Building & Construction is Australia's third-largest industry, and employs approximately 9% of the country's total workforce in full time and part time capacity. It is forecast that this number will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Individuals who wish to work as builders in Australia, must obtain trade licensing for the relevant state. Continue reading to find out how to obtain an Australian Builders Licence for your state in order to enhance your employment prospects.
Builders License Facts
States and Territories have different requirements regarding builder's licences and you must be licensed by the state in which you wish to work.
In order to become a licensed builder, you must have:
- a minimum of 2 years’ relevant industry experience
- a TAFE certificate (or equivalent diploma)
The process can be lengthy, especially for individuals who are already working within the industry, having amassed a wealth of experience and practical skills. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) offers a legitimate, cost-effective alternative to repeating units of competency and it can ultimately fast-track the process to obtaining a builder's license.
RPL uses already acquired skills as evidence to prove competency against units within the target qualification. RPL typically requires no classroom attendance or exams and gives you the opportunity to become eligible for the qualification you deserve.
Individuals who do not have the experience will still have to follow the standard procedure of obtaining their basic qualifications from an accredited institution, which will involve classroom study and practical experience in a workshop setting.
Do I Really Need a Builders Licence?
Anyone who wishes to work as a builder in the construction industry, needs a builder's licence. Without it, you may not:
- carry out any building work;
- submit any bids or quotes on any jobs;
- sign building contracts;
- perform any building work in your personal capacity.
Unlicensed individuals who are found to contravene the law will receive significant penalties or fines, and - depending on the state - will not be eligible to apply for a license in the future under any circumstances.
How to Apply for a Builder's License
The State or Territory's Building Commission regulates builder's licensing. While the process differs by state, most require certain qualifications, or completion of certain units within the following qualifications:
- Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) CPC40110
- Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) CPC50210
Additionally, evidence of practical experience will be required, and that will be based on the length of time the individual has worked in a relevant role, as well as the type of work performed.
Builders with practical experience may have their experience, knowledge, and skills assessed in order to receive a qualification through RPL instead of having to complete the qualifications again.
An individual with extensive experience in bricklaying or carpentry, but no formal qualification, could use the process of RPL to effectively complete his full qualification based on existing experience within a matter of weeks.
There is no difference in legitimacy between the two pathways (traditional or RPL), as both deliver the same qualification. RPL simply rewards deserving individuals who have amassed a great deal of experience over time at a fraction of the cost and in a more cost-effective way.
Builders Licence in Queensland (QLD)
Queensland Building and Construction Commission regulates local building licences, which are required for:
- any building work totalling more than $3,300.
- any building work that involves hydraulic services design and total more than $1,100.
- any building work that involves site classification, building design (low rise, open or medium rise), residential building inspection, fire protection, termite management, gas fitting, plumbing, and drainage.
The following types of individuals do not require a QBCC:
- licensee / sub-trade contractor of a licenced contractor
- parner to a licensee
- property owner performing work on his / her own property
The specific licence class will determine the required qualifications, which may include any of these:
- Statement of accomplishments of the required units applicable to the licence class.
- Certificate of recognition which qualifies the individual to carry out the type and scope of work required by the licence class.
- Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) CPC40110 or successful completion of an equivalent course.
- Diploma of Building and Construction (CPC50210).
How to Apply
1.Select the appropriate licence type from the list provided on the QBCC website.
2.Complete the Builder and Designer Experience Form as well as the Builders Licence Application Form and attach details pertaining to at least 2-4 years of relevant building experience, including
- proof of identity
- technical qualifications
- 3 written references
- financial information
3.Lodge your application in person or per post to your nearest QBCC office. Applications are typically processed in 6-8 weeks.
4.Successful applicants are notified by mail, which will include the allowed scope of work for the appropriate licence class, as well as their licence number.
New Zealand, Interstate & Overseas Recognition
Individuals who hold licences from another state or territory may still obtain a Queensland licence by completing the Mutual Recognition Building Practitioner Application forms via QLD Building & Construction Commission. Overseas applicants must obtain nationally recognised Australian applications in order to meet the requirements for a Queensland builders licence.