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Brick and Stone Masonry

Learn to safely construct decorative and load-bearing walls using a variety of tools and equipment. Learn how to prepare and lay bricks, concrete, tile, glass blocks and stone.

A close-up photo of hands building a wall with bricks and mortar in a brick and masonry course.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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Bricklayers and restorative stone masons are in demand. If you're detail-oriented, creative and enjoy hands-on work, this program is for you.

Learn how to safely prepare and lay bricks, concrete blocks and stone to construct and repair both decorative and load-bearing structures, such as walls, partitions, arches, fireplaces, chimneys, patios and pavements. You also learn other essential skills, like how to read construction documents, understand building codes, plan projects and work as a part of a team.

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience courses are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.

Other info

  • This work requires a sense of balance, an eye for line and proportion and the ability to work with precision. You should be in excellent physical condition, coordinated and comfortable working from heights.
  • The ability to follow instructions and cooperate with others is important.
  • A good imagination and creative ability are also assets in this trade.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. To prepare for employment, you participate in safety awareness courses.


September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus
Classes at Aviation Institute
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2024-25 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates are employed as apprentice bricklayers or restoration stone masons in the construction industry in both union and non-union companies.
  • Graduates work in new construction, renovation or restoration on both residential and commercial construction projects. They may also work in the areas of building supply, sales, or landscape pavers, brick and stonework.
  • Learn more about labour market information. View career options

Future study options

  • Bricklaying is a compulsory trade in Nova Scotia. Once employed you will be required to register as an apprentice with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency as per the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualification Act.
  • Red Seal Endorsement - individuals who complete an apprenticeship program are eligible to write the inter-provincial exam. A Red Seal allows certified tradespeople to practise the trade in any province or territory in Canada where the trade is designated.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

BLYR 1002 - Hand/Power Tools
Misused tools can cause workplace accidents, damaged materials, higher costs and poor quality work. In this course you will learn the tools of the Bricklayer trade, how to choose the right tool for the job, how to use the tool safely and effectively and how to maintain and store your tools. You will have the opportunity to practice these skills in the shop throughout the program.

BLYR 1022 - Masonry Materials
A bricklayer uses a wide variety of materials, selected according to the construction drawings, or the project plan for a specific structure. In this course you will become familiar with structural clay products such as brick, clay tile and terra cotta. The bonds used to join units are explored. You will also be introduced to concrete masonry units and their use in the building industry. Mortar, grout and parging are used in construction projects to join and enhance strength and durability of brick and tile. This course is designed to introduce various types, applications, and mixing techniques for mortar, grout and parging used in the masonry trades. Regulations and building codes relating to materials will be addressed.

BLYR 1023 - Laying Block
This course is designed to introduce basic block laying theory and techniques. In this course, you will have the opportunity to prepare a work area, mix mortar and lay blocks with precision and attention paid to bonding accuracy and final finish of project.

BLYR 1210 - Major Project
Building on techniques developed in BLYR 1010 and BLYR 1020, this course provides an opportunity to build a section of wall (cavity wall) with one corner and one opening. New techniques are introduced.

BLYR 1232 - Construction Documents and Estimating
Drawings form the basis of construction projects and each tradesperson must be able to locate the parts and Interpret the information pertaining to their work. This course will introduce you to basic construction drawings, shop drawings, sketches and symbols commonly used in the Bricklayer trade. Construction drawings are also used to prepare estimates of materials required for specific projects, important in planning your work. You will have the opportunity to further develop these skills throughout the program.

BLYR 1233 - Construction Safety
Safety of workers and of the general public is one of the most important areas of the construction industry. Accidents are not only tragic, but they cost the worker, the company and the economy through turnover of staff, time lost and costs. You will cover a wide variety of potential hazards and the regulations and practices that will help to keep you and others safe on and around construction sites.

BLYR 1235 - Laying Brick II
In this course you will be able to build upon basic bricklaying skills and use these to create more complex structural elements.

BLYR 1239 - Sustainable Business
This capstone course draws together elements of trade practice that contribute to quality, efficiency and profitability. Through project-based learning you will identify ways in which the industry contributes to the economy and how individual workers and their behaviours make a difference to costs, schedules, quality and sustainable practice. New material will be introduced specific to the masonry trades that extend the lifespan of structures such as repointing techniques, protection of brickwork, moisture and air flow. Principles of entrepreneurship will be introduced.

BLYR 1240 - Laying Brick I
As a building material, brick provides both structural and aesthetic characteristics. Laying brick is one of the main basic trade activities, requiring careful planning and building of skills through practice. Students will have the opportunity to prepare a work area, mix mortar and lay bricks in a variety of patterns.

BLYR 1241 - Wall Systems
This course deals with masonry walls of two types- Non- loadbearing and loadbearing. They have different functions and construction methods, but both must follow National Building Code and Canadian Standards Association requirements. The use of anchors and ties will be covered along with joint reinforcement. This course also introduces door and window frames for masonry walls.

BLYR 1242 - Introduction to Stone Masonry
Stone is perhaps the first material ever used in construction, and historically many of our public and commercial buildings have been constructed of stone. In this course you will be introduced to types of stone and their properties, which in turn dictates how and where each used. While the skills of a Bricklayer are useful in working with stone, you will be introduced to terminology and techniques that apply uniquely to stone. Stone walls are often constructed in landscape projects, while in building construction stone is used as a facing both indoors and out. You will discover a variety of uses for stone and you will have the opportunity to apply skills learned in previous courses to working with stone. The Restoration Stone Mason trade will be introduced to students during delivery.

BLYR 7011 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

INDR 1010 - Industry Readiness
A crucial component of trade practice is the ability to share information. Explaining work, applying trade skills and meeting industry standards involves communicating effectively. This course introduces these skills with a trade focus and will help prepare students to contribute to employment and in the classroom. Course work may tie directly to projects and assignments happening elsewhere in the program and in its shops.

INDR 1020 - Working Effectively in the Trades
Almost all trades professionals will need to work well with others. Students in this course will learn to be effective team members and adapt and analyze how they share information with others. A selection of activities relevant to the particular trade will be used to practice collecting, analyzing and using trade information. Course work may tie directly to projects and assignments happening elsewhere in the program and in its shops.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Safety Basics – Restricted Spaces
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with working in restricted spaces. The definition and potential hazards of restricted spaces are discussed The course material is infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Safety Basics – Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Safety Basics – Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces students to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the student is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Safety Basics – Respiratory Protection
This course introduces students to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion topics include identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1025 - Certified Fall Arrest and Protection
This course provides participants with an understanding of the hazards associated with working from heights and compliance with Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (2013). Throughout the course, participants will gain experience in the donning of a harness, an overview and presentation of system components involved when working from heights and learn how to complete a fall calculation and emergency procedures.

SAFE 1037 - Scaffolding Awareness
This course is designed to provide a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training with a concentration on end-frame scaffolding as outlined in the CSA standard Z797 basic requirements. This course will include information on the required Acts and Standards, hazard assessments, fall protection, end frame scaffold erection, inspection, tagging, and dismantling procedures.

WORK 1100 - Workplace Mentoring I
This unit of instruction is designed to assist learners in managing their learning as an apprentice in the workplace. Learners will study their own experiences with learning new skills and identify their own learning preferences as an aid to developing learning strategies.

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