Australia's painting and decorating trade is growing steadily along with the ever-burgeoning construction industry. As more homes are built, the demand for qualified painters increases, too.
Due to the low barrier to entry into the painting trade, professionals can easily enter and or exit according to demand. This makes the trade highly competitive.
In order to take advantage of employment prospects in the painting and decorating trade, it is important to carry a painting licence, which will afford you the right to operate legally in Australia.
Below, we will lay out the various ways in which you can get the recognition you deserve as a professional painter, and to maximize employment and profit opportunities.
Australian Painting Licence
A painting licence permits you to run your painting and decorating business in the state or territory in which you are registered.
Only suitably qualified painters will be granted such a licence. The requirements vary depending on your state, but most states require that painters have one of the following nationally recognised qualifications in the painting industry:
- BCG30603 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating
- CPC30608 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating
- CPC30611 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating
Individuals who are not yet qualified have two available options. If you have less than four years painting experience, you should complete a painting apprenticeship. If you have more than four years' painting experience, consider obtaining recognition by means of recognition of prior learning in order to gain an equivalent qualification.
Do I Really Need a Painting Licence?
States and territories have strict regulations in place, requiring painters to be licensed or registered before advertising, contracting or subcontracting painting jobs. Registration is a means for identifying your business and holding you accountable for your work and to protect consumers.
Any unlicensed individual who contracts a painting project may be fined, prosecuted or otherwise penalised. In most cases, individuals who flout the regulations will be banned from obtaining a licence in the future.
Applying for a Painting Licence
Each state has its own processes and requirements for obtaining a painters licence, and specific organisations handle the registration process. You will have to present your qualifications during application.
If you have the required experience and skills, but you don't have a complete qualification, you may consider using Recognition of Prior Learning as a means to obtain an equivalent qualification without having to spend time, effort and money on unnecessary classroom work.
Painting Licence in Queensland (QLD)
Anyone who wishes to undertake any painting work valued at more than $3,300 including materials and labour, must have a painters licence.
The Queensland Building and Construction Commission or QBCC issues painters licences, which are also known as trade contractor licences under the painting and decorating class, which has three licence grades:
Site Supervisor for individuals working as employees of licensed contractors.
Nominee Supervisor for individuals supervising work on behalf of a company.
Trade Contractor is the full licence.
The required qualifications for a painting and decorating licence in Queensland include any one of the following:
- Painting and decorating apprenticeship with additional competency unit in trowelled texture coat finishes (CPCCCSP3003A)
- CPC30611 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating or equivalent
- An equivalent RPL certificate of recognition
- A statement of attainment for the required competencies
How to Apply
Follow these simple steps to apply for your painting and decorating licence in Queensland:
- Download and complete the Trade Contractor's Licence Application Form, providing information regarding your technical qualifications, proof of identity, and financial information.
- Submit the completed application along with supporting documents, such as CPC30611 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating or equivalent recognition certificate and your licence fee in person or by mail to your nearest QBCC office.
If you don't have a CPC30611 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating or any equivalent recognition certificate, you could still apply for a licence if you have completed an apprenticeship. Alternatively, you could obtain an equivalent qualification through recognition of prior learning.
New Zealand, Interstate & Overseas Recognition
Professional painters with occupational licence or registration in other countries or states are entitled to an equivalent licence in Queensland, provided they apply for mutual recognition, according to the 1992 Mutual Recognition Act (MRA).