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How to become a licensed builder in NSW


There are many ways to earn a living and build a career, but how do people choose what is right for them? Those academically gifted may choose a path in finance or management. Some who excel in science may become involved in the medical profession while a lucky few get to play sports professionally. 

Whatever path is chosen, it’s an indisputable fact that Australians require homes to live in, so finding a trade that can provide them and will always be in demand is a great career path for anyone practically skilled to take. But there’s more to it than just buying some tools and getting stuck in. Depending on which state the perspective tradesperson lives in, they will need a builder license or be registered, but how do they go about that properly?

Standards are set high, which is good, as it means that those who apply for the license or registration, need to have gained a combination of experience, technical qualifications, skills, and knowledge to show that they will make competent builders. It provides peace of mind to customers who employ their services as well as employees knowing that they have someone of the required quality on their books.

Requirements vary slightly from state to state, but all ensure that those who earn their stripes have accrued all that is required to become capable builders. For instance, those in NSW any applicant requires one of the several qualifications, such as a different VET or other relevant undergraduate degree, or through a previous license, if it has expired within the last 5 years. At the same time, while the process is important, it is equally so to consider self-help tips to avoid burnout.

2 years of relevant industry experience is required, which must have been obtained in the previous 10 years, with four ways being accepted. Those who have been an employee of a building contractor are fine, as is a subcontractor who has been contracted to a building or who holds an endorsed license. The other two ways relate to those holding a qualified supervisor license.

Referees must fill out a form to state that those gaining the experience were fully remunerated and met the requirements, while in the hands of a fully licensed building contractor received the correct supervision and gained relevant experience throughout. Once all the criteria have been met, forms can be filled out and sent to the authorities. Those who pass and receive their builders license may wish to celebrate in a city club.

Those unsure exactly where to start and require some helpful friendly advice will be well served by contacting the Housing Industry Association. They can guide those who want to obtain their license through the process, while also offering membership which offers full support to those involved in the industry.

Obtaining a builder license is hard work, but returns great rewards to those who show the required dedication in choosing it as a career path, ideally through the assistance of the HIA.



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