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A bricklayer, which is related to but different from a mason, is a craftsman who lays bricks to construct brickwork. The terms also refer to personnel who use blocks to construct blockwork walls and other forms of masonry.[1] In British and Australian English, a bricklayer is colloquially known as a "brickie".[2] A stone mason is one who lays any combination of stones, cinder blocks, and bricks in construction of building walls and other works. The main difference between a bricklayer and a true mason is skill level: bricklaying is a part of masonry and considered to be a "lower" form of masonry, whereas stonemasonry is a specialist occupation involved in the cutting and shaping of stones and stonework.[3]

Occupation type
Activity sectors
Education required
Vocational school
Illustration of how the bricklayer, on clearing the footings of a wall, builds up six or eight courses of bricks at the external angles

Bricklaying may also be enjoyed as a hobby. For example, Winston Churchill did bricklaying as a hobby.

Bricklayers occasionally enter competitions where both speed and accuracy are judged. The largest is the "Spec-Mix Bricklayer 500" held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Some Training Required Bricklaying is form of construction most often called Masonry. You can find examples of early forms of masonry such as the Egyptian pyramids still standing today. Modern day Masons attend trade schools or serve apprenticeships that teaches the skills needed for this trowel trade. An average bricklayers apprenticeship lasts 3 years with beginner skills being taught in school and then transitioning to on the job training. In an union apprenticeship, you are given a Journey Card after completing the required number of hours (Chicago). This card tells any prospective employer that you have refined your skills and are able to produce at a Journeyman level. From personal experience I can tell you that it still takes many years of practice to be at an elevated level of mastery in this trade.

Chicago Common Brick.jpg

It is likely that as long as man seeks shelter from the elements, there will be work for these skilled professionals. While steel and glass make up the modern skyscraper, it is hard to imagine a world where the work of a mason is not held in high demand and esteem.[4]

Guild clothing of the German bricklayersEdit

In fictionEdit

  • Italian-American author John Fante hod carriers, bricklayers, and stonemasons prominently in several novels and short stories. This was due to the autobiographical nature of much of Fante's writing; his father, Nick, was an Italian-born bricklayer descended from — at least in Fante's fictions — a long line of Italian artisan bricklayers and stonemasons. Fante also spent a significant portion of his youth apprenticed to his father.
  • In Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the title character, a Gulag prisoner, worked as a bricklayer.
  • The long-running British children's TV series Look and Read featured "Bill the Brickie" ("brickie" being a British and Australian colloquialism for "bricklayer"), who would 'build' words with bricks to demonstrate the use of morphemes, such as '-ed' or '-ing'.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Richard T. Kreh (2003). Masonry Skills. Thomson Delmar Learning. ISBN 0-7668-5936-3.
  2. ^ "bricklayer noun - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at". Retrieved 2017-04-02.
  3. ^ Paolo Berizzi (September 20, 2006). "Muratori, cottimo e stress la cocaina invade i cantieri". (in Italian).
  4. ^ "Archived Document". Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2015-04-27.