Concrete Contractor

What Does a Brick Mason Do?

Brick Mason Charleston SC construct, repair and rebuild structures made of brick. They use tools like levels, plumb bobs and trowels to make sure that the structure is level and secure.

They also mix mortar, a mixture of cement, sand and water, and apply it to the bricks to hold them together. Having the right skills and qualifications are essential to this job.

Brick masons work with masonry materials like bricks, stones, and concrete blocks to build a variety of structures including walls, patios, walkways, driveways, and other commercial or residential construction. They also install, repair, and maintain firebrick linings in industrial furnaces, kilns, and boilers. Other responsibilities may include:

  • Reading plans or blueprints.
  • Laying bricks or other materials according to the specifications in the drawings.
  • Cutting down the materials into smaller sizes.
  • Mixing and spreading mortar.
  • Cleaning surfaces at the end of a job.

Applicants for this position should have physical stamina and strength to perform physically demanding tasks, and they must be able to climb ladders or scaffolding as needed. They must have good hand-eye coordination and dexterity to handle tools and manipulate bricks, as well as excellent math skills for measuring dimensions and calculating quantities of materials needed for a project.

In addition to these qualifications, a brick mason should have a strong work ethic and a commitment to quality workmanship. They should be able to follow construction guidelines and safety protocols, as well as communicate effectively with other members of the construction team. They should have good problem-solving skills to overcome construction challenges and troubleshoot issues that arise during the course of a project.

A brick mason’s career trajectory can vary depending on their location and the availability of jobs. In areas where there is a high demand for bricklaying, brick masons can command higher salaries than those working in other types of construction industries. Those looking to advance in their careers may consider seeking additional certifications or specializing in particular fields, such as historic restoration or masonry project management.

A good brick mason job description can help attract qualified candidates for the position. It should clearly list all of the responsibilities and qualifications that are required for the role, so that potential candidates will know whether or not they have the skills and experience necessary to succeed in the position. This will save time for both the candidate and the employer, as it will eliminate applications from candidates who are not a good fit for the role.

Education and Training Requirements

Brickmasons use masonry materials such as brick, concrete blocks and stone to construct walls, walkways, buildings and other structures. They must read plans or blueprints and calculate the amount of materials needed for each project. They must also know how to cut and lay out building material, mix mortar and clean surfaces at the end of a workday.

Although formal education is not a requirement to become a brick mason, it is recommended that potential workers complete high school or earn a GED certificate. They can then enroll in a vocational school or community college program that offers programs in brick masonry. An apprenticeship is another option that offers on-the-job training for 3 to 4 years under the guidance of experienced brick masons. Apprentices usually receive about 50 percent of the wages paid to fully qualified brick masons. Apprenticeships may be sponsored by labor unions, contractor associations or by individual construction companies.

Once a brick mason has completed an apprenticeship, he can apply to obtain journeyman certification. This qualification demonstrates his competence and enables him to supervise other masonry workers. In addition to possessing technical knowledge and skills, a successful brick mason must be reliable and have a strong work ethic.

Many brick masons are members of labor unions such as the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. In addition to providing benefits such as medical insurance, unions can provide career advancement opportunities for their members. With additional training, brick masons can move into supervisory roles or even become owners of their own masonry businesses.

Those interested in becoming a brick mason should take a career interest inventory and consider their preferences for different types of working environments and activities. Those with strong Realistic interests are likely to be happier in this occupation, as it involves a more hands-on approach to problem-solving and the use of physical tools and real-world materials. It is also important for potential brick masons to have strong Mathematical interests, as they will need to be able to accurately measure dimensions and prepare construction plans. They should also be comfortable using power tools and have the physical stamina for long hours of manual labor.

Work Environment

Brick masons work in a variety of settings, including residential and commercial construction sites. They may also work in collaboration with other construction professionals, including engineers and architects, to ensure that their brickwork complies with the project specifications.

Masons use their mathematical skills to accurately measure dimensions and calculate the amount of materials needed for each job. They also need to be able to mix mortar, which is a combination of cement, sand, and water, to the right consistency for each project. Masons may also need to excavate and prepare the site for construction, such as laying a foundation or removing existing materials.

The physical stamina required for this career is considerable, as brick masons must often lift heavy materials and tools. Their strength enables them to construct masonry structures that are both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound. In addition, brick masons must have good hand-eye coordination to handle their tools efficiently and accurately.

As they gain experience and expertise, brick masons can earn higher wages. In some instances, they can even take on supervisory roles within the construction industry, further enhancing their earning potential. Additionally, brick masons can choose to participate in various professional development activities and networking events to increase their knowledge base and stay abreast of industry advancements.

In this career, brick masons need to have a high level of self-motivation in order to perform their duties to the best of their ability. In addition, they must be able to handle the stress of working in a physically demanding environment, as well as the long hours associated with the job.

Brick masons typically have Realistic personalities, meaning they’re independent, stable, persistent, genuine, and thrifty individuals who enjoy tasks that are tactile, physical, or athletic. They also tend to have moderate Investigative interests, which suggests they like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. Finally, they prefer careers that allow them to utilize their problem-solving abilities and creativity. In addition to these personality traits, brick masons need a strong desire to create a positive impact on the built environment.


Brick masons are typically paid an hourly rate that varies according to the complexity of each project. A brick mason’s salary may also be affected by his or her experience, skillset, and location. Those with more experience can earn higher salaries, as well as take on supervisory roles and lead teams of brick masons.

Those who wish to become a brick mason can pursue an apprenticeship that lasts three to four years, during which time they learn on-the-job skills and complete classroom instruction from a skilled master mason. Once they have successfully completed their apprenticeship, they can apply for journeyman status, which allows them to work on their own and earn professional wages.

The work environment for brick masons is primarily construction sites, both indoors and outdoors depending on the project requirements. They frequently collaborate with other construction professionals, including architects, engineers, and contractors, to ensure that their brickwork is in line with the overall design and specifications of each project. Strong problem-solving skills are necessary for brick masons to navigate unexpected construction challenges and come up with innovative solutions that ensure that the final product meets the highest quality standards.

Masons also need to have a high level of physical stamina, as they regularly lift heavy materials and stand or lean over in various positions for extended periods of time. They must have good hand-eye coordination, as well as the ability to quickly and accurately measure and combine building materials.

In addition, brick masons must be able to read blueprints and calculate how much of each material they will need to complete each job. They must also be able to handle tools and power equipment effectively. As a result, the work environment for brick masons can be physically demanding and hazardous at times.

The brick mason career path is highly desirable for those who enjoy working with their hands and are interested in being part of a team of construction professionals. Those who are successful in this role can advance within the industry, becoming a senior brick mason or even becoming a general contractor.