Apprenticeship is one way of starting out in the construction industry. It involves both classroom studies and on-the-job training under the supervision of a certified Bricklayer, called a journeyperson.
As an apprentice, you earn while you learn and are paid by the hour while working on the job site. Wages start at about 50% of a journeyperson’s hourly rate and increase during your apprenticeship until you reach the full rate.
Entering an apprenticeship program
Requirements for bricklaying apprenticeship programs vary across Canada. Generally, you must be at least 16 years of age and have a Grade 10 education. You may find it beneficial to have courses in English and math.
Some provinces and territories offer secondary school apprenticeship programs that allow high school students to work towards a career as a Bricklayer.
Apprenticeship training programs for bricklayers vary across Canada, but generally involve three 12-month periods, including at least 1,600 hours of on-the-job training, three eight-week blocks of technical training and a final certificate exam.
Related work experience or completion of a bricklaying program at a college or technical institute can reduce the time required to complete your apprenticeship.
Certification is required in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec, and is available but voluntary in all other provinces and the Yukon. Where certification is not available, it may be possible to study as an apprentice through your local labour organization. Check out Related links to find out who to contact. Even where certification is voluntary it is still recommended. Certification tells employers and other workers that you are a skilled professional. It also helps you get jobs.
To be certified as a Bricklayer, you usually need to complete a three- to four-year apprenticeship program. Once you successfully complete the required on-the-job training, technical training and exams, you are awarded a journeyperson certificate.
You may be eligible for certification in some provinces and territories if you have more than four years of on-the-job experience and some high school, college or industry courses in bricklaying.
As a certified Bricklayer, you may attempt the Interprovincial Exam to qualify for the Interprovincial Standards’ Red Seal. With a Red Seal, you can work as a Bricklayer anywhere in Canada.
To keep your skills current, you have to keep up with new technological developments by reading and talking with other bricklayers.