How To Become A Builder In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know the builder's license requirements for NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA, NT and TAS in Australia.


Do you want to pursue your career as a builder in Australia? Are you unsure whether becoming a builder is your ideal career option? If Yes, then you have landed at the right place!


A builder in Australia must ensure that the construction adheres to local, regional, and national regulations and complies with worksite safety laws.


Each state in Australia has varied requirements for becoming a licensed builder. They can range from education and work experience to financial resources and references. Learning about these requirements is essential before getting a builder's license.


Our detailed post will help you understand how to become a builder in Australia and the eligibility and license requirements in every state and territory of Australia.



1. Who Is A Builder?


Before we learn what qualifications you need to be a builder, let us first understand the roles and responsibilities of a builder. A builder is a licensed professional who supervises and manages the construction, revamp or restoration of a residential and commercial premise.


The primary role of a builder is to provide skilled contractors to accomplish the necessary job on-site. He should specialise in a specific project type that includes housing developments, eco homes, and customised builds of a particular design.


Some of their responsibilities involve:


  • Evaluation of potential construction locations

  • Reading and understanding architectural plans

  • Perform cost estimation that will help in getting planning permission

  • Obtain pertinent building permits

  • Recruit and coordinate subcontractors

  • Plan and supervise schedule for construction

  • Ensure hygiene and safety on the construction site and adherence to government building regulations



2. What Does It Require To Become A Builder In Australia?


In Australia, an aspiring builder must fulfil specific prerequisites to become a licensed/registered builder. They must obtain a license from the regulating body of the chosen state or territory in the country.


To become a successful builder, you must demonstrate the following personal skills:


  • Practical people skills that include interpersonal and communication skills

  • Good leadership and management abilities

  • Analytical thinking, proper planning, and administrative skills

  • Aptitude and Reasoning for technical activities

  • Good problem-solving and decision-forming abilities

  • Ability to complete their assigned project to a professional standard.

  • Construction work requires strength, good balance, and coordination. An applicant should have a lot of physical stamina to sustain acute injuries. 

  • A good understanding of ergonomics like right correct lifting posture etc.

  • Good knowledge of workplace health and safety regulations and ways to implement them. 

  • Strong practical skills to produce a high-quality outcome.



3. Steps To Becoming A Builder In Australia


Here are a few steps on how to get a builder's license. Following these steps will help you obtain a builder's license in Australia:



Step 1: Pass A Safety Induction Program


You need to pass the course and obtain a white card. Later, you must undergo mandatory training in construction.



Step 2: Pass A Certificate IV in Building and Construction



Australia follows the Australian Qualifications Framework that defines the various standards for educational qualifications within Australia. 


A Certificate IV in Building and Construction is a good entry point into construction. The total duration of this course is 34 weeks.



Step 3: Get Some Work Experience as A Builder


In addition to education, you need work experience to be eligible for a builder's license. 


You should have two years of experience working as a builder across different Australian states and territories.



Step 4: Obtain Your State-Specific License


Once you have completed the certification and obtained the necessary work experience, the final step is to apply for a builder's license.


You may even need to attend an ongoing training workshop in a few states to keep your registration active.


This was just a general overview of getting a builder's license. Scroll down to learn about the criteria for obtaining a license in different territories or states in Australia.



4. What Are The Different Training Options Available?


HIA prescribes nationally accredited training (NRT) to aspiring builders to help them gain their builder's license or registration. It also helps to stay updated with the changes in the industry. 


  • Nationally Recognised Training combines short training programs or a full qualification like a Certificate IV.

  • Professional Development workshops offer information that helps enhance the knowledge and skills of a person. Attend this training and workshop as part of the application or maintenance of a builder's license.



5. How Long Does It Take To Become A Builder In Australia?


Considering all the above requirements, it takes around 2 to 4 years to become a builder in Australia. 


Your education, certification, chosen state/territory, and practical experience will give you the exact timeframe required to become a builder.



6. Prerequisites To Apply For A NSW Builder's Licence


In New South Wales, the NSW Department of Fair Trading controls a builder's entire licensing and registration process.


Here are the key things to fulfil to become a licensed builder in NSW:





A minimum of 2 years of relevant and paid industry experience in different building construction work types.


One of the ways to gain experience is by working as an employee under the management of a certified builder. Alternatively, you can work as a sub-contractor selected as the overseer of a Contractor Licence.


The good thing about getting a builder's license is that you can complete your work experience in all parts. A gap of a few months between jobs is acceptable. You must certify that you have full-time equivalent experience of two years over a maximum time limit of ten years from the application date.


You must provide references from a licensed builder with an Individual Contractor Licence or Qualified Supervisor Certificate in General Building Work. NSW Fair Trading must issue this certificate.





You must provide a CPC40120 Certificate IV in Building and Construction. Along with this certificate, you need at least one of the below-mentioned documents.


  • An existing bricklaying or carpentry contractor license or trained supervisor certificate.

  • Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) CPC50208 or BCG50206. 

  • Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) CPC50210 should have the below-mentioned units: 

  • A degree in structural engineering, civil engineering, housing, architectureconstruction, construction economics, construction management, construction project management, quantity surveying, applied science (building) or a bachelor of housing from an Australian university.


For more information on how to apply for a builder's license in NSW, visit the NSW Fair Trading.



7. Prerequisites To Apply For A QLD (Queensland) Builder's Licence


The Queensland Building and Construction Commission supervise the entire process of builders licensing in Queensland.


To apply for the license in this state, you need to have the following:


  • 2 to 4 years of work experience.

  • Formal qualifications on the class of license.

  • Three written references.

  • Financial information that certifies that you fulfil the minimum financial requirements.

  • Identity proof 

  • Work as a contractor under a trading name. You should provide the latest copy of the Record of Registration from ASIC.

  • If you are working under a partnership, you should provide proof of the business partnership.


To learn more about becoming a builder in QLD, visit the Queensland Building and Construction Commission website.



8. Prerequisites To Apply For A NT (Northern Territory) Builder's Licence


The building Practitioners Board is the body that regulates builders licensing in the Northern Territory.


An individual can choose from two types of licenses:


  • Building Contractor Residential (Restricted)

  • Building Contractor Residential (Unrestricted)


The criteria to apply for the above licenses are as follows:


  • Certificate IV in the area of Building and Construction.

  • At least three years of work experience.

  • Financial information that certifies that you fulfil the minimum financial requirements.

  • Should not be barred from practising the trade, business, or occupation in Australia.


Click here to learn about the Northern Territory Building Practitioners Board.



9. Prerequisites To Apply For A TAS (Tasmania) Builder's Licence


The Department of Justice in Tasmania is the governing body that oversees builders licensing in the state. Before you apply for a builder's license, it is essential to learn about the different types of builder accreditation.



Choose from the below list:



Choose the type of class within each of the categories mentioned above:


  • Low rise

  • Medium rise

  • Open





You should fulfil a range of different prerequisites before applying for any class.


For a builder's registration in a low-risk category, you need CPC40110 Certificate IV Building and Construction (Building).


You need a CPC50210 Diploma in Building and Construction (Building) for the medium-rise category.


An Advanced Diploma in Building and Construction Management or a Degree in Building is needed for the open-rise category.



Work Experience


  • In the case of a low rise, a candidate should have two years of experience with a building trade qualification or four years of experience without this qualification.

  • For a low-rise category, a candidate should have two years of experience with a building trade qualification or four years of experience without this qualification.

  • For a medium-rise category, a candidate should have two years of experience with a building trade qualification or six years of experience without this qualification.





Two elaborate references from credited practitioners or industry professionals.





  • Financial data confirms that you fulfil the minimum level of financial requirements.

  • Applicants may have to participate in a face-to-face interview.


To learn more about becoming a TAS builder, visit the Department of Justice (Tasmania).



10. Prerequisites To Apply For An ACT Builder's Licence


The ACT Government Department of Environment and Sustainable Development is the body that governs the builder's license application process.


Learn about the different types of builders' licenses before you apply for them. The requirement for different categories of builders' licenses differs.


  • Class A Builder (unlimited)

  • Class B Builder (medium rise)

  • Class C Builder (low-rise or residential)

  • Class D Builder





  • Class A Builder: A Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, bachelor's degree, Post Graduate degree or Doctoral degree in building

  • Class B Builder: A CPC50210 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)

  • Class C Builder: A CPC50210 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building), a CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building), and a written exam. 

  • Before issuance of a license, you need to secure 80% or above in the written examination conducted by the Construction Occupations Registrar. 

  • Class D Builder: There are no qualifications needed.





  • Class A, Class B, and Class C Builder: A minimum of 2 years of full-time work experience in building. Out of the two years of experience, one year of that experience should complete after the issuance of the qualification.

  • Class D Builder: A minimum of 3 years of full-time work experience in building.


To know more about applying for an ACT builder's license, visit the ACT government website.



11. Prerequisites To Apply For A VIC (Victoria) Builder's Licence



In Victoria, VBA or the Victorian Building Authority manages the process of builder registration.


The common types of such registration in Victoria are:


  • Domestic Builder (Unlimited) 

  • Domestic Builder (Manager)

  • Domestic Builder (Limited)

  • Commercial Builder (Unlimited) 

  • Commercial Builder (Limited)


Applicants should first learn about the registration types mentioned above to be able to work on projects and sites properly.





You need to meet the below conditions to qualify for each builder's registration in Victoria:


  • A minimum of 3 years of full-time work experience in building. 

  • Complete the registration application form with proof of experience.

  • Pass a written test 

  • You may need to attend a face-to-face interview.

  • You should have complete knowledge of the national building codes.


To learn more about becoming a builder in VIC, visit the Victorian Building Authority.



12. Prerequisites To Apply For A WA (Western Australia) Builders Licence


Western Australian Building Commission is the regulatory body that oversees and manages to get a builder's license in Western Australia.


The state offers two main types of licenses to its applicants:


  • Licensed Building Practitioners: for companies, individuals, and associations who want to offer their services as a builder.

  • Practitioner registration: only for individuals who want to work as a builder.


Having decided on the most suitable category, you now need to meet the following requirements:


  • Based on the license sub-type, you must have 5 to 7 years of experience.

  • You must fulfil the formal license class qualifications you have applied for.

  • Must provide valid references.

  • Must not have been prohibited from working in a trade, business, or occupation in Australia.

  • Must showcase possession of adequate financial resources.


Visit the Western Australia Building Commission to learn more about becoming a builder in WA.



13. Prerequisites To Apply For A SA (South Australia) Builders Licence


The Government of South Australia Consumer and Business Services is the body that oversees builders licensing in South Australia

The following are the two modes to get a builder's license:


  • Contractor

  • Supervisor


It is essential to select the type of construction and building where you operate. This is important as each specialty needs different experience levels and other requirements.





  • Experience as required based on the type of license

  • A thorough check by an Australian police officer

  • A proof that shows adequate financial resources for the license you have applied for. Generally, it ranges between $10,000 to $100,000 in net assets.

  • Must not be banned from practising an occupation, trade, or business in Australia.


Visit the SA government's website to learn more about becoming a builder in SA.



14. Conclusion


Getting licensed/registered is mandatory to work as a builder in any state or territory in Australia. 


As the construction industry in the country requires adherence to work quality and safety standards, obtaining a builder's license may take a lot of time. 


Thorough preparation and timely implementation of the above steps will help you quickly obtain your builder's license.


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