How to become a Builder
Becoming a builder is a very lucrative business in Australia. Housing, developments and in general, property, are in high demand, and construction is the largest industry in the country. Before you become a builder, there are several steps you will need to take in order to turn your dream into reality. This guide will walk you through the process of becoming a builder in Australia, from the qualifications required, to the paperwork and licensing necessary.
Step 1: Get the right building qualifications
The first step to becoming a builder is to gain the necessary qualifications and training. Depending on which state or territory you want to build in, there are different requirements for builders. Generally speaking, builders require a Certificate IV qualification in Building and Construction (Building) or equivalent. This can be completed at an approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or through an apprenticeship program. You may also need additional qualifications such as Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). It’s important that you check with your local state or territory government for specific requirements before enrolling in any courses or apprenticeships.
Step 2: Do your apprenticeship
Once you have the necessary qualifications, the next step is gaining practical work experience. You will need to have at least two years of relevant work experience with another qualified builder before applying for your own licence. You can either find a job as an apprentice builder, or work as an assistant on building sites. During an apprenticeship, you will learn the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the job safely and effectively. Gaining work experience will show potential clients that you are competent and knowledgeable about building processes, safety protocols, and industry regulations when you start your own business.
Step 3: Get your carpentry licence
In order to work as a carpenter in Australia, builders must obtain a licence to do carpentry from the relevant state or territory authority. Each state and territory has its own requirements for obtaining a licence, but most require carpenters to have completed a Certificate III in Carpentry and to have passed an exam. This certificate is the nationally recognised qualification for carpenters in Australia and you must have done an apprenticeship or certificate to obtain it.
Step 4: Join a union
Another important step for builders looking to work in Australia is to join a union. The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) requires all builders working on federally funded projects to be members of a union. Joining a union gives builders access to important resources and support, as well as ensuring they are paid fairly for their work. The Master Builders Association (MBA) is also a good industry group to become a member of.
Step 5: Purchase business insurance
Builders working in Australia must also obtain insurance before they can start work on any project. Insurance protects builders from financial liability if they are found to be at fault for any damage or injury that occurs during the course of their work. There are several different types of insurance that builders can obtain, including public liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. One that is sometimes overlooked is insurance for your work tools. When you are working across different sites, tools can often go missing, and they are expensive, so this is recommended.
Becoming a builder requires dedication and hard work; however, if being a part of one of Australia’s most essential industries is something that appeals to you then it’s worth pursuing. Once all the educational requirements are met and paperwork submitted correctly, obtaining your builder's license should be relatively straightforward, allowing you to focus on what matters: getting out there and building things. We look forward to seeing one of your constructions soon!