To become a brick layer, you will need to fulfill the requirements needed to obtain a "Journeyperson" certificate. A brick layer enjoys flexible employment opportunities, frequently works in the outdoors and has the opportunity to join brick layer labor unions which work to regulate wages and protect workers' interests. Read on to learn more.
- Skill level:
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Complete your high school education with an emphasis on mathematics and drafting. While a secondary school diploma is usually not required to complete your professional certification as a brick layer, you'll find it much easier to secure an apprenticeship if you've finished high school.
Knock on doors around your town or city to secure a brick layer apprenticeship with a construction contractor. Usually offered with reduced or half wages, an apprentice works as an on-the-job helper, assisting more experienced brick layers in the construction of walls and other exterior structures. An apprenticeship is essential for gaining the knowledge and experience required to take the next step.
Find an accredited 3-year formal apprenticeship program through the company that hired you in Step 2. Your formal training combines your on-the-job experience with a minimum of 144 hours of in-class instruction per year.
Complete your apprenticeship while continuing to build your skills on the job. Soon, you should develop the skills you'll need to become a brick layer, including wall and partition building, welding, blueprint reading and proper use of brick laying tools.
Remember that you may still be allowed to take an examination (if you are required to pass one to receive certification in your state) even if you have foregone formal apprenticeship training. In such cases, you will usually need considerable experience--sometimes up to 10 years--to circumvent the in-class education component.
Learn more about the career opportunities that you qualify for after you become a brick layer. Once you amass some professional experience as a brick layer, you can become an estimator, supervisor or independent contractor. If you're committed, work hard and learn quickly, you'll have no problem advancing as far as you can go!
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Tips and warnings
- While many brick layers simply acquire the skills they need through on-the-job training, it is recommended that you complete your certification to give you better access to a range of jobs.
- Many brick layers work as independent contractors. If you opt to go this route, keep in mind that work may be sporadic.
- A brick layer must be physically capable of repeatedly lifting heavy objects and working outdoors, sometimes under unpleasant conditions.