Brickmasons and blockmasons, sometimes called bricklayers, build walls, fireplaces and other structures using bricks or concrete blocks. Most workers entering this career complete a one- or two-year apprenticeship with an experienced brickmason. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, very few women work in this field; females accounted for just 0.1 percent of all bricklayers in 2010, or one in every thousand.
Average National Salary
In 2012, brickmasons reported an average pay of $24.22 an hour and an average salary of $50,370 a year to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Half of all brickmasons and blockmasons employed in the United States reported annual pay of between $36,050 and $61,910 per year. The lowest-paid 10 percent of brickmasons made $28,980 or less per year, while the highest-paid reported annual pay of $77,950 or more.
Pay by Industry
The majority of bricklayers worked for independent foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors in 2012, earning an average of $48,910 per year. Those employed directly in residential building construction earned somewhat less, an average of $46,610, while bricklayers employed in nonresidential building construction earned significantly higher pay, an average of $57,910. Those employed by local government also reported a relatively high average pay, $57,030 per year.
Pay by Location
As of 2012, bricklayers in the West, Great Lakes states and Northeast earned the highest average pay, while those in Southern states earned the least. The lowest average pay, $33,680, was reported by Florida. New Mexico reported the second-lowest average pay for bricklayers, $33,900 per year. By contrast, the highest-paying states in the nation for this occupation were Massachusetts at $77,200 and New York at $67,470.
The job outlook for bricklayers should be excellent through 2020. As the construction industry rebounds from the recession of the previous few years, and as many current bricklayers retire, the demand for brickmasons and blockmasons should increase. According to the BLS, jobs for bricklayers will grow at a very brisk rate of 41 percent through 2020, about three times as fast as the average job growth rate of 14 percent expected for the overall economy. This rate of growth should produce about 36,100 new jobs for bricklayers by the end of the decade.