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How to get a builder's licence

Find out how to get qualified for a rewarding career in the residential building industry

How to get a builder's licence

Find out how to get qualified for a rewarding career in the residential building industry

In Australia, if you want to work as a builder or tradesperson you must have a licence or be registered (depending on your state or territory). Before you apply for your licence or registration you will need to gain a combination of experience, technical qualifications, skills and knowledge.

The first step in this process is to complete training for the relevant qualifications in your state or territory. In some states you may also need to participate in ongoing training workshops to maintain your licence or registration.

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ACT and Southern NSW
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Class C Builder Licence (Low Rise - Residential)

In the ACT the licence category you need is a Class C Builder Licence (Low Rise - Residential). Experience

You will need a minimum 2 years’ full time relevant practical building work experience, carried out by the applicant, other than:

  1. specialist building work, and
  2. basic building work
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New South Wales
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Builder's Licence

In NSW the licence category you need is a Builder’s Licence. You can get a Builder’s Licence with 2 years’ on the job experience plus the relevant technical qualifications.

Experience

To apply for your NSW Builder’s Licence you must be able to show at least 2 years’ relevant industry experience across a wide range of building construction work.

'Experience' means that you gained the relevant experience by being an employee of or were engaged by a person with a contractor licence authorising the holder to do the class of residential building work in which the experience was gained ('the Work'), where during the relevant period, the applicant was:

Supervised and directed in the doing of the Work by the holder of an endorsed contractor licence or supervisor certificate authorising its holder to supervise the Work and
Financially remunerated for the Work. The requirement for practical experience in a wide range of building construction work may include but is not limited to: experience that demonstrates the ability or capacity to competently project manage residential building work in accordance with the Building Code of Australia, including dealing effectively with sub-contractors, consumers and other parties.

Technical qualifications

As well as two years on the job experience in the construction industry you will need to have the following qualifications:

  • Certificate IV in Building and Construction (BCG4010 or CPC40108 Building or CPC40110 Building) or
    (BCG40206 or CPC40208 Contract Administration) or (BCG40306 or CPC40308 Estimating) or (BCG40506 or CPC40508 Site Management).
  • The qualification must also include the following units:
  • BCGBC4001A or CPCCBC4001A
  • BCGBC4002A or CPCCBC4002A
  • BCGBC4003A or CPCCBC4003A
  • BCGBC4004A or CPCCBC4004A
  • BCGBC4005A or CPCCBC4005A
  • BCGBC4006A or CPCCBC4006A or CPCCBC4006B
  • BCGBC4007A or CPCCBC4007A
  • BCGBC4008A or CPCCBC4008A or CPCCBC4008B
  • BCGBC4009A or CPCCBC4009A or CPCCBC4009B
  • BCGBC4010A or CPCCBC4010A or CPCCBC4010B
  • BCGBC4011A or CPCCBC4011A or CPCCBC4011B
  • BSBSBM406A
  • BCGBC4012A or CPCCBC4012A
  • BCGBC4018A or CPCCBC4018A
  • BCGBC4024A or CPCCBC4024A

Plus, one of the following:

  • A current Carpentry or Bricklaying contractor licence or supervisor certificate, or an approved qualification that would allow the issue of such a licence (for details of approved qualifications, see Carpentry or Bricklaying
  • Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) BCG50206 or CPC50208
  • Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) CPC50210 including the following units:
  • CPCCBC5004A
  • CPCCBC5005A
  • CPCCBC5007A
  • CPCCBC5009A
  • Bachelor of Housing from an Australian University or a Degree in Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Architecture, Housing, Construction, Construction Management, Construction Economics, Applied Science (Building), Quantity Surveying from an Australian University.
  • Degree in Building, Construction, Construction Management, Construction Economics, Applied Science (Building), or Quantity Surveying from an Australian University (this requires the applicant to undertake the equivalent of 4 years’ full time study and a mandatory work placement.
  • If you have previously held a licence in the prescribed class of 'building' (Home Building Regulation 2004,clause 46) and you apply for a new licence within 2 years of the former licence's expiry, your previous licence will be accepted in lieu of the current qualification requirements.
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Northern Territory
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Building Contractor Residential Licence

In the Northern Territory the licence category you need is a Building Contractor Residential Licence.

Experience

You will need a minimum 3 years’ practical experience in carrying out building work for which a building contractor residential (restricted) is a prescribed building contractor for section 48A(1)(a) and (b) of the Act.

Technical qualifications

As well as 3 years’ practical experience in the construction industry you will need to have the following qualification:

  • CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)
Book
Queensland
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Builder Low Rise Licence and Site Supervisor's Licence*

In Queensland the licence category you need is a Builder Low Rise Licence AND Site Supervisor's Licence*.

Experience

With a Bricklaying/Blocklaying or Carpentry licence - You will need a minimum 2 years’ experience in the scope of work for the class (or other equivalent work the Authority is satisfied meets experience in the scope of work for the class).

Without a Bricklaying/Blocklaying or Carpentry licence - You will need a minimum of 4 years’ in the scope of work for the class (or other equivalent work the Authority is satisfied meets experience in the scope of work for the class).

Technical qualifications
  • For Builder Low Rise Licence - CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)
  • For Site Supervisor Licence *

You’ll need any one of the following:

a) the technical qualifications for a contractor licence
b) successful completion of the following units of competency:

  • CPCCBC4001A
  • CPCCBC4002A
  • CPCCBC4007A
  • CPCCBC4008A
  • CPCCBC4009A
  • CPCCBC4010A
  • CPCCBC4011A
  • CPCCBC4012A
  • CPCCBC4018A
  • BSBWOR402A

c) successful completion of a course or units of competency of a course the authority considers is at least equivalent to the units of competency mentioned in paragraph b.

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South Australia
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Building Works Supervisor Registration

In South Australia the licence category you need is a Building Works Supervisor Registration.

Experience

You will need to provide a detailed work history of practical experience at the level of registration the applicant is applying for.

Technical qualifications

The technical qualifications depend on which 'registration conditions' are being applied for.

Registration conditions

The following are some examples of ‘registration conditions’:

  • Residential Building Work - (Building Code of Australia Class 1 & 10) Limited to Three Storeys and Residential, Commercial & Industrial Building Work - (Building Code of Australia Class 2 - 9) Limited to Single Storey
  • Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) - BCG40106 or CPC40108 or CPC40110 OR
  • Certificate IV in Building andConstruction (Site Management) - BCG40506 or CPC40508 OR
  • Residential, Commercial & Industrial Building Work - (Building Code of Australia Class 1 - 10) Limited to Three Storeys
  • Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) - BCG40106 or CPC40108 or CPC40110 OR
  • Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Site Management) - BCG40506 or CPC40508

And completion of all of the following units of competency:

  • BCGBC5001A or
  • CPCCBC5001A or
  • CPCCBC5001B BCGBC5003A or
  • CPCCBC5003A
  • BCGBC5008A or
  • CPCCBC5008A or
  • CPCCBC5018A
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Tasmania
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Builder - Low Rise/Builder - Medium Rise and Construction Manager-Low Rise/Construction Manager - Medium Rise

In Tasmania the licence category you need is Builder - Low Rise/Builder - Medium Rise AND Construction Manager-Low Rise/Construction Manager - Medium Rise.

Experience

With a building trade qualification, for example carpentry, bricklaying, etc. - You will need a minimum 2 years’ practical experience in the scope of work you are applying for.

Without a trade qualification - You will need a minimum 4 years’ practical experience in the scope of work you are applying for.

Technical qualification

As well as 2-4 years’ practical experience in the construction industry you will need to have the following qualification:

  • CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)
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Victoria
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Domestic Builder (unlimited) Registration

In Victoria the licence category you need is a Domestic Builder (unlimited) Registration. You can get a Domestic Builder Registration with 3 years’ practical experience to the satisfaction of the Victorian Building Authority.

HIA offers our Victorian members a comprehensive assistance program called Builder Registration Mentoring Workshops. These provide you with the information and knowledge you need to successfully apply for your Domestic Builder Registration.

Technical qualifications

When applying for builder registration in Victoria it is important to understand that while there are prescribed qualifications an applicant may show they have equivalent skills and qualifications.

In practice, many applicants for builder registration have a CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) and demonstrate by exams and assessments that they have the equivalent skills and experience to the prescribed qualifications. It for this reason that many potential builders undertake the CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) course and do not necessarily obtain a degree of diploma.

The prescribed qualifications listed in the Building Regulations 2018 (Regulations) for the DB-U class are:

  • the successful completion of:
    • a Bachelor of Construction Management and Economics from Holmesglen Institute; or
    • a Bachelor of Construction Management (Honours) from Deakin University; or
    • a Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) (CPC50210) from an RTO; and
  • at least 3 years of practical experience.
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Western Australia
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Building Practitioner Registration

In Western Australia the licence category you need is a Building Practitioner Registration.

Experience

You are eligible to apply for registration as a builder if you have completed the Board’s prescribed course of training and accumulated at least 7 years’ practical experience in the work of a builder, or as a supervisor of building work.

The Board may want to interview you to verify your claimed experience and, under some categories of registration, want you to do written assessments showing your competency in the areas of building construction, quantities/estimating, financial, contractual and legislative aspects of building.

Technical qualifications

As well as 7 years’ practical experience in the construction industry you will need to have the following qualifications:

  • C50210 Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) as described in the CPC08
  • Construction, Plumbing and Services Training Package published by training.gov.au including the following units:
  • CPCCBC4005A
  • CPCCBC4018A
  • CPCCBC5005A
  • CPCCBC5007A
  • CPCSUS5001A
  • CPCCBC4014A
  • CPCCOHS1001A

Training options

HIA offers nationally recognised training (NRT) that you can use towards the process of gaining your licence or registration, and keep you up-to-date with industry changes. You can also get (Continuous Professional Development) CPD points if your state or territory requires you to do on-going training to maintain your licence or registration.

Nationally Recognised Training (NRT) for technical qualifications

This type of training makes up the technical qualifications component you will need to apply for an industry licence or registration – such as a builder’s licence. NRT can be a combination of short courses or a full qualification such as a Cert IV.

Professional Development (PD) workshops for CPD points

These courses are workshops that offer the latest information to help increase your skills and knowledge. By attending these workshops you can accumulate Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points, if your state or territory requires these as part of your ongoing licence or registration maintenance.

Got any questions?

If you're still looking for more information on training, give us a call or hit enquire now and we'll get back to you.

1300 650 620

Enquire now

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Whether it's a Cert IV to become a builder or just building your career, HIA have a course to suit you.