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How do I get my builders licence in NSW?

25 May How do I get my builders licence in NSW?

 

How do I get my builders licence in NSW?

Not sure if you are on the right path to get your builders licence in NSW? Here’s a full wrap of what you need to know. MUST READ.

We have a lot of enquirers checking in to see if they can apply for a builders licence. The truth is, you might not be eligible for a builders licence in NSW for a number of reasons.

It is a real shame, because some enquirers have put in the effort at TAFE or similar, and done years of study only to find out that they were never told about the ‘experience’ component required by Fair Trading to attain their builders licence. Or others, have been charged large sums of money by RTOs only to find out they too are not eligible for a builders licence.

Here’s some of the many issues that ‘Bob’ the builder to be gets caught up in:

  • a lack of experience
  • wrong type of experience
  • wrong type of employment arrangement when attaining the experience
  • wrong qualifications
  • unrecognised qualification or certification
  • Right qualification, but the wrong units (subject).

In this article, we aim to clear up the noise and help you ensure you meet the criteria for a builders licence BEFORE spending hard earned money and time on a building course.

NSW Builders Licence Requirements:

When applying for your licence you will need to meet a number of criterion. These include:

  • Financial/Criminal checks
  • Experience
  • Qualifications

NSW Fair Trading requests personal information relating to previous businesses and criminal checks. If you have any prior bad financial history, name change or criminal you will need to provide additional documents as outlined in the application form.

Experience

You need to show that you have at least 2 years relevant industry experience from a wide range of building construction work and activity. The majority of the experience needs to have been obtained within 10 years of the date on which the application for your licence is being made.

  • What employment arrangements are considered?

In simple terms, Fair Trading expects that you were employed as an employee ‘on the books’ by a licensed builder (or building company). During this time you must have been supervised and paid.

Here’s the exact extract from Fair Trading’s website as of today’s date:

Applicants must show at least 2 years relevant industry experience in a wide range of building construction work where the majority of the experience was obtained within 10 years of the date on which the application is made.

“Experience” means experience gained by the applicant as:

  • an employee of, or
  • a holder of a supervisor certificate and as a nominated supervisor for the contractor licence held by, or
  • a holder of an endorsed contractor licence contracted to, or
  • a holder of a supervisor certificate in the capacity of a nominated supervisor for a contractor licence held by an individual, partnership or corporation contracted to, the holder of a contractor licence authorising the holder to do the class of residential building work in which the experience was gained (“the Work”), where the applicant, during the relevant period, 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
    • remunerated with money in accordance with law for the Work which the applicant carried out.
  • What does a wide range of residential building work mean?

In order for your experience to be recognised as relevant, you will need to show that you have experience in a wide range of residential building work. This may include but is not limited to: experience that demonstrates the ability or capacity to competently project manage residential building work on site in accordance with the Building Code of Australia, including dealing effectively with sub-contractors, consumers and other parties.

Be wary that experience in singular trade work will not meet the experience requirements. You should demonstrate experience across all stages of construction in order to satisfy that you have the capacity to do, coordinate and supervise general building work in the construction of a residential dwelling.

  • What documents will I need to show to prove my experience?

Fair Trading requires a short employment history to be filled out on the application form for a Contractor or Qualified Supervisor General Builders Licence. In addition to this they also require a ‘Referee Statement’ form and ‘Applicant’s Residential Building Experience’ forms (available from their website) to be completed. This details the residential building work that you completed whilst working with a licensed builder. You will need to show the building address, DA number and licence number of the builder you were working with on that site. Owner builder sites are not accepted under any circumstances.

When filling out your ‘Applicant’s Residential Building Experience’ forms it is advised that you provide all the job sites and years of relevant industry experience in a wide range of building construction work; not just the minimum two (2) years.

Finally, when assessing your licence Fair Trading may request other forms of evidence including and not limited to superannuation papers, payslips and other proof to show that you were ‘on the books’ (employed) with the relevant builder during the period of time you gained your experience.

  • Still not sure?

If you are in any doubt about meeting the relevant experience requirements then you should contact the NSW Department Fair Trading and discuss your situation with them. You must tackle this prior to enrolling in any builders course.

Qualifications

Qualify Me!’s building qualifications are designed to meet the NSW Department of Fair Trading licence application requirements. There are a few pathways that you can take to apply for your Builders Licence. Loosely speaking, carpenters with a building qualification, bricklayers with a building qualification and project managers holding a Diploma or relevant degree meet qualification requirements for a builders licence in NSW.


I am an experienced Carpenter

You will need to show a licence or qualification in carpentry PLUS a Certificate IV in Building & Construction. If you don’t have any of these qualifications, but have ample experience in both, check out our recognition programs:

I am an experienced Bricklayer

You will need to show a licence or qualification in bricklaying PLUS a Certificate IV in Building & Construction

I am not really on the tools – Construction Project Managers

If you do not have Carpentry or Bricklaying Licence, qualifications or experience but do have significant experience in the building and construction industry then you can obtain the necessary qualifications by completing a Certificate IV in Building PLUS Construction and a Diploma of Building and Construction. Here are the recognition programs that we offer:

I hold a degree at university

If you hold a degree in Building, Construction, Construction Management, Construction Economics, Applied Science (Building), or Quantity Surveying from an Australian University and have completed the mandatory work-placement then you can apply for the licence directly. If you have a degree from any University outside Australia it is NOT accepted.

Alternatively, if you have a 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 PLUS a Certificate IV in Building & Construction with the units (subjects) shown above.

Need more information?

By now, I’m sure you have a few questions you need answered. Call us on 1800 765 295 and we’d be happy to help you get sorted.

 

68 Comments
  • Yuri
    Posted at 01:26h, 18 July Reply

    Sweet article. How does it work for QLD?

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 07:50h, 18 July Reply

      Hi Yuri,
      Freecall 1800765295 and we can walk you through the process. We have some information on QLD licensing available from our builders page covering qualification and licence requirements for QBCC.

  • Marten
    Posted at 01:08h, 22 July Reply

    I got my qualification through MBA and I got my builders licence knocked back! Totally pissed. Fair Trading said that I had to be an employee and that I was illegally working as a subcontractor. Is there any way around this?

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 01:33h, 22 July Reply

      Marten,
      Sorry to hear about your refusal to a licence. As far as attaining an unrestricted builders licence you will need to show that you have been a bona fide employee, with a range of building experience attained while working on mostly residential sites over a minimum of the equivalence of 24 months full time. We actually advise all our clients to make sure they meet this employment/experience requirement before signing up for RPL programs with the intention of achieving an unrestricted builders licence. If you have a certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery OR a Certificate III in carpentry AND a Certificate IV in Building and Construction, then you may find yourself eligible for a Restricted Builders licence commonly known as Kitchen Bathroom and Laundry Renovation. You can apply for this, without having to meet the employee/experience requirement set out for unrestricted builder licences in NSW.

  • Cameron Mavor
    Posted at 05:05h, 25 July Reply

    Is it two Years after you have finished your trade or is 4 years under a licensed builder during your apprenticeship enough? I have worked with 3 different types of builders during my apprenticeship. Commercial, Residential and then Bathrooms and Maintenance work as well as running jobs for this particular builder. I have my cert 4 and Cert 3 in carpentry and building but would that experience i have had be enough? or do I need the experience out of trade?

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 04:36h, 26 July Reply

      Is it two Years after you have finished your trade or is 4 years under a licensed builder during your apprenticeship enough?
      DFT website states:
      Applicants must show at least 2 years relevant industry experience in a wide range of building construction work where the majority of the experience was obtained within 10 years of the date on which the application is made.

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 04:45h, 26 July Reply

      I have worked with 3 different types of builders during my apprenticeship. Commercial, Residential and then Bathrooms and Maintenance work as well as running jobs for this particular builder. I have my cert 4 and Cert 3 in carpentry and building but would that experience i have had be enough? or do I need the experience out of trade?
      I’ll split up my response to cover apprenticeship then the type of building/building class you worked on.

      Experience gained during your apprenticeship
      There is no indication on the DFT website that they will not accept experience attained during your apprenticeship, therefore I am inclined to believe this experience is acceptable. I would highly recommend giving DFT a call and checking this, maybe you can report back 🙂

      Type of experience (residential/commercial/renovations)
      The Referee Statement form you are required to have filled out by your referee requires you to enter a DA for each of the sites that you have gained experience on. IMHO It is a fair assumption then to say that the residential and maintenance work you have done will be taken into consideration granted there is a DA attached. During your commercial work

      Hope this helps, and best of luck with attaining your licence. Let us know if you need a hand with the paperwork etc

  • Robby
    Posted at 15:03h, 25 July Reply

    Hi! I simply would like to give you a huge thumbs up for
    the excellent info you’ve got here on this post. I’ll be returning to your blog for more soon.

  • Josh
    Posted at 07:33h, 27 July Reply

    That’s a load of crap. I’ve been working as a builder for years now and Fair Trading want me to go back and work for someone else as an employee!

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 01:48h, 28 July Reply

      Josh, I understand it’s very frustrating, and we hear about this situation all the time. Food for thought: Instead of going out and working for someone else, you might consider hiring a nominated supervisor to work for you as a full time employee, and therefore allowing you to apply for a company contractor licence. As long as you too are a bona fide employee under your company, and carrying out a role that gives you a wide range of building experience, then you will be on track to meet the experience requirement once you have 2 years worth of work on DA approved residential work.

  • Felix
    Posted at 14:18h, 28 July Reply

    If I hold a degree of Construction Practice at university, what steps do I need to take to get a Builder license in either NSW or VIC? What does the ‘mandatory work-placement’ refer to?

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 06:25h, 01 August Reply

      I believe you are referring to Option 2 from the DFT website which states:
      “2. Degree in Building, Construction, Construction Management, Construction Economics, Applied Science (Building), or Quantity Surveying from an Australian University which requires the applicant to undertake the equivalent of 4 years’ full time study and a mandatory work placement.”

      When completing one of these courses, there is generally a work placement requirement that you should have completed either as part and parcel with these degrees or as a pre-requisite, such as is the case with say Masters of Construction Practice at Deakin Univerity. If you haven’t got that work-placement sorted for whatever reason it may be that you need to apply for work under a licensed building company as a bona-fide employee and undertake residential building work that meets the definition on the DFT website for at least 24 months. In addition to this, you may also require a certificate IV in building and construction which we can help you gain RPL in. Above all, speak to DFT or before taking any decision.

      For licensing in Victoria, it’s another ball game altogether. You should be sweet from a qualification perspective, they may simply call in you for an interview. I’d recommend you chat to VBA regarding their experience requirement to ensure your current situation will suffice.

  • samuel
    Posted at 11:04h, 29 July Reply

    Thanks; Makes some sense. I called up n The lady at service rep at fair trading had no clue what she was on abot. dunno why they hire poeple liek that

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 06:07h, 01 August Reply

      Cheers. Glad we could help.

  • Tanya A
    Posted at 06:23h, 04 August Reply

    Firstly, thanks for posting such a clear article. I’ve been working as an estimator in a contract plastering company since 2008 for residential and small commercial works. I deal with builders and subcontractors. Although I suspect my experience won’t be enough, I thought I’d ask as I also didn’t get very far with advice from Fair Trading.

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 03:32h, 05 August Reply

      Thanks Tanya. There’s three questions you should focus on:
      1. Was the plastering company by any odd chance have a builders contractors licence and carrying out building works? That is a builder was working as a full time employee and in the capacity of a nominated supervisor during at least 2 years of your bona fide employment tenure.
      2. Have you gained a wide range of building experience that the above nominated supervisor will be happy to vouch and endorse in a referee statement in respect of residential sites that you worked on.
      3. Do you currently hold the relevant qualifications? e.g. Certificate IV in Building & Construction PLUS say Diploma of Building & Construction
      If you answer YES to all questions then I would believe you are on track to getting your builders licence.
      If you answer YES to 1 & 2, then call us to organise your qualifications and discuss your situation further.
      Hope this helps

  • Raj
    Posted at 00:31h, 14 August Reply

    Hi,

    I have got overall 8 years of Experience in construction industry. (India, Singapore & Australia)

    I’m currently working as a strucutral engineer designing small residential houses for a year in sydney and hold a Master degree in Structural Engineering from University of Sydney.

    Is there any hope for me to get a builders license ?
    Please advice !

    Thanks!

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 08:32h, 19 August Reply

      Please validate the following information with Fair Trading before making any decisions of any kind. This is not advice in any way.
      There’s two major criteria that it seems you need to attain here:
      Experience: 24months worth of experience working full time as a bona fide employee for a licensed building company on residential buildings (with a DA/CDC for each site).
      Qualification: you will need a Certificate IV in Building and construction as well as the degree you hold. Give us a buzz and we can do a free skills assessment and check your eligibility for our builders RPL program.

      Of course, you will also need to ensure you are a ‘fit and proper’ person for licensing purposes. See DFT page for full details.

  • Raj
    Posted at 00:32h, 14 August Reply

    Please show me a way forward to obtain the builders license.

  • Ibrahim
    Posted at 09:59h, 17 August Reply

    Hi, this page was very informative and helpful thank you. Was wondering how I can go from being a Restricted builder to an Unrestricted builder?

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 08:26h, 19 August Reply

      In NSW? What restriction do you currently have on your licence? Is it a Kitchen Bathroom Laundry or are you restricted to certain building classes/ stories?

  • creed lik
    Posted at 03:09h, 24 August Reply

    Creed
    I am currently a qualified electrical supervisor, please advise what do I need to do be qualify as a builder.

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 07:50h, 24 August Reply

      Mate, unfortunately being qualified as an electrician has no weight in terms of becoming a licensed builder.

  • Pejman
    Posted at 02:26h, 04 September Reply

    Hi,
    i have civil engineering degree and 3 years of experience working with a builder as a structural designer, estimator and site coordinator, working with a medium size residnetial buildings and small commercial projects, outside of Australia.
    Additionally I have my Master of construction management (UNSW – Sydney) with a 1 year experience, working with an steel fabricator/builder (Project: Train stations in Sydney), as an estimator/project engineer.
    Moreover, I have more than 5 years of experience in Mining and Oil and Gas industry as a planner, cost engineer, estimator.

    I would be appreciated if you clarify my below guestions.

    1- Do i still need to get Certificate 4 degree to be able to be qualified for a Contractor/builder license?
    2- Will my non-Ausralian experience, with a builder, be considered as a relevant experience?
    3- I need to know wheather my experience in Mining and Oil & Gas industry in project management will be considered as a relevant experience?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 08:46h, 15 September Reply

      1. If you have a “Degree in […] Construction Management […] from an Australian University which requires the applicant to undertake the equivalent of 4 years’ full time study and a mandatory work placement” then you will not require a certificate IV in building and construction. If your degree did not entail 4 years full time study and a mandatory work placement I am inclined to believe you will require a Certificate IV Building and Construction. Note this will help you meet the qualification requirement, however from my understanding of your description of experience I don’t think you meet the definition of “residential building experience”. Please cross check with Fair Trading.
      2. No
      3. It may be in part, and only in conjunction with residential building experience.

  • rod
    Posted at 01:08h, 14 September Reply

    Hi. I work for a top tier company that builds telecommunication towers that need DA. I am the supervisor and manager and have a cert iv and diploma in building construction.

    The company i work for does not have a building contractor license as we dont build class 1 basically class 10 only.

    Can this be classed as relevant 2 years experience or does it have to be purely residential class 1 building.

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 06:45h, 15 September Reply

      I would suspect that your experience with class 10 on it’s own will not meet the definition for experience required for a builders licence with NSW Fair Trading. It may possibly be accepted in conjunction with residential building experience as there are obvious synergies.

  • Sam
    Posted at 10:07h, 15 September Reply

    Hi, What if the job did not involve a DA and was a comply and development?

    Thanks

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 00:42h, 17 September Reply

      Are you referring to a complying development certificate…CDC? That’s fine

      See page three of the referee statement form for the details you will need to provide regarding the jobsites you have worked on.

  • Rob
    Posted at 12:57h, 08 October Reply

    Hi, what’s the difference between a restricted builder and unrestricted?

    I have my builders licence but not sure which one I hold.

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 12:04h, 08 February Reply

      It should simply read “BUILDER”. Any additions after this word would generally be the conditions/restrictions

  • Rohan Mennie
    Posted at 08:55h, 14 October Reply

    Hi Qualify me,

    Thank you for all your information. I’m trying to work out if I qualify in Vic for a limited builders licence. I have graduated a degree in Architecture, had 14 years experience and have done my Cert 4 in Building Construction. I’ve just come across needing experience as a builder or carpenter etc? Do I need the experience to get registered if I have the architecture degree? And is it right that you need to nominate the trades you’d like to do and show experience doing them, ie painting and installing insulation? Seems crazy you can’t do these tasks without prior experience.

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 11:56h, 08 February Reply

      Rohan,
      Are you referring to a Kitchen Bathroom Laundry licence or a builders licence? Just be careful with your terminology – in Victoria a ‘limited builders licence’ may be construed to mean trade licences such as carpentry, bricklaying, concreting etc

      Any how I’ve answered both below:

      Domestic Builder (limited) – Kitchen, Bathroom, Laundry Renovation work
      For this licence you would need to show experience as a cabinet maker and related building knowledge:
      “If you have successfully completed the following qualifications, you will
      satisfy some of the technical knowledge required for Bathroom, Kitchen or
      Laundry Renovation work:
      • MSF31113 Certificate III in Cabinet Making (Kitchens and Bathrooms)
      • CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building),
      including the elective units of competency:
      o CPCCBC4002A Manage occupational health and safety in the
      building and construction workplace
      o CPCCBC4004A Identify and produce estimated costs for building
      and construction projects
      o CPCCBC4006B Select, procure and store construction materials for
      low rise projects
      o CPCCBC4008B Conduct on-site supervision of building work and
      construction projects
      o CPCCBC4009B Apply legal requirements to building and
      construction projects
      o MSFKB3001 Identify processes in kitchen and bathroom projects.
      If you have not completed these certificates, the VBA will assess your
      Bathroom, Kitchen or Laundry Renovation knowledge against the
      competencies included in the certificates.”
      Here’s a pdf showing the exact experience and evidence portfolio that VBA would want to see.

      Domestic Builder (Unlimited)
      My understanding is that Victoria building authority (VBA) assesses individuals who do not hold a diploma of building and construction applying for a Domestic Builder (Unlimited) on a case by case basis – putting them through potentially exams and interviews to ensure they are up to scratch on the competencies required for a diploma building and construction. You can find full details on this available from the vba site under the domestic building unlimited licence application section.

  • Suresh
    Posted at 22:25h, 16 October Reply

    hi
    I have bachelor degree in civil engineering and masters in construction management (both degree oversees), but was recognized as equivalent to Australian degree by engineer’s Australia during my skill recognition for migration process. I have almost 8 years working as project engineer(oversees) in building and bridges.. After arriving here in Australia, i too have completed Certificate IV in building and construction (building). But, i do not have any experience in construction site at australia. But, at present i am working as power pole inspector in sydney.
    In my these situation, is there any way of getting builder license? Hoping to get reply soon of mine these curiosity.
    Thanks

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 11:32h, 08 February Reply

      Suresh,

      That’s some great experience. unfortunately it doesn’t apply to residential experience in Australia.

      I would suggest the following:

    • Finding work with a licensed builder who undertakes residential building work. Gain the equivalent of 2 years of experience
    • Complete a Diploma of building and construction RPL program which will recognise your overseas and newly attained Australian residential experience.
    • Hope this helps

  • Alex Lee
    Posted at 06:48h, 28 November Reply

    Hey,

    Amazing Information!! The question I have here in terms of experience is when they ask for a wide range of experience throughout the project do they mean you have to be hands-on, on the job site as in hammer and nails or can it be experience behind the desk managing the project?

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 11:10h, 08 February Reply

      Alex,
      DFT site says: “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 manage the construction of residential building work on site in accordance with the Building Code of Australia, including dealing effectively with sub-contractors, consumers and other parties. [And] Experience predominantly in singular trade work will not meet the experience requirements. Applicants should demonstrate experience across all stages of construction to satisfy that they have the capacity to do, coordinate and supervise general building work in the construction of a residential dwelling.”
      I would imagine, they need you to have a good understanding and experience in various trades work.

  • Russell
    Posted at 13:50h, 29 November Reply

    Hi ,
    does licensed Plumbing or apprentice plumbing work experience will be accepted by fair trade as 2 years industry experience .for builder license .

  • Russell
    Posted at 23:43h, 01 December Reply

    Hi ,
    A Plumber with 2 years Plumbing experience in NSW is eligible to apply for a Builder licence or not ?
    Thank u
    Russell

  • Will
    Posted at 18:47h, 07 December Reply

    Hi,

    I have a 4 year full time bachelor degree of construction project management degree at university of technology, Sydney.

    and i have been working as a site engineer (full-time employee) for a tie 2 builder in sydney for almost 1 year. the project i am working on is a 30M apartment project.

    my question is
    1, if i continue my current job for another year, do i qualify to apply for the Builder licence in NSW?
    2, I dont think my company will help me to apply the builder licence, as they might think me as an opponent, might leave once i had the builder licence. so when i apply the builder licence, if i show fair trading my payslip, and DA number of the project i worked. would this be enough? what else document i should provide?

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 11:20h, 08 February Reply

      Will,

      Please check that Fair Trading accepts your degree. It isn’t listed explicitly on their site:
      “2. Degree in Building, Construction, Construction Management, Construction Economics, Applied Science (Building), or Quantity Surveying from an Australian University which requires the applicant to undertake the equivalent of 4 years’ full time study and a mandatory work placement.”
      Answers:
      1. It would need to meet the definition of a residential site. remember you are applying for a ‘residential’ building licence.
      2. That will not suffice. You must have one of the company’s nominated licensed supervisor to sign off your referee form. Look up your company using the following link and check under the associates tab to see who is your company’s registered nominated supervisors

  • Daniel
    Posted at 02:14h, 19 December Reply

    I was told by my tafe that i only needed a Diploma of Building & Construction to get my builders license as i have more than 2 years worth of experience under a builder.

    Do i have to do a Cert IV as well? Or will the diploma service as my tafe told me when i signed up?

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 11:25h, 08 February Reply

      You must have a certificate IV in building and construction:
      Certificate IV in Building and Construction …including all of the following units:
      … CPCCBC4001A Apply building codes and standards to the construction process for low rise building projects
      … CPCCBC4002A Manage occupational health and safety in the building and construction workplace
      … CPCCBC4003A Select and prepare a construction contract
      … CPCCBC4004A Identify and produce estimated costs for building and construction projects
      … CPCCBC4005A Produce labour and material schedules for ordering
      … CPCCBC4006B Select, procure and store construction materials for low rise projects
      … CPCCBC4007A Plan building or construction work
      … CPCCBC4008B Conduct on-site supervision of the building and construction project
      … CPCCBC4009B Apply legal requirements to building and construction projects
      … CPCCBC4010B Apply structural principles to residential low-rise constructions
      … CPCCBC4011B Apply structural principles to commercial low-rise constructions
      … BSBSMB406 Manage small business finances
      … CPCCBC4012B Read and interpret plans and specifications
      … CPCCBC4018A Apply site surveys and set out procedures to building and construction projects
      … CPCCBC4024A Resolve business disputes.

      PLUS any of the following:

      Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) CPC50210 including the following units:
      – CPCCBC5004A Supervise and apply quality standards to the selection of building and construction materials
      – CPCCBC5005A Select and manage building and construction contractors
      – CPCCBC5007A or CPCCBC5007B Administer the legal obligations of a building and construction contract
      – CPCCBC5009A Identify services layout and connection methods in medium rise construction projects.

  • Jaye Robinson
    Posted at 20:17h, 03 January Reply

    HI
    The information on this page is great.
    I completed my cert 4 in building and construction and was knocked back for a builders license.I have been a carpenter /supervisor for 13 years started in domestic work, now im a project manger estimator for a builder in light commercial i suppose you would call it,
    The client we work for are government clients such as department of education ,councils and and age care and disability housing and a few others.
    I was knocked back on the grounds of not having enough experience in domestic and no D/A numbers, however the clients we work for the buildings are certified by the crown im lead to believe. Its still construction and still the same building principle, more in depth paper work and safety because most of the building is in a public place.
    How am i meant to gain a builder license ?These client require you to hold a current builders license before you are able to tender these work, it does not make any sense to me ?

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 01:45h, 18 January Reply

      Thanks Jaye; Glad we would help. It is a very, very grey area and most only find out the details after they’ve spent time, effort and a lot of $$$$$ applying.

      I totally agree with you – there is definitely a gap in the NSW builders licence structure for Commercial builders licences -other States do have this. The unfortunate truth is the only way to attain your Residential Builders Licence in NSW is to be able to show your residential site experience as an employee of a licensed building company.

      If experience is an issue, you may consider the restricted builders licence: Kitchen Bathroom Renovation Licence – but obviously this won’t suit all.

  • phillip law
    Posted at 06:18h, 08 January Reply

    Hi, I work for lend lease as a foreman does this count for experience as it s commercial not residential ?

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 01:39h, 18 January Reply

      Quick answer is no. Why? I’m not in a position to answer nor will I attempt to say I know :/- there is the logic that DFT only issue residential building licences and therefore require residential experience.

      If you look at the following referee statement that you will need your referee to complete you will notice residential experience must make up a majority of your work. https://ablis.business.gov.au/NSW/resource/AP4747H.pdf

  • Celso
    Posted at 03:52h, 11 January Reply

    Hi, i have a bricklayer contractor licence and cert iv and diploma in building and construction. I would like to know if that’s qualify enough to get a builders licence or do i still need a referee statement. Cheers

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 01:35h, 18 January Reply

      Hi Celso,
      An up-to-date Certificate IV in Building & Construction along with your current bricklayer licence will fulfill the education requirements for a builders licence. However, you will need your supervisor who in turn is the builder/nominated supervisor for the licensed building company you work for to complete the following referee statement: https://ablis.business.gov.au/NSW/resource/AP4747H.pdf
      Hope this clears things up.

  • Mark Coleman
    Posted at 12:45h, 30 January Reply

    Hi, I have worked for many years managing my own business and contracting as a bathroom, kitchen and laundry renovator. What additional experience/ training would be required to obtain a low density/ residential builders license.

    Obviously I have experience estimating, quoting, drawing & reading plans, preparing contracts, organising relevant trades, supervising renovations from start to finish. I would like to take things to the next level and want to know if and how this is possible.

    Thanks in advance ~ Mark

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 12:09h, 08 February Reply

      Mark,

      You’re definitely on the right track. You would still need to show that you have gained 2 years full time or equivalent experience as a bona fide employee under a licensed builder.

  • John peterson
    Posted at 14:50h, 30 January Reply

    Hi
    My question is if I have met all enquiries shown (Qualifications and experience) above but I had bad credit record as a individual (no a bankruptcy )….your help is much appreciated.

    john

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 10:47h, 08 February Reply

      John, I don’t think credit history is questioned in your application for a builders licence.

  • Ned
    Posted at 23:34h, 01 February Reply

    Hi what is considered a residential building?

    Is there a restriction to the size and scale of the project?

    For example, a five storey aged care home with 100+ rooms, would this be considered a residential construction and would it be accepted as part of the NSW Fair Trading Requirement?

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 11:00h, 08 February Reply

      In my opinion, an accepted new residential building would have relevant DA and OC, and 7 year home warranty attached. Please also refer to my previous answers on residential building experience definition for further details.
      Honestly, I do not think your site will be accepted – though of course ultimately this would be a decision for the home building licence manager assessing your application. I have seen applications turned down due to attempts to claim experience on similar sites.

  • SARAH DAVIS
    Posted at 07:20h, 09 February Reply

    Hello I have over 14 years experience in real estate (am licensed) – have done over 500+ building inspections for purchases (& Pest) with licensed building inspectors-& discussed in detail any issue found to explain to purchasers & vendors etc. Overseen many home improvements, renovations & extensions or bathroom / kitchen overhauls, on behalf of landlords through the property management. As well as personal renovations. I want to apply for my builders license to enable me to project manage builds (mainly grannyflats & extensions / bathroom kitchen reno’s) only using licensed & insured trades people & do none of the work myself except maybe painting. I know exactly what each trade does & how to inspect work done being; brick work, carpentry, tiling, plumbing & electrical etc. I also am very knowledgable with spotting structural issues and have seen so much poor workmanship over the years dealing with thousands of homes I can identify poor workmanship immediately. Am I a candidate for a builders license? Do I qualify for RPL ? Is there a license for only using licensed trades – rather than being a builder/carpenter who can physically do the work himself except elect/plumb? Cheers

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 00:09h, 10 February Reply

      Hi Sarah,
      It’s great to see that you have an edge for quality workmanship and it sounds like you have the right motivation.

      The only licence/permit that sounds similar to what you are after is an owner builder permit. What you have described in your paragraph is essentially a builders duties and scope of work. Builders are not permitted to carry out trade work if they are not licensed specifically in that trade. e.g. a builder cannot do any bricklaying if they are not licensed as a bricklayer.

      In your situation, whilst you may be eligible for skills recognition and RPL in some subjects, on the most part you would need to look into a full time courses for both the CIV in building and Construction as well as the Diploma of Building and Construction. You will also need to gain at least 24 months experience as a bona fide employee of a licensed builder, working on residential sites.

  • Steven jawar
    Posted at 11:48h, 16 February Reply

    Hello Iam 17 years old and have completed my cert 4 in construction and building and currently a second year apprentice doing carpentry. I was told it would be really hard to get given ur license so I was wondering after my two years experience how hard would it really be to get given a unrestricted builders license at the age of around 21

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 21:41h, 16 February Reply

      Steve,
      That’s amazing you’re definitely ahead of your time! Once you’ve completed your carpentry apprenticeship I would recommend signing up with a licensed residential builder to gain 2 years of residential building experience as a bona fide employee. Assuming your carpentry apprenticeship is another year or so + 2 years building experience you’ll be around 20 when your ready to apply for you builder licence. I havent seen any age restrictions for such a situation, but it’d be best to check with your state’s licence regulator.

  • Tom Mrdje
    Posted at 10:10h, 21 February Reply

    Hi, I have a bachelor of civil engineering from USyd and a masters in engineering science (Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology) from UNSW. I have been working as a geotechnical engineer in the construction industry for 12 years now and prior to that for 3 – 4 years as a steel fixer. If I was to complete a Cert IV in Building and Construction would that make me eligible for a building license or do I require more direct experience in building (in my role I work directly in conjunction with builders).
    Thanks.

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 10:39h, 22 February Reply

      The CIV building and your degree in civil engineering should cover off the qualification requirements. Regarding the experience requirement the company you work for must have a nominated supervisor who has a builders licence. You would need to be working on residential sites for at least 24 months and in a range of building works. “Experience predominantly in singular trade work will not meet the experience requirements. Applicants should demonstrate experience across all stages of construction to satisfy that they have the capacity to do, coordinate and supervise general building work in the construction of a residential dwelling.”

  • Damian
    Posted at 01:31h, 15 March Reply

    I am an architect registered in QLD and am interested in getting a builders licence in NSW. I have a bachelor and masters degree in architecture which included a mandatory one year work placement (Australian University – UQ). What would I need to do to attain a builders licence (low rise)?

    Thanks and great blog, the most informative I have found so far!

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 02:00h, 15 March Reply

      Damian,
      In addition to showing you have at least 24months experience as per Fair Trading’s definition, you will need a Certificate IV in Building and Construction. Thanks, glad you found it helpful.

  • Giorgio Iabichella
    Posted at 06:49h, 16 March Reply

    Hi, I have a Master Degree in Civil Engineering and Architecture from University “La Sapienza” of Rome – EU Accreditation plus Post-Degree Course in Project Management from “SDA School of Management – Business University Luigi Bocconi”. I am 12 years experienced engineer which just 6 months spent in NSW, previously I had worked 3 years in Italy then 1 in Nigeria, again 1 in Italy and 6 in Malaysia. I am looking to get qualification throught the MBA or an Advanced Diploma in Project Management in Australia. I would know if I am elegible to enroll my-self onto Tafe or other australian university. Thanks and regards

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 13:09h, 21 March Reply

      Hi mate,
      I believe one of our career advisors from the International Divison has touched base to help you out.

      Cheers

  • Desmond
    Posted at 12:49h, 21 March Reply

    Hi there,

    Would like to know if I have a Bachelor Degree in Engineering but a different stream i.e. Aeronautical. Would I be able to qualify as a Structural Engineer and apply for a Builders Licence? Or do I still have to complete a Certificate? Thanks

    • Qualify Me!
      Posted at 13:05h, 21 March Reply

      Hey Champ,
      You would need to get a certificate IV in building and construction, and a diploma of building and construction to meet the qualification criteria.

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