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 License in Western Australia (WA)
Anyone who works as a building practitioner or nominated supervisor for a building contractor must be registered by the Building Services Board to to perform building work exceeding $20,000. However, if you wish to perform permit contracting for clients, you must register as a building services contractor.
Western Australia Building Services Board offers five sets of registration pathways, designed to suit your experience and qualifications.
- CPC50210 Diploma of Building Construction or Equivalent
- 7+ years of building and or supervision
- Form 05 Building Practitioners Set 1 initial application
- Form 05 Building Practitioners Set 1 initial application
- Royal Australian Institute of Architects Level 1 or 2;
- Institute of Engineers Australia (Member / Fellow / Chartered Professional Engineer); or
- Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (Member / Fellow)
- 5+ years building construction supervising experience
- Form 06 Building Practitioner Set 2 Initial Application
- Australian Institute of Building membership (Member / Fellow)
- 5+ years building, supervision or construction management experience
- Form 07 Building Practitioner Set 3 Initial Application
- 5+ years experience in managing or supervising building construction (sufficient enough to provide skills and knowledge equivalent to that of a person in possession of a CPC50210 Diploma of Building Construction)
- Form 08 Building Practitioner Set 4 Initial Application
- 7+ years of building experience outside the area of the Board’s jurisdiction in carrying out building work
- Sufficient enough to provide skills and knowledge equivalent to that of a person in possession of a CPC50210 Diploma of Building Construction
- Form 09 Building Practitioner Set 5 Initial Application
How to Apply
In order to apply for a builders license in WA, the applicant must have the required experience and qualifications for the applicable set. Furthermore, applicants are required to be fit and proper, and must submit all the relevant forms and fees:
- Application fee - $200.00
- Licence fee - $287.50 (18 months) or $575.00 (3 years)
Application fees are payable on submission of the application, and are refundable in the event of unsuccessful registration. The process takes up to 3 months, and applicants will be notified as to the outcome by mail.
New Zealand, Interstate & Overseas Recognition
Individuals who hold licences from another state or territory may still obtain a WA licence by completing the Mutual Recognition Building Practitioner Application forms via WA Department of Commerce.