How to Become a Builder in Australia in 2024

Australia’s construction industry stands as a robust and ever-evolving sector, pulsating with opportunities for those envisioning a career as builders in 2024. Steeped in innovation, underpinned by regulatory standards, and driven by a growing emphasis on sustainability, the path to becoming a builder in the Land Down Under involves a mosaic of education, hands-on experience, licensing, and continual professional development.


In this guide, we navigate the contours of this vibrant industry, shedding light on the intricate steps and prerequisites aspiring builders need to navigate in 2024. The construction landscape in Australia has evolved, with updated standards, technological advancements, and an amplified focus on green building practices reshaping the expectations and requirements within the industry.


From laying the educational groundwork and acquiring practical experience to obtaining the essential licences and embracing continuous learning, this comprehensive guide is a roadmap for individuals aspiring to embark on a fulfilling journey within Australia’s dynamic construction realm. By navigating these key steps and understanding the nuances of the contemporary construction landscape, aspiring builders can equip themselves with the knowledge, skills, and credentials necessary to thrive in the industry and contribute meaningfully to the built environment of tomorrow.


Join us on this immersive exploration as we unravel the multifaceted facets of becoming a builder in Australia in 2024—a journey defined by innovation, craftsmanship, and a commitment to shaping the skylines and landscapes of the future.


Absolutely, diving into the steps and requirements to become a builder in Australia in 2024 involves understanding the evolving landscape of the construction industry and the updated criteria necessary for aspiring individuals. This comprehensive guide will outline the essential aspects, qualifications, and pathways needed to embark on a successful career as a builder in Australia.



Overview of the Building Industry in Australia

The construction sector in Australia is a significant contributor to the economy, offering diverse opportunities for those interested in becoming builders. This dynamic field requires a blend of theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and adherence to regulatory standards.



Step 1: Lay the Educational Foundation


High School Education:

Completing high school or an equivalent qualification sets the groundwork for a career in construction. Subjects like Mathematics, English, Physics, and Design & Technology can provide a solid foundation. Additionally, you may look to completing VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) units which are within the scope of the VCE experience. These units are vocational and “hands-on,” with the purpose of fast tracking development in areas such as becoming a builder.



Tertiary Education:

Pursue a Relevant Degree or Diploma: The next step to becoming a builder would be to gain certified qualifications in construction. This involves completing courses with a relevant registered training organisation (RTO). RTO’s have the task of providing vocational education and training services. RTO’s are quite different to your typical organisations. RTO’s are legally recognised by the appropriate regulators which allows them to offer training and qualifications to aspiring students. WorkSafe Victoria, a statutory authority of the Victorian Government and the primary body for managing and enforcing workplace safety, outlines every registered training organisation that you can complete a white card training course with on their website. 


The important thing to note about studying courses in building and construction is that there is a distinct hierarchy. Australia follows the Australian Qualifications Framework, which specifies the standards for education in Australia. The framework includes 10 levels, and they are: 


Certificate I

Certificate II

Certificate III

Certificate IV


Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma

Masters Degree

Doctoral Degree


Most people do not go through the entire framework in the construction industry as this is not necessary. The typical courses completed for most professionals including builders are located within the Certificate IV and Diploma levels. 


To provide an example, let’s look at Certificate IV. The Certificate IV level is the one that distinguishes itself from the previous 3 levels. It prepares students for the complexities of construction, whilst providing greater scope for exploring different areas of the industry. Many who wish to begin working in construction and eventually become builders begin from this point, because it allows you to gain the necessary qualifications for building and construction, whilst avoiding completing a Certificate I, II or III. 


Since it offers these benefits, it can be considered a broad qualification in the sense that there are many areas of specialisation, which will teach students how to apply what they have learnt in a wide context. A course commonly sought after is the Certificate IV in Building and Construction. What this course aims to do is enable you with skills in planning projects, applying codes and regulations, and managing resources effectively. It also aims to enhance your knowledge in building and construction to an advanced level, which drastically increases chances of landing job opportunities. You could realistically become a builder by completing this course, but it is considered the bare minimum, which you should consider when building your career and looking for employment opportunities. 



Step 2: Gain Practical Experience and Training


Apprenticeship or Traineeship:

Opt for an Apprenticeship: Undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship is a common pathway for aspiring builders. Seek opportunities through registered training organisations (RTOs) or industry bodies like Master Builders Australia or the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF).



On-the-Job Experience:

Working on construction sites under the guidance of experienced professionals allows individuals to learn practical skills, understand various aspects of construction, and gain hands-on experience.



Become a Builder in Australia



Step 3: Obtain Relevant Licenses and Certifications


Builders Licence:

Complete Necessary Training: Once you have the required education and experience, specific training courses will be necessary. Different states or territories in Australia might have varying requirements for licensing.


Apply for the Builder’s Licence: Submit an application to the respective state or territory’s building authority. This typically includes providing evidence of qualifications, experience, financial capabilities, and meeting other regulatory requirements.


The required level of experience is different in states when it comes to applying for a Builders Licence. In Victoria, 3 years should be enough to offer one adequate in at least 3 homes, at all stages of the construction and this experience must be attested to by the resident registered builder supervising the project. However, the relevant registering authority, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) offers a time scale of seven 7 years, that is projects that the applicant has been part of over that period.


Additionally, Obtaining a builder’s licence isn’t as simple as just applying. In reality there are distinct categories of building licences, and whichever you fall under will determine what you can apply for. Such categories include: 


  • Domestic Builder (Limited)
  • Domestic Builder (Unlimited)
  • Commercial Builder (Limited to low-rise work)
  • Commercial Builder (Limited to medium-rise work)



Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Sustainability Certifications:


OHS Certification: Acquire necessary certifications like the White Card Certification, essential for working safely on construction sites. A white card essentially provides you with access to enter and perform activities on a construction site. Without it, it is virtually impossible to be a part of construction in any physical sense. 


To be issued a White Card, you must complete the accredited unit of competency ‘CPCCWHS1001 – Prepare to work safely in the construction industry’ with a registered training organisation (RTO). When you have successfully completed the training, you will be issued with a Statement of Attainment by the RTO.


It is extremely important that you complete your construction induction training at one of these registered training organisations. If you were to complete it at an organisation that is not recognised, it will not be accepted. WorkSafe are the issuers of white cards. You will not be issued a white card from WorkSafe if you were to pursue this route. Because WorkSafe deals with worker health and safety, they have issued a list of RTO’s of which you can complete a white card with. To ensure compliance with rules and regulations, all entrants into the industry are strongly urged to follow legally safe procedures for becoming professionals. 



Sustainability Certifications:

Familiarise yourself with sustainable construction practices and certifications, as the industry increasingly emphasises eco-friendly building methods.




Step 4: Continual Learning and Professional Development

To remain competitive and up-to-date in the industry:


Engage in Continuing Education: Attend workshops, seminars, or courses to stay informed about new technologies, regulations, and best practices.


Join Professional Associations: Membership in organisations such as Master Builders Australia, Housing Industry Association, or the Australian Constructors Association can provide access to resources, networking opportunities, and professional development.




Step 5: Consider Specializations and Advancements

Builders can specialise in various areas such as residential construction, commercial projects, renovations, or sustainable building. Pursuing advanced qualifications or certifications, such as a Master Builder’s Certificate, can distinguish individuals within the industry.




Step 6: Building Networks and Industry Experience

Networking: Engage with industry professionals, attend industry events, and participate in forums to expand professional networks and gain insights into industry trends.


Industry Experience: Continue working on diverse construction projects to gain a wide range of experiences and further develop skills and expertise.


Becoming a builder in Australia in 2024 involves a multifaceted journey that encompasses formal education, practical experience, obtaining licences, continuous learning, specialisation, and building industry connections. Aspiring builders must be prepared for a dynamic and evolving industry, where dedication, ongoing development, and adherence to industry standards are crucial for a successful career. With the right qualifications, experience, and commitment, individuals can carve out a fulfilling and rewarding path in Australia’s thriving construction sector.

If you are interested in construction courses, please enquire now.