How much does an owner builder course cost?

Becoming an owner builder is an advantageous prospect. It offers anyone the permit to perform construction-related tasks on their domestic property. There are many steps required to become recognised as an owner builder, most importantly involving the owner builder course.

Something of importance to most people is money, of which we all possess in finite amounts. A common question harboured among potential owner builders is how much would a course for obtaining an owner builder’s license cost?


The answer to this question is not exactly linear. Becoming an owner builder can be done in various ways, as evidenced by courses available but also by the option taken by someone. 


As a start, one may choose to enrol in the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (building). This course covers all the important information needed to establish yourself as an owner builder and more. It is comprehensive but its costs depend on whether one is eligible for a Government funded place or not.


If one is funded, the cost of study is reduced enormously to an administrative cost of between $150-350 depending on the institution. However, if one is not eligible for funding the cost can be astronomical, from a low of $4,000 to a high of $10,000, again depending on the institution. In this case, eligibility for a funded place is judged by whether an applicant for a course:


  • Is a citizen or a permanent resident
  • Holds a qualification that is lower than the Certificate IV level or
  • Holds a qualification that is higher than the Certificate IV level obtained from overseas and not yet recognized by relevant professional bodies


Another option is if one decides to study only a portion of the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building), specifically the units that are the minimum required. For each unit studied the cost as a full service option is likely to be between $250-400. From our research, an applicant is required to have competency in around five units in the Certificate IV level which means a total cost of between $1,250-2,000.


It is likely also that one may opt for short courses that are not accredited but do provide technical content. Unfortunately, such courses, if available, may run for 2-3 weeks and cost anywhere between $2,500-$5,000 will not provide one with the certification required by the Victorian Building Authority as evidence. For such an option, the opportunity cost of having taken this path is high as one will need to start all over again.


In the end, the best option is to invest in studies fully for the short term and long term. Doing it right the first time will save costs that need not incur. 


Parker Brent is an accredited course provider that can help you obtain a Builder’ License. To find out more, go to to start your journey.