Becoming a builder is a goal many aspire to achieve. The role of a builder is a registered one and it requires a lot of work and preparation to get your licence. As an applicant you are subjected to a rigorous process of testing, and to acquire a builders licence is a significant accomplishment. Obtaining this licence means that you can take on the responsibility for constructing a dwelling based on concept designs and necessary building approvals, and as a consequence, employ trades people to be part of the construction workforce. The licence also means that you are accountable for the workmanship, quality and any defects. 

It goes without saying that becoming a builder is not easy by any stretch. The journey is long and arduous, which is expected considering the impact builders have on different aspects of construction. The licence that a builder has provides comfort and confidence to consumers that someone qualified and proven is responsible for their house build. 

Ultimately, to be a builder is a rewarding career. Your endeavour brings joy and happiness to those occupying quality built homes. But one must sacrifice and be fully prepared for the path to a licence. The question is, do you have what it takes to get a builder’s license?

There are a number of things to consider in the path to acquiring a licence.

Goal Setting

Knowing what you want to achieve is important, especially when it comes to getting a builder’s license. The process begins with identifying the goal, and cultivating strategies to achieve them. In this case, the goal is simple: obtain a builder’s license. The next key component is to know how this goal can be reached. The strategies could vary from person to person. For instance, one might prioritise gaining experience in building and construction as the headlining strategy, and another might view education as a more important mode. Ultimately, setting those goals and subsequently developing appropriate strategies goes a long way to ensuring you are eligible and ready for a builder’s license. 

Education

Building is not simply learned through hands on work alone; but rather in tandem with education. Being qualified for a builder’s license requires many things, and an important box that needs to be ticked is having completed sufficient learning. Courses such a Diploma of Building and Construction or a Certificate IV of Building and Construction are useful courses which aim to steer you the right way. Having the right education will undoubtedly set you up for success in the knowledge tests and interviews that you are likely to face.

Experience

Equally as important as education is the hands on aspect of building and construction which is required to show that you do understand the building process and have been part of it. Although the license itself has not been gained, you can still work as a handyperson, honing your craft and developing knowledge far beyond a textbook. If you do not have a trades background, starting off as a construction labourer is an excellent step in the right direction. Seeing things first hand and using those lessons learned to your advantage will help you to become more knowledgeable. In fact, it is a requirement by the Victorian Building Authority for an applicant to have had practical experience in all aspects of the construction process in at least 4-6 houses with certified reference from the licenced builder. Gaining such experience as required can take years.

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Organisation

It is important to keep a record of all the experiences gained on a construction site. This may include a reference to the actual project involved in, dimensions of the housing structure, images of the different facets of the construction and details of the builder. A reference from the builder is crucial in attesting to the involvement in the project and this should be part of the record. The more organised your portfolio of work the better it reflects on your candidature and better prepares you for the next steps. Besides, such a level of organisation sends the message that you will be an organised and meticulous person in your work.

Mentoring

Preparing for and applying for a builder’s licence is a humbling experience. But what is more humbling and yet positions one for success is asking for help. Those that have already succeeded to become builders are the best people to consult with – ask questions, listen to and learn from.

Resilience

Going through the vetting process for a builder’s license can be quite a challenge, as the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) are obliged to ensure that each builder is thoroughly trained and qualified. For this reason, many give up on the chance to become a builder, as they are not able to withstand this process. But to overcome it and gain qualifications means one must be resilient. This means that you are willing to go through the VBA’s process from start to finish, and are not willing to give up easily. Having resilience also means you are certain of the career path you wish to undertake and progress in, as having a builder’s license more or less solidifies this stance. It opens up a world of opportunities and possibilities for building projects, and to be able gain this ability at some point would require you to work hard and persevere, hence having resilience is key to obtaining a builder’s license. 

The journey to getting your own builder’s license is quite strenuous, however understanding the steps needed to make the process easier will surely help you to achieve it.

Talk to our experts, how a qualification in building and construction industry can help to get a builder’s license.