The Australian construction industry is estimated to become a $194.2 billion market by 2024. All jobs related to construction will offer numerous opportunities to earn and grow professionally. Bricklaying in particular, is on Australia’s Medium to Long Term Skills Shortage List, making it a high-demand job. Here, we’ll give you the exhaustive information you need to become a bricklayer in Australia.
What does a bricklayer’s day look like?
Bricklaying is a physically demanding job. Your day will have you on your feet for hours at-a-stretch (and often on scaffolds/swings). You will be responsible for preparing concrete blocks, pre-cut stones and brick tiles and laying them as per the property blueprint. You’ll also be in charge of constructing a variety of structures and also repairing walls. As a bricklayer, you’ll be able to work on construction sites and pre-built properties for renovations.
The job of a bricklayer can be quite risky. You carry heavy blocks on very hazardous terrains. Tiredness, uneven terrain and potholes may cause you to drop the blocks and you may unintentionally end up hurting someone or damaging the client’s property. Or imagine, you’ve set the brick down for a rest and someone accidentally trips on it and gets hurt. In these cases, you may be sued on grounds of negligence and be forced to pay thousands of dollars in legal fines, penalties and damages. This can be really expensive and if you’re a self-employed bricklayer, you may find it very hard to recover from these losses.
A Public Liability Insurance can protect you and your business. This insurance indemnifies you against any on-site injuries to clients and third-parties and any property damages during work. It is the best coverage to protect your personal finances and prevent being penalised for not having the resources to pay court claims. Check this article to learn how else Public Liability Insurance can help you.
Becoming a bricklayer in Australia
To become a certified bricklayer in Australia, interested individuals must start by completing the Certificate II in Construction Pathways (CPC20211), which is an introductory course that introduces interested participants to construction practices. Here, you’ll be introduced to various facets of construction such as bricklaying, carpentry and joinery.
After you complete Certificate II, you must complete the Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying (CPC30111). This course provides exhaustive theoretical and practical knowledge that students need to become qualified bricklayers in the country.
The syllabus of Certificate III adheres to the building construction and bricklaying standards set by the Australian Government. Any individual who has completed the Australian Year 10 or an equivalent course is eligible to take this course.
The course is of 2 years duration, although some colleges may offer an extension of 1 year. Here, you will learn in detail how to erect scaffolding, construct arches, lay bricks in specific designs, how to construct structures like chimneys and rooves, stonemasonry and how to interpret blueprints.
While you complete the course, you will also have to take up apprenticeship as either a blocklayer or a bricklayer under a certified bricklaying professional. Your on-site work will be evaluated, in addition to the theoretical exams you sit for, in order to award Certificate III. By the end of the 2 year course, you must have completed over 360 hours of vocational placement.
Once you complete Certificate III, you are eligible to take up any bricklaying jobs you want in Australia. This course is ideal both for new bricklayers and experienced bricklayers who may not have completed a formal certification in the field.
Getting your General Construction Induction Card
The General Construction Induction Card, also known as White Card, is a mandatory federal requirement that every person working in the construction industry must possess. The training for the White Card introduces you to construction safety practices that every construction worker should know. You will learn about Australian safety standards and will be exposed to industry best practices for on-site safety. The White Card doesn’t expire unless you leave it unused for 2 consecutive years. It is encouraged that you get your White Card before you begin your apprenticeship and you re-train yourself every few years to ensure you’re aware about best safety practices.
How much can a bricklayer earn in Australia?
On average, bricklayers in Australia can earn about $65,000. Highly experienced brick and blocklayers with Certificate III can expect to earn around $110,500 as well.
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