Queensland offers both new and established carpenters ample employment opportunities and a number of reliable paths to growth their business and their skills. But the first step is getting a licence.
The local licensing board is the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC). Licenses are differentiated by both class and grade – all applicants will require a license in the carpentry class, but depending on whether you’re supervising work or performing carpentry yourself, you will require a slightly different license grade, respectively Nominee Supervisor and Site Supervisor, or Contractor. Read on to learn more about the different application process.
Starting out fresh
If this is your first brush with the trades and you have no prior experience as a carpenter, the most direct and complete route to your license will be acquiring a Certificate III in Carpentry, or successfully completing an apprenticeship. After you’ve acquired this, you can present proof of your technical qualifications alongside documentation that shows you meet the QBCC’s Minimum Financial Requirements, as well as paperwork relating to either your trading name or business partnership. After six to eight weeks, the commission will render a verdict on your application. Prior to that, they may request additional information for clarification.
Recognising prior learning
Tradespeople with either relevant past experience but no technical qualifications, or a qualification different to the one required by the QBCC for the purposes of granting the licence can apply to a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to have their skills, knowledge and past experience recognised. Successful application will grant you an equivalent qualification to that provided upon completion of a Certificate III in Carpentry or relevant apprenticeship, after which you can apply as above for a licence.
Moving from interstate
If you’ve previously worked as a licensed carpenter elsewhere in Australia or New Zealand, your current licence is unusable within Queensland. You require a QBCC licence to carry out any building work in Queensland. Interstate builders can use the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s license recognition website to determine if your current licence is equivalent the required Queensland licence. All individuals must file the Mutual Recognition Application Form with the QBCC and will then be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Please note that being granted a licence equivalency is not automatic. All New Zealand applicants and some Australian interstate applicants are required to complete a managerial qualification.