How long does it take to become a builder in Australia?

Becoming a builder is a thorough process that at times can be strenuous but overall satisfying. The relief that comes with having undertaken all the necessary steps is something many experience, considering the screening process that occurs. Just as Victoria has rigorous procedures (read our blog on how long it takes to become a builder in Victoria here), the rest of the country generally follows the same mould. As time is a significant factor when deciding whether to become a builder, a pressing matter must be considered: how long does it take to become one in Australia?


The first step to becoming a builder in Australia involves undertaking a safety induction course. This is an absolute requirement, and must be completed before anything. Upon completion of the course, you will receive a general construction induction card (also known as a white card), which grants you the ability to carry out construction work and access construction sites. This is the least time-consuming part of a builder, as it only takes 1 day. 


Things now start to become more prolonged. After obtaining a white card, acquiring the necessary training in construction is imperative. Australia follows the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), which defines the standards for educational qualifications in Australia. A course within the AQF that is frequently taken and seen as a good starting point into entering construction is the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building). The length of time required to take this course usually takes 34 weeks.


Many who complete this course take their education to the next level in the AQF by completing a Diploma of Building and Construction (Building). The time needed to complete this course is around 50 weeks. The reason behind its longer completion time is because its purpose is to expand on knowledge built from the Certificate IV course. 


Education is not enough on its own to get a builder’s license. Like many things, practical experience is a must, as you need to have had a hand in certain projects to demonstrate the level of preparedness needed to become a builder. Across states and territories, the minimum amount of experience required is 2 years, and any additional conditions that need to be fulfilled depend on where you reside. For more specific information on your state, head to the individual links provided below which include every state/territory’s building authority website. 


The last hurdle is where you can finally apply for a builder’s license. The entire application process takes a few weeks at most, which includes assessment of your application from the building authority in your state/territory, and potentially an exam which depends on your location and category of builder you applied for. 


Overall, you can expect that the minimum amount of time needed to become a builder in Australia can take anywhere from 2 to 4 years, which depends on factors mentioned above such as your state/territory, courses completed, and practical experience.


The table below provides a summary of the states/territories and their building authorities where you can click on the links to find more information on experience and application processes: 


State/Territory Building Authority
Victoria: Victorian Building Authority
New South Wales: NSW Fair Trading
Western Australia: Western Australia Building Commission
Northern Territory: Building Practitioners Board
ACT: Access Canberra
South Australia: Government of South Australia Consumer and Business Services
Tasmania: Consumer, Building and Occupational Services
Queensland: Queensland Building and Construction Commission


Becoming a builder is certainly a time-consuming process, as the construction industry demands adherence to safety and quality of work. As such, being rigorously prepared is an important facet to working in building and construction, and following these steps in the timely manner suggested will help you to obtain your builder’s license.


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