Bricklayers, also called brickmasons and blockmasons, build and repair structures using brick and other masonry materials, like prefabricated masonry panels and concrete blocks. Bricklayers use these materials to build floors, walls, fireplaces, chimneys and walkways. Bricklayers can learn the trade through an apprenticeship, an industry-based training program or on the job in a less skilled role. The work is physically demanding but pays fairly well.
Salary.com reports a median salary of £29,471 for U.S. bricklayers in 2009. The middle 50 per cent of bricklayers earn between £26,892 and £36,206. The bottom 10 per cent earn less than £24,545, while the top 10 per cent earn more than £42,337.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the earnings of bricklayers, based on survey information from May 2006, in hourly wages. The BLS reports a median hourly wage of £13.40. The middle 50 per cent of bricklayers earned between £10.30 and £17.0 an hour. The bottom 10 per cent earned less than £7.90 an hour while the top 10 per cent earned more than £21.0.
Salary.com also reports on the benefits that bricklayers receive. The average value of benefits includes employers' contributions to Social Security worth £2,254, 401(k) and 403(b) plans worth £1,060, disability worth averaging £294, health care worth £3,719, pensions worth £1,355 and time-off worth £3,853. The value of value of bricklayers' compensation, including base salary and benefits, is £42,010.
Experience plays a significant role in the salary of a bricklayer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that workers who start in apprentice or helper positions usually earn only half what experienced bricklayers earn. Wages are typically increased twice a year based on specific criteria. Payscale.com breaks down the median hourly rate that bricklayers earn by years of experience. While those with one to four years of experience typically earned between £10.10 and £15.50 an hour in 2009, those with five to nine years earned £11.20 to £19.2 and those with 10 to 19 years earned £13.80 to £19.9.
Other factors, like company size and location, can also affect earnings. Payscale.com reports that while those working in companies with fewer than 10 people earned between £11.90 and £17.20 an hour in 2009. Those in companies of 50 to 200 people earned £13.30 to £21.0 an hour.
The Bureau of Labor Statistic predicted a 10 per cent increase in the number of jobs for bricklayers from 2006 through 2016. Although this rate is about the same as the job growth expected in all occupations, a large number of older bricklayers are also expected to retire during this period, leaving many jobs open. This leads to very good job prospects for bricklayers.