With the Australian property market continuing to boom and showing resilience during uncertain times, many traditional hands-on vocations are proving to be a hit with employers. Although carpenters and sparkies headline the list, bricklaying remains a fundamental role in the building industry.
Nowadays, the profession includes more than just laying bricks. Bricklayers own the start-to-finish process from preparation to reinforcement and repairing.
The trade also requires you to shape, polish and cut materials to create the groundwork for new infrastructure.
So here are the concrete facts you’ll need to know that will give you the right foundation for your construction career.
With quality standards constantly improving, most states and territories will require you to have the right bricklaying licence to work as a bricklayer.
In most parts of the country, it’s mandatory to have a licence if you want to participate in any residential building work over $5000. You can check the relevant state guidelines to see what requirements are needed where you live as well as official definitions.
A bricklaying licence is also vital in letting you advertise your services as well as signing contracts to help you take on bigger projects.
Meanwhile, if you want to work on a construction site, you may also need a White Card to confirm you understand Occupational Health and Safety standards for bigger jobs.
To be eligible for the bricklaying permit, your licensing body will likely expect you to have completed a nationally recognised VET qualification through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). They’ll also expect you to have undertaken practical training in bricklaying.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for changes to industry standards to ensure your qualifications are still relevant and you meet the requirements to keep on practicing. You can monitor this by contacting your state’s licensing body.
Although slightly varied, most states require qualifications – typically a Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying. Other states, such as NSW, will also accept a Certificate III in General Construction (Bricklaying/Blocklaying).
Alternatively, if you want to speed up the process, governing bodies such as fair trading NSW also accept Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) as the required prerequisite qualification(s). This means your previous experience can count towards your new qualification.
Organisations like Qualify Me can assess your prior learnings and experience RPL to see if you can be fast tracked.
Once you’ve become a qualified bricklayer, you can then apply for a bricklaying license. This will let you take on projects and help you meet the requirements of licensing bodies.
Each state and territory has a Building Commission that regulates bricklaying licenses. To begin with, you will typically need to earn the relevant certification. It also helps if you complete your study as part of a bricklaying apprenticeship so you have more on-site experience.
Tertiary institutions offer these courses while also equipping you with the practical skills to meet the licensing requirements.
Once you have received your qualification in bricklaying (such as cert 3 in Bricklaying), you can apply for a bricklaying contractor licence from the governing body in your state such as fair trading NSW. This can usually be done through a government service website such as Service NSW in NSW. Other states such as Queensland let you apply direct through the Building and Construction Commission website.
Remember, it’s important to check what applies to you to see if standards have changed.
Bricklaying apprenticeships take on average three years.
Although the typical certificate offered by tertiary institutions only takes one year, an apprenticeship offers you the chance to earn an income while honing your skills in the field.
Apprenticeships also offer the flexibility to ensure you can manage both working on-site and in-class lessons.
Want to see if you can be fast tracked and start building your future as a brickie? Head to Qualify Me to see if you fit the bill.