Do you want to make a positive contribution to society? Are you looking for a job that is both challenging and rewarding? If yes, then you can choose to enter the construction industry.
Construction is one of Australia's largest and fastest-growing industries. It is a profession requiring collaboration among workers, engineers, project managers, skilled tradespeople, designers, architects, and others.
Additionally, since the property market is quite active, job prospects will continue to rise.
If you want to secure a job in the construction industry and want to know how to become a construction worker in Australia, read the post below.
This blog will teach you about the construction industry, entry-level jobs, apprenticeships, qualifications, courses, and salary, and it will prepare you to succeed.
1. What Do Construction Workers Do?
A construction worker usually works with a team at a construction site (such as constructing a home, building, or any other structure). This individual may be in charge of demolition, carpentry, drywall, roofing, and finishing, among other things.
The work hours of a construction worker might vary depending on the demand for work at the project site. Construction employees may work long days, even on holidays and weekends, depending on the task deadline.
In addition, they work on the construction site during the daytime. It can include harsh circumstances, such as excessive cold and heat.
Furthermore, a construction worker performs a variety of activities during the day. Some possess a specific skill, while others work as all-rounders by completing multiple tasks.
They may also help with the following:
Distribute resources to appropriate regions and demolition.
Unload and load building supplies.
Assist with machine maintenance.
Operate small tools.
Use other equipment like torches and jackhammers.
Additionally, construction workers must be able to work on their feet as this work is highly physical. It is also crucial for construction employees to reach the site on time because most tasks have tight deadlines. Overall, a construction worker must work as part of a team and collaborate effectively.
2. Types of Construction Workers in Australia
You will find different types of construction jobs in the Australian construction industry. Some of them are listed below:
Electrical Engineering Technicians and Draftspersons
Electrical Distribution Trades Workers
Hoist, Crane, and Lift Operators
Joiners and Carpenters
Earthmoving Plant Operators
Mining and Construction Labourers
Industrial Spray Painters
Railway Track Workers
Surfacing and Paving Labourers
Structural Steel Construction Workers
3. Major Tasks and Duties of a Construction Worker
Direct traffic through the construction area.
Assist with drain installation preparation.
Clean the worksite and unload and load the equipment.
Operate hoses and tank-truck distributors to spray road oils, tars, and emulsions on road surfaces before paving.
Strip grass, clear scrub, and remove topsoil.
Soften edges of areas and repair them with blowtorches.
Trim and cut damaged surfaces with jackhammers.
Dismantle and erect construction signs and barricades.
Stack and carry building materials and place tools in position.
Operate construction machinery (such as excavators) per all applicable licences and certification standards.
Use wheelbarrows to remove rubbish and rubble from construction sites.
Spread gravel, stone chips, and cold-mix asphalt on road surfaces.
Pull and trip tailgate levers to discharge hot-mix asphalt into paving machines.
Shovel asphalt mix into areas where paving equipment cannot be reached and compact it with hand tampers and rakes.
Sweep paving bases before laying asphalt and other surfaces.
Comply with safety and environmental orders.
Calculate the quantities to place an order for materials.
Landscape surrounding regions with grass seeds and trees.
Pour, mix, and spread concrete under supervision.
4. Steps To Become A Construction Worker in Australia
Here are some common steps you can follow to become a construction worker in Australia:
Step 1: Get Certified
Working in the construction sector requires a high level of ability. You may always need some certification to get hired. Qualifications vary depending on the type of profession you wish to enter; however, all the qualifications available in Australia incorporate onsite training.
Consider taking up a Certificate I in Construction, Certificate II in Construction, or Certificate III in Civil Construction. A construction worker course will develop your skills and help you learn the basic construction principles.
You may also have to undergo additional training to get a license to operate heavy machinery, such as excavators, skid steer loaders, rollers, and backhoes. You can get this training by attending short courses through a registered training provider (RTO).
Step 2: Get Your White Card
In Australia, construction occupations are regulated. Having a White Card demonstrates that all construction employees know about safety and health policies and are familiar with safety equipment. It applies to everyone who works on the construction site, including employees, supervisors, and more.
A White Card verifies that you have completed a training program and are well-acquainted with the construction site's safety guidelines. All in all, this card is a must-have to work in the construction industry in Australia.
You must complete an online or classroom-based course to obtain your White Card. Completing the course may take a long time — you may require a full day to complete the course in class. The cost of the course varies between AU$40 and AU $100.
You do not have to give any exams; instead, they ask you questions. If you apply online, you must do a brief video interview and demonstrate that you have all the required equipment to work on a construction site.
Furthermore, since the White Card is a short course, you require a USI (Unique Student Identifier), which you can generate online. You can visit the Australian government's website to obtain the USI number for free.
Additionally, you will require a valid Australian visa because your passport number is linked to the USI. You will get this number once you've arrived in Australia.
Step 3: Get Your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
You must invest in PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), which includes a helmet, safety boots, and a warning jacket.
Depending on the environment and the project site, you may require hearing protection and goggles. You will need these five pieces of equipment to pass the White Card online.
Keep in mind that the White Card necessitates the purchase of personal protective equipment. You can get the equipment at Kmart, Bunnings, or even those used in op-shops, Facebook groups, or other marketplaces.
Step 4: Obtain Specific Licences
Specialised occupations, such as heavy machinery operator, traffic controller, etc., necessitate acquiring additional licenses.
The following are a few permits or licenses you may require:
Traffic Controller License: Regulates traffic.
Forklift: Operating a forklift may require two types of licenses - LO and LF.
Materials Platform Hoist: You may need a material hoist permit to operate machines that lift materials.
Scaffolding: You may require a scaffolding permit to dismantle or assemble scaffolding.
Step 5: Choose Your Trade Wisely
You can choose from multiple trades within the construction industry. When picking which professional path you feel you will flourish in, remember that selecting a rewarding profession you believe you will accomplish is crucial.
It may be beneficial to assess your long-term opportunities and the total number of hours you will have to work. For example, suppose your trade requires only 10 hours a week. In that case, consider taking on a second job to supplement your income.
Construction trades may vary between tiling, welding, roofing, carpentry, bricklaying, and plumbing. These are among several employment opportunities in the industry and may also incorporate other skilled trades like project managers and 3D software modellers.
If you are still determining which occupation is suitable for you, consider getting some work experience where you can test out a variety of trades.
5. How To Become A Construction Worker With No Experience?
In Australia, construction employers often look for entry-level applicants, allowing you to enter the industry with little or no experience.
You can start working as a construction site labourer, which requires no experience, and then go through training as you move forward. You may also complete a college course or a construction worker apprenticeship if you like.
6. How Much Does A Construction Worker Earn In Australia?
A minimum wage applies to all jobs in the construction industry, such as a modern award covering most Australian employees. These include terms and conditions and the minimum wage for workers in specific occupations and industries.
For instance, the Building and Construction General On-Site Award (MA 000020) applies to construction jobs. When recruited, remember to ask your employer about your work status. Also, note that you can get recruited weekly, daily, or casually.
The construction worker's salary in Australia may vary depending on your status. According to PayScale, based on 13 salaries, an entry-level construction worker with less than one year of experience can earn around AUD 25.50, including bonuses, tips, and overtime pay.
A construction worker with an early career and one to four years of experience receives an average salary of around AUD 26.80, based on 88 salaries.
On the other hand, based on 54 salaries, a mid-career construction worker with five to nine years of experience earns up to AUD 29.70.
Additionally, an experienced construction worker with ten to nineteen years experience makes an average total income of around AUD 31.80, based on 29 salaries. Lastly, employees with a late career (20 years or more) get an average total remuneration of AUD 28.
If you want to make a lot of money, consider working on weekends or at night, when hourly pay is substantially higher. It is worth noting that if you have specialised construction skills. For instance, you will be eligible for another award with different hourly rates as an electrician or a plumber.
Now that you know everything about becoming a construction worker in Australia, you are ready to pursue your career path and achieve your goals.
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