctorate2.9%x0.0%$36,029
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.0%$3,714
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
Bricklayer
Certificate of Qualification (Mandatory):This job is a regulated designated trade in Nova Scotia. Certification is required to work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
apprenticeship@novascotia.ca
Restoration Stone Mason
Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary):This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
apprenticeship@novascotia.ca
Useful contacts:
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
info@nscsc.ca
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
shelburne.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Masonry/mason
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals 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. These programs include courses in technical mathematics, blueprint reading, structural masonry, decorative masonry, foundations, reinforcement, mortar preparation, cutting and finishing, and applicable codes and standards.
See all institutions providing this program+
Apprenticeship Training
Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute
80 Mawiomi Place
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5
(902) 491-1100
waterfront.info@nscc.ca
Additional resources:

Work Occupation Video(s)

Bricklayer