What Sort of Work Do Bricklayers Do?

If you have never been on a building site before, then you may be forgiven for thinking that all bricklayers do all day long is to lay bricks. Of course, laying bricks and building up walls with them is a big part of the job description for the average bricklayer. That said, there is much more to the job than meets the eye. Read on to find out the typical daily tasks that somebody working in the bricklaying trade would be expected to perform.

Brick Preparation

Not all bricks are in the perfect state to be laid on site. They may need to be cleaned or cut to size, for example. Often, when a bricklayer is working on an older property, used bricks are needed to get a good match with what is already there, so sourcing the right ones might also be required. Then, there is the issue of transporting the bricks from the delivery site to the wall where they will actually be needed. Sometimes this is carried out by general labourers or even by a crane operator but if those resources are not available, getting the bricks into position is a bricklayer's job.

Mixing Mortar

Remember that a bricklayer is not just there to stack bricks on one another until they reach the desired height. What is also needed is the mortar that goes with them. Most skilled bricklaying professionals will mix their own mortar for the sort of wall they are building so that it has the right consistency for the bricks being used. This will sometimes also need to be altered according to the weather conditions on a particular day. Skills with both hand and mechanical mixing would be expected of any contractor employing a bricklayer.

Understand Plans

Although large building sites will often have a foreman who will direct a team of bricklayers, smaller ones may require a bricklayer to understand and interpret the architectural plans of their own accord. The ability to get to grips with drawn information and to work accordingly is a prerequisite in the trade.


Bricklayers are known for the degree of accuracy they can deliver in their work. Unlike some other trades, constant checking with plumb-lines and spirit levels is expected for anyone involved in wall construction. In fact, it is not just walls that rely on a high level of precision. When laying bricks and paving slabs for things like patios and terraces, the same degree of accuracy is expected.