How will a certificate or diploma in building and construction help you in starting your construction business?

Starting your own construction business can be an exciting yet daunting endeavour that one may choose to explore. Furthermore one may want to know how can a Certificate IV or Diploma in Building and Construction help them in their journey. This blog will aim to look at the specifics of starting a construction business and how these two courses will help one start their own construction business.


One of the largest industries in Australia, the construction industry has large impacts on the economy based on internal shifts in the industry itself. Large in its breadth, the roles range from construction management to carpentry, to electricians and so on, furthermore many of the roles are quite different such as the aforementioned roles of construction management and carpentry which can be used as an example. What one does is so vastly different to another. In the trades alone a plumber and a carpenter will have quite dissimilar skills that they will utilise in their respective goals in a construction project. These comparisons can be drawn broadly across the construction field with numerous other existing roles, not to mention the roles that have similarities as well and all the parallels that may be drawn between them.


One’s journey in construction is going to vary from person to person. Some may work from the very bottom, harvesting knowledge sequentially in order to reach a point whereby they are proficient in a specific area of building and construction or have generalised expertise. 


Others may even look at starting from a point where it is easier to progress and expand on areas of study, albeit having a difficult entry in terms of understanding the inner workings of construction. 


The latter option is usually the more preferred option of the two especially for someone that has ambitions to start their own construction business. This is due to the fact that as previously mentioned, there are courses which are designed to give you a certain level of competency and know how to be able to navigate one’s own way in the industry. Not only that but they will be accounting for different levels of experiences and knowledge of different individuals. 


The two courses we have just mentioned that fall into this preferred category are the Certificate IV of Building and Construction (Building) and the Diploma of Building and Construction (Building). Both of these courses are superb at introducing you to the key concepts of construction at a high enough level, and offer further specialisation pathways to explore if you want to delve even further. This opportunity to specialise is not necessary for those aiming to start their own business, as undertaking this courses alone will give one a much better grasp on the industry which can benefit their potential business in many ways helping them to avoid mistakes.


It is also important to know that individuals may commonly err in their construction journey by the simple fact that they may fall into the pitfall that most people encounter which is balancing their commitments. 


Splitting your time between different commitments can be a struggle and this is no different with entering into the construction industry through undertaking courses. You must ensure you can spend the required energy to undertake the courses, committing yourself to getting the most out of these course without wasting your precious time.


Undertaking studies in building and construction is not a breeze necessarily. This is because those who successfully complete these courses are held to a high standard, this is the same for one wanting to start their own construction business. This effort and time spent that is required is however a testament to the quality you are receiving from these courses. The economic impact of the construction industry is large so it is an advantage to those seeking to enter the construction industry and aiming to complete the Certificate IV or Diploma in Building and Construction, as one can be sure that their effort will be paid off in the skills and competency they are guaranteed to acquire.


On the topic of standards and quality of the courses that exist to become certified in different areas of construction, we must expand on this idea of quality control. The quality of those entering the industry is measured through the AQF which stands for the Australian Qualifications Framework. This is a framework where the certificate IV and diploma are levels that exist within it as level 4 and 5 respectively. The framework separates the qualifications in education and training classifying them as levels. 


There are courses of different areas in the different levels that exist, and building and construction is one of them that features quite prominently among the others. The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) outlines the levels and standards of educational qualifications in Australia. In total, there are 10 levels, and they are as follows:


  • Certificate I
  • Certificate II
  • Certificate III
  • Certificate IV
  • Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Bachelor Honours Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma
  • Masters Degree
  • Doctoral Degree


Let us now have a look at both the Certificate IV and Diploma in Building and Construction to see what exactly these courses comprise, so you can make the decision based on your own current knowledge which course you may want to start with, that way we can see how it will benefit one to start their own construction business.



Certificate IV


In the Certificate IV, the Building and Construction course is the one you will be looking at, at this level in order to help you start your own construction business. It will comprise 16 units. In this 16 units there will be 13 units that are core to Building and Construction as well as 3 elective units you can choose Some of the topics included are:


  • 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


The above topics are a glimpse of some of the key areas covered in the course which are extremely helpful for builders to complete. However, not limited to benefitting builders, these topics and more will give someone aiming to start their own construction business a very solid grasp on the industry.


Your current knowledge regardless of what level it is will enhance your knowledge in building and construction to an advanced level, which will greatly increase your chances of succes in running your own business.


Students will also be able to attend classes which introduce and teach topics and at later points provide assessments, and perform a minimum of two hours of their own research. The timeframe for successful completion of this course is going to be around 34 weeks, which will take into consideration the amount of content which will be needed to be learnt before one is adequately trained to the level required for Certificate IV. 




Now we look at the diploma, which is the natural progression or step up from the Certificate IV. This level raises the bar in terms of difficulty as aforementioned it is more strenuous than the Certificate IV in Building and Construction and is not recommended for new comers which naturally make sense considering the fact that after this level you are heading towards specialising at a university level by completing a bachelor’s degree. 


For someone looking to start a business, going beyond this point is not necessary, however it is recommended to complete the diploma as it will take you to new heights and will benefit you even more than the Certificate IV.


The Diploma of Building and Construction contains 18 units, of those 18 there are 13 of them that are considered core units with the other 5 being elective units. Various areas are covered in the diploma such as:


  • 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


The diploma lasts around 50 weeks and covers many topics such as the ones mentioned above. Students will need to reserve a minimum of 2 hours per week of self-directed research, supplementing classes which will be supervised by a Trainer. 


The Diploma of Building and Construction is a continuation of the Certificate IV course mentioned in the previous level. As you can see similar topics are covered, however the concepts are taken to a higher level deepening one’s expertise and knowledge in these areas.


Due to the advance in difficulty, it is aimed towards certain individuals such as employed people in the construction industry who are looking to advance their skills in management and development of residential/low-rise construction. 


Now that we have had a look at the certificate IV and diploma, which course should you go for? At the end of the day it all depends on your current level and knowledge. Other factors will include your particular needs, how much time you have and what you are looking to achieve. 


Simply questioning and investigating your own circumstances including your current knowledge and skill level should easily give you a clue on how to navigate the correct path for you to undertake.  Someone who is looking to start their own business should aim to complete these two courses to open new pathways to themselves. If you have previous experience in the industry, undertaking apprenticeships or earlier Certificate levels such as Certificate II or III, they may possibly want to jump straight to the diploma, however with no or little previous knowledge in the industry, this is not advised and the certificate IV alone is the perfect starting point. 


You will learn a variety of things in the courses with them providing you a comprehensive level of understanding across different areas of construction, such as applying principles of OHS risk management, controlling project quality and risk and applying building codes and standards to construction processes and more. The idea is you are more prepared with different aspects of running your own construction company such as skills to look for in any hires, how to plan the scope and budget for a project and so on.


Parker Brent is an accredited provider of courses in building and construction. We currently offer the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) and the Diploma of Building and Construction (Building). Enquire here for more details.