For people who enjoy being outdoors in hot or cold weather and working with tools who have good manual dexterity a good eye for straightness and are highly invested in the accurate measuring and aligning of materials bricklaying could be fine career.
Bricklayers build walls chimneys fireplaces and other structures. Some specialize in bricks but others also work with materials such as concrete cinder blocks tile marble and ceramic terra cotta. Bricklayers apply their skills to both construction and maintenance jobs.
In construction they build walls in private homes and public buildings. Maintenance work involves repairing existing structures such as brick linings in industrial furnaces kilns and fireplaces. Bricklayers use trowels hammers chisels levels and rulers. Often they have helpers (hod carriers) to carry heavy materials and mix mortar.
In order to become bricklayers individuals should have a high school diploma usually with shop and mechanical drawing classes and be at least 17 years old. Then they complete an apprenticeship that is sponsored by a union trade association or contractor. In addition they attend classroom instruction where they are taught how to read blueprints sketches and layouts.
Apprentices earn about half of the wages of a qualified bricklayer. Some bricklayers learn the trade by working as helpers but this informal route usually takes longer than three years.
Wages depend upon the area of the country but according to the Payscale.com bricklayers make an hourly rate of $19.36 to $29.63. However they can earn time and a half when they work overtime. Many belong to labor unions which give them paid holidays health insurance and pension plans. Experienced bricklayers can become construction supervisors building inspectors or estimators who compute job costs.