If you have ever hired a bricklayer or seen them working, you may have noticed that they were not working alone. They usually have someone working with them, helping them to carry out their job more efficiently. That person is known as a bricklayer’s labourer.
Their role is important because they help the bricklayer work more efficiently. This means they can lay more bricks in a day and earn more money. As a result, a bricklayer will rely on their labourer to carry out a range of jobs. So, what does a bricklayers labourer do?
A bricklayer’s labourer will assist one or more bricklayers, helping them with a variety of different tasks. Their main goal is to keep the bricklayers going with their main job of laying bricks
Their role will include:
- Lifting heavy materials
- Maintaining the working area and keeping it clean
- Measuring and preparing the area
- Mixing mortar
- Pointing and other minor tasks
A labourer will also need to use a range of tools. This can include power tools such as Stihl saws, angle grinders, drills, and cement mixers. As well as a range of hand tools including trowels, hawk boards, spirit levels, plumb lines, hammer, and bolster etc.
Bricklayers Labourer Duties Explained
A bricklayer’s labourer has a range of duties to carry out onsite. These duties help to support bricklayer’s and are wide and varied. Just some of these jobs are explained further below.
Lifting Heavy Materials – A labourer will carry out a lot of heavy lifting while onsite. They will carry bricks to the area where they are being laid. They can either do this by hand or by using a wheelbarrow. Along with this, they will need to carry bags of cement and sand. These bags will generally weigh around 25kg each and they can be moving lots of bags daily.
Maintaining keeping the area clean – A clean work space will make it easier for a bricklayer to work. A labourer will sweep up, remove waste and debris and clean tools where necessary. They will carry out these duties regularly throughout the day.
Measuring and Preparing the Area – They will need to measure areas to work out the bricks they need. This will also help them to mix the right amount of mortar. They will also prepare the ground where necessary, so that it is ready for bricklaying.
Mixing Mortar – Good mortar is an essential part of bricklaying. So, a labourer will need to mix mortar correctly, so it sets and creates a perfect bond between bricks. They should also be able to keep the mix consistent, so its texture, strength, and colour remain the same
Pointing and other minor tasks – In some cases, labourers will carry out other tasks, such as pointing brickwork. If they possess the right skills, they may be given many of these smaller jobs. However, this will all need doing, whilst maintaining a constant flow of bricks and mortar for the brickies they are labouring on.
Bricklayers Labourer Vs General Labourer
You might think that a Bricklayers labourer and a general labourer are the same, but that is not true. As discussed, a bricklayer’s labourer will carry out duties that support bricklayers, helping them to deliver a professional finish. The duties are important to every bricklayer and without them, their job would become more difficult and time-consuming.
A general site labourer will have a wider range of tasks to complete. This is manual work that is also very physically demanding. It can include cleaning the site, digging, carrying materials, operating machinery, unloading deliveries, and a whole host of labour intensive, but mostly unskilled work.
On the other hand, a bricklayer’s labourer, will need to possess more specific skills and experience. This is because they must carry out a more narrow list of duties that are important in bricklaying, such as mixing mortar, pointing and measuring up for materials.
Is Being a Brickies Labourer Hard?
The job is hard for several reasons. Firstly, it is physically demanding because they must carry out a range of physical jobs. This can include carrying heavy materials and moving wheelbarrows around the site all day. They also must mix and shovel materials into cement mixers. Regular cleaning also requires a lot of physical effort.
There are also some skilled or semi-skilled jobs that are hard work. Measuring mortar is a skill, as it is important that the right mix of cement, sand and water is used. When taking measurements, they’ll also need to be comfortable working with numbers.
They might also need to do small bits of brickwork and carry out repairs. This will require certain skills, such as, laying bricks using mortar, cutting bricks, pointing and several other skilled and semi-skilled tasks.
How Much Can a Bricklayers Labourer Earn?
The salary that they earn will depend on several things. These include:
- The skills they have
- Who’s employing them
- How hard they work
They can typically earn an average hourly wage of between £10 to £14.
Most bricklayers’ labourers will be paid an hourly rate, or a fixed day rate.
A bricklayer working on price work, could be earning anything from £400-£500 per 1,000 bricks. Essentially, the more bricks they lay the higher their income. Therefore, a good labourer is key to their success.
Often bricklayers work as a gang on price work, then they will usually split their combined daily earnings. Following this, the bricklayers will pay the labourer. based on this type of arrangement an average labourer could expect to earn around £100 per day.
Bricklayers value labourers, and they do rely on them. This is because they help them to lay more bricks and then earn more money. A labourer who can labour on a gang of 2-3 brickies, is far more valuable than a labourer who can only support one. Therefore, the hardest working labourers will earn the best money.
The bricklayer’s labourer can also increase their earnings if they pick up more skills on the job. They can learn to fit starter ties, point, lay bricks and fit steels and lintels, all of which makes them more valuable and can lead to higher earnings.
A bricklayer’s labourer is often confused with a general labourer, but the roles are different. A brickies labourer will work on-site to support the bricklayers. They will carry out specific duties that allow the bricklayer to focus on their job.
As a result, they tend to possess more skills and that means that they will earn a higher salary than general labourers.