One way job seekers can acquire bricklaying skills is by entering a pre-apprenticeship, vocational training program. High schools, vocational schools, community colleges, and local masonry groups offer such programs. This is a look a four local vocational training programs.
The Masonry Institute, Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, is a local association funded by masonry contractors and material suppliers to promote the use of masonry in the Washington, DC, area. Its training program was the first bricklaying class ever funded by a Private Industry Council (PIC). Students learn a variety of skills, including jobsite safety, using masonry tools, mixing and spreading mortar, and using scaffolding. Math for masons, wall types, what contractors expect from bricklayers, and laying brick and block round out the curriculum. Field trips to jobsites are regular events, as is "meet the contractors day."
Building on the experiences of Masonry Institute, Inc., the Masonry Institute of Indiana worked with its local PIC to start a training program.
The Fast Track Bricklayer Training Programs sponsored by the Brick Association of North Carolina (BANC) indeed are fast. The programs are just 2 weeks long. In that time, students learn the basics of bricklaying, such as making mortar, laying to a line, using a corner lead and pole, plumbing a jamb, safety, and caring for and using tools.
The Maryland School for the Deaf has at times 15 students in its masonry/construction trades program. The program started in 1978 when the school hired a former construction worker to teach the classes.