Education is the cornerstone of most industries. It makes sense that to develop and progress your career prospects, you need to go through some sort of process that involves developing knowledge and experience. This generally begins with studying in a particular area.
Some people only reach up to a certain point, such as secondary certificates. In contrast, some go to the highest points you could reach, like gaining a doctorate in an area of specialisation. It really depends on the person and their aspirations.
One industry that puts significant emphasis on education is the building and construction industry. Ranking as one of the largest in Australia, the industry has a large footprint on our economy, contributing massively to economic growth and the advancement of society. Based on this, it is evident that the need for highly developed professionals is a must.
Consider the fact that the construction sector is vast and expansive. From roads, highways and train lines, to apartment blocks and housing, construction’s influence is ever-present. There is a distinct requirement for quality and safety that is expected of every individual who is part of the industry. It would be safe to assume that the right people with the right qualifications are put in positions to lead the industry into the future.
Becoming a builder in construction is no easy feat. There are numerous obstacles you need to pass through in order to gain the title. But that’s not to say it’s impossible. The path is laid out succinctly for aspiring entrants into the industry to take advantage of.
With regards to the education part, this path defines it as courses in building and construction. These courses are designed to train you to become a recognised builder in skill and expertise.
Australia follows the Australian Qualifications Framework, which specifies the standards of education in Australia. It consists of levels from 1 to 10. The levels are as follows:
- 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
In this blog, we focus mainly on the Certificate IV and Diploma levels.
With that being said, here is how a Certificate IV or Diploma of Building and Construction can help you in starting your career as a builder.
Why you can use these courses: a description and guide
Although we can mention these specific levels, it doesn’t do much in explaining why they would help you to become a builder. Instead, it is easier to first gain an understanding of both levels and the courses we refer to, namely the Certificate IV in Building and Construction and the Diploma of Building and Construction.
This level is the 4th in the Australian Qualifications Framework. We are looking specifically at the Certificate IV in Building and Construction.
The course includes 19 units. Of these 19, 11 are core (which means they are mandatory) and the other 8 are elective units. The topics covered include but are not limited to:
- Applying building codes and standards to construction processes
- Managing occupational health and safety (OH&S)
- Conducting on-site supervision of projects
- Reading and interpreting plans and specifications
- Arranging for building applications and approvals
There are many reasons as to why this course is one of the most popular for builders. For one, it is the best starting point for any person looking to begin construction. Whether you have minimal or no experience, you can gain a level of understanding that would take much longer to gain if beginning from Certificate I. You also can progress straight into the industry and look for work if you desire, which benefits those with a proclivity to work straight away.
The benefits of this course are significant. You can develop skills in planning projects, applying codes/regulations and so on. What these skills give you is not only the ability to understand processes of building, but execution and planning as well.
The next level up from Certificate IV is the Diploma level. Whilst it is extremely useful for aspiring builders, you need to understand that you cannot simply begin this course with no prior experience. You must have reached up to the Certificate IV level to do so. This is because the course itself is much more advanced when compared to its predecessors in difficulty.
A key source of evidence that alludes to the course’s difficulty is the types of roles that could be obtained. For example, building and construction managers. Many roles are representative of added responsibility and managing workflow and teams. Becoming a builder and having this course on your resume would mean that you could be in line for jobs of this ilk.
The Diploma of Building and Construction course features a total of 27 units. From these units, 24 are core to the course and the other 3 are elective. To summarise, some of the areas you would explore within the course include but are not limited to:
- Applying principles of OHS risk management
- Controlling project quality and risk
- Applying building codes and standards to construction processes
- Applying site surveys and set out procedures
- Managing environmental and energy conservation practices and processes
Even though this course is mainly for those who have some sort of experience from studying building and construction, you only can gain by undertaking this course to become a builder. By completing a Diploma, it gives you a leg up compared to others with less experience, as you would have more technical and theoretical application and thought to draw upon.
Skills that you can gain
One of the ways you can utilise these courses to become a builder is through the skills you develop. Because the level of content covered is advanced, it is no secret that the skills you gain are also sophisticated and intricate.
For instance, leadership. A leader, such as a project manager or professional builder, needs to be able to gain respect from their colleagues. To achieve this, they would need to have the ability to inspire and motivate, and also provide constructive criticism where needed. This will allow them to delegate tasks more easily as they have the trust that their colleagues will carry these tasks out. The Certificate IV and Diploma of Building and Construction courses may not outright teach you how to be a leader, but through experience and collaboration in high-stakes situations, this can be developed.
Options for further specialisation
Both the Certificate IV and Diploma of Building and Construction also offer the opportunity to develop further in education and qualifications. By completing these courses you are opening up doors for climbing higher on the Australian Qualifications Framework, which can elevate your experience as a builder. Even though many do not pursue this route, by simply completing these courses you as a builder are giving yourself the opportunity to strengthen your knowledge and capabilities which will only have fruitful effects for your career.
It is evident that both the Certificate IV and Diploma of Building and Construction offer the chance for you to start your career as a builder, whilst also providing you with skills that will serve you well in the future and the chance to increase your skills through further specialisation.
Parker Brent is a provider of courses in building and construction. For more details, enquire here.