How to become a Builder

While you may have always had a knack for constructing and fixing things, there are certain skills, attributes and qualifications you’ll need if you plan on securing a career as a Builder.

A Builder constructs or repairs houses and buildings, or alters existing buildings to give them a new form or purpose. A Builder can also be in charge of submitting plans or permits to local councils, organising the delivery of materials and managing onsite building crews. Read more about the job description of a Builder.

What technical and professional skills do I need to become a Builder?

Many people who are interested in a career as a Builder have had previous experience using the tools of the trade, often in entry-level roles such as a labourer or an apprentice where no qualifications are required. 

Employers recommend expanding on any hands-on experience by studying a building course so you can understand the theory behind the practice. Not only will completing a course enhance your skills, but it will also help you meet the minimum education requirements needed to apply for a Builder’s licence.

“Qualifications always help in this industry, not only when you start looking for a job but also when you want to get qualified and start moving up into management,” explains SEEK Learning Consultant Helen Barnes.

Undertaking a Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) (CPC40110) will teach you how to produce cost estimations for projects, prepare construction contracts, conduct on-site supervision and apply building code standards in the workplace.

If you’re thinking of branching out into other areas of construction, a Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) (CPC50210) will help you gain the practical knowledge and skills to manage and supervise a range of building projects. This in turn will provide you with the qualification you’ll need to work as a Site Manager, Builder or Project Manager in the future.

How do I get a Builder's licence?

Getting your Builder’s licence means you can legally sign off on work that has been done on site. For a business owner, this means you have the ability to take on larger jobs and will not have to sub-contract work to a licenced Builder.

Building licensing varies from state to state, so where you live will determine which qualification you’ll need to have to meet the educational requirements.

We’ve also listed below the licensing bodies for each state:

  • ACT - Environment and Planning Directorate - Planning
  • NSW - NSW Fair Trading
  • NT - Building Practitioners Board
  • QLD - Queensland Building and Construction Commission
  • SA - Consumer and Business Services
  • TAS - Department of Justice
  • VIC - Victorian Building Authority
  • WA - Department of Commerce

Should I become a Builder?

To be successful in the building and construction industry, you will need to have:

  • Strong organisation skills
  • Basic maths skills to read plans
  • An ability to undertake manual labour
  • A strong work ethic

“Generally we find most people going into the building industry enjoy working outside, and enjoy working with their hands,” says SEEK Learning Consultant Helen Barnes.

“People that are running their own businesses, or moving up into supervisor roles or project management, are also often organised, hard-working and very motivated,” she adds.