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 Western Australia (WA)
Any painter who wishes to do any painting work valued over $1,000, must be registered or licenced.
WA categorises painters into one of two categories:
- Contractor Registration means that the licence may provide painting services.
- Practitioner Registration is issued to the registered painting contractor or nominated supervisor.
The Building Services Board, a division of Western Australia's Department of Commerce, regulates both licences.
Individuals wishing to obtain a painting contractors licence in Western Australia must have one or more of the following qualifications:
- CPC30611 Certificate III in Painting and Decorating plus the following units:
- BSBSMB401 Establish Legal and Risk Management Requirements for Small Business and
- CPCCBCC4004A Identify and Produce Estimated Costs for Building and Construction Projects
- or equivalent qualifications
- 52202 Course in Painters’ Registration or equivalent qualifications
- 5+ years paint work experience with RPL recognition which deems it equivalent to the above qualifications.
How to Apply
The Building Commission website contains the application form as well as checklists and information about the applicable fees.
Applications, along with the fees and supporting documents may be lodged at the Building Commission office in Cannington, WA, or by mail.
If your application is rejected, your registration fee will be refunded.
New Zealand, Interstate & Overseas Recognition
Professional painters with occupational licence or registration in other countries or states are entitled to an equivalent licence in Western Australia, provided they apply for mutual recognition, according to the 1992 Mutual Recognition Act (MRA).