The construction industry is one of the largest in Australia, with vast numbers of people entering the workforce everyday. What is evident from analysing such a large industry is the variance among the different types of jobs that are available. For instance, the role of a carpenter is quite dissimilar to that of a construction manager, not just in scope but in responsibility and clientele. However, with variance comes added demand for quality rather than quantity. The very livelihood of society is dependent on those working in building and construction, who rely on them to produce products that are of the highest calibre, which would require these products (from as small as benchtops to as large as housing projects) to be virtually hazard-free and lacking in risks that could arise from said hazards. Thus, qualifications in construction are an important aspect of entering the industry. But how does one become qualified in construction?
The most notable aspect of this process is the educational one. People who wish to work in construction must go through the process of completing courses in building and construction. This is related to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), which details the standards for qualifications in Australia. The level of education one would stop at depends on the type of job they are seeking. It is also important to illuminate upon the idea of units of competency, which differs in each course. They exist to establish workplace requirements or abilities needed to perform tasks in the workplace related to the course.
The first certification to discuss is Certificate I. This is the most basic of all the certifications in the path to construction certification and is really more of a starting point to get a good grasp of construction in general. It is from here where you can branch out. As an introduction into the world of construction it provides a basis for explaining the simple concepts required to achieve a rudimentary level of understanding of the construction industry.
At the Certificate I level you will start to gain knowledge on the core units of competency that are to be expanded upon in the later levels of construction certification. Also it is a great option for those leaving school early and looking to delve into the construction industry, and lasts for 6 to 12 months.
The next level is Certificate II, which has an increase in difficulty. Typically, this is the first stage where you can actually enter the construction industry to seek jobs.
The courses that are on offer for this level include areas such as Joinery, Carpentry and Bricklaying. Similarly, it runs for 6 to 12 months.
Certificate III continues the process by highlighting the importance of the core competency units of Certificate II by introducing greater theoretical ideas. It enables you to develop the learning objectives you would have been taught at the level of Certificate II, all the while providing you with the preparation required to join the workforce and search for applicable jobs. Another aim of Certificate III is to inspire students to seek higher level education by continuing through the AQF instead of entering the workforce immediately. You can expect to complete a Certificate III in 1 to 2 years, which can be extended to 4 years with the inclusion of an apprenticeship.
Certificate IV marks a significant shift from the previous three levels, as it is the most popular for becoming qualified in construction. It introduces significantly more difficult concepts whilst preparing students for working in construction at a much faster rate. A large number of people looking to become qualified in construction start from this point, because you can obtain the necessary qualifications of building and construction, without having to deal with the process of progressively going from Certificate I to III. A course in this level that perfectly aligns with these aspects is the Certificate IV in Building and Construction. This course seeks to provide you with skills in planning projects, applying codes and regulations, and managing resources effectively. Additionally, it looks to raise your understanding of building and construction to a much higher level, which only opens the door for job opportunities even wider. Roles that are commonly sought after upon completion of this course include contract administrators, estimators and site supervisors.
The level of Diploma signifies another rise in difficulty and quality of content, as it can lead to higher educational prospects such as a Bachelor’s Degree. Rising to this level will enable you to utilise your skills and expertise in management or supervisory positions. A course frequently completed at this level is the Diploma of Building and Construction, which is, in essence, a continuation from the Certificate IV in Building and Construction. Students who undertake this course will generally seek jobs with added responsibility such as Site Manager, Project Manager or Domestic Builder.
A bachelor’s degree is completed at University level. The highlight of this level is further specialisation, since the areas majored in by the student are strengthened. Similar to the Diploma, the range of courses at this level are for management and highly-technical areas, meaning that there are less of an abundance of courses on offer, such as the Bachelor of Building Design, Bachelor of Building Surveying, and Bachelor of Construction Management.
The last levels are Honours/Graduate Certificate/Graduate Diploma, Masters, and Doctoral (PHD). These are reserved for those looking to become resolute experts in their field, havin generally completed some form of academic research. The majority of people looking to gain qualifications in construction do not reach this point as it is mostly unnecessary for most jobs in the industry.
Practical experience is a must in the construction industry for those looking to become qualified in this area. Considering the amount of technical and hands-on work that is involved, it makes sense that to become qualified, you should have previous circumstances of putting theoretical knowledge to use that can be of reference to ultimately obtaining a Builders License from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). The amount of experience varies from level to level. For example, at the level of Diploma, 3 years should be enough to offer one adequate in at least 3 homes at all stages of the construction, and this experience needs to be certified by the resident registered builder overseeing the project. However, the relevant registering authority, the VBA, offers a time scale of seven 7 years, which encompasses projects that the applicant has been part of over that period.
Becoming qualified in construction is quite a succinct and methodical process. The expectation that construction workers complete projects to a high standard of quality and safety is strong, therefore it is important that those aspiring to enter the industry are rigorously trained and taught to adhere to these requirements.
If you are looking to gain qualifications in building and construction, Parker Brent offers the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) and the Diploma of Building and Construction (Building), which can significantly aid you on your journey to becoming a registered builder. For more details, enquire now: www.parkerbrent.com.au