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In most states and territories in Australia, a builder’s licence is a crucial step in an individual’s success in the building and construction industry. While the process is relatively straightforward, it does differ between states and it’s important to understand the unique requirements that are relevant to where you live and work.

The following outline will breakdown how to obtain a builder’s licence in New South Wales. If you’re planning to start your own business, this article will guide you through the first steps to making it happen. 

NSW Builder’s Licence

A building licence is required to do any residential building work in NSW, where the value of labour and materials is valued at over $5000. NSW Fair Trading defines residential work as any work involved in constructing altering or adding to a dwelling, including repairs, renovations, decorating or application of protective treatment.

If you plan to complete the following work, you’ll need to first acquire a builder’s licence.

  • constructing or erecting a garage, carport or shed (including kits)
  • bathroom, kitchen or laundry renovations
  • swimming pool building and structural landscaping
  • screened, glass or pool enclosures
  • atriums and conservatories
  • house lifting (eg permanently raising the height of an existing structure)
  • removing and resitting dwellings
  • saunas and steam rooms

There are 3 types of licences in NSW:

A contractor licence, which allows you to do contract work and advertise your services.

A qualified supervisor certificate, which allows you to complete and supervise the work detailed on your certificate.

An endorsed contractor licence, which is issued if you apply for a contractor licence, but you also have the qualifications and experience of a qualified supervisor.

Once your licence is issued, you are only permitted to complete the work outlined on your certificate.


In order to qualify for a builder’s licence in NSW, you must provide evidence of practical experience and formal qualifications.


You must have completed a minimum of 2 years relevant industry experience in the last 10 years. This experience can be gained as an employee under the supervision of a licensed builder, or as a subcontractor who is contracted to work for a licensed builder.

Your work experience must be paid to be acknowledged by NSW Fair Trading.

Formal Qualifications

In addition to your experience, you’ll need to have one of the following qualifications:

  • CPC40120 (current) Certificate IV in Building and Construction, or
  • CPC40320 (current) Certificate IV in Building Project Support, or
  • Certificate IV in Building and Construction (BCG40106 or CPC40108 Building or CPC40110 Building)
  • Certificate IV in Building and Construction (BCG40206 or CPC40208 Contract Administration)
  • Certificate IV in Building and Construction (BCG40306 or CPC40308 Estimating)
  • Certificate IV in Building and Construction (BCG40506 or CPC40508 Site Management)


  • A current Carpentry or Bricklaying contractor licence or supervisor certificate
  • Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)- CPC50220 (current) /BCG50206 or CPC50208 or
  • Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) CPC50210
  • or a Degree in Building, Construction Management, General Construction, Construction Economics, Quantity Surveying, or Applied Science (Building) from an Australian University (4-year full-time degree program) with mandatory work placement

Getting your qualification

If you have 2+ years of work experience under your belt but are yet to obtain the formal qualification needed to get your licence, you may be eligible for an RPL assessment. The RPL process takes your relevant practical skills and experience and assesses them against the core units of the qualification you’re seeking. This process can help to get your skills certified, without the need to spend unnecessary time and money on repetitive study.

Applying for your licence

To apply for your licence, you’ll need to lodge your application and payment in person at a Service NSW centre. You’ll be required to fill out the relevant application forms and checklists, and submit them along with referee statements, an original copy of your qualification(s), information regarding your employment experience, proof of identity, a passport size photo and details of any past or current licences you hold.

You can review the fees for your building work category here.

Becoming a business owner in the building and construction industry will set you up for a rewarding and prosperous career. Getting a builder’s licence is a key step in the process, but there are several other steps you’ll need to take when transitioning from apprentice to business owner. You can learn more about what you need to do here.

If you need more guidance on getting your builder’s licence in NSW, or you’d like to find out more about RPL, get in touch with the Skills Certified Australia team today. We can help to ensure the process is as simple and as fast as possible for you.

Contact us on 131775 or send an email with your enquiry to [email protected] and kickstart your career as a builder and business owner.


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