How to Get an Apprenticeship: Your Step by Step Guide


Building apprenticeships in Melbourne are a popular alternative to finishing high school or going to university. They offer a lot of benefits, letting you earn money while you learn a trade and setting you up with a career for life.

In this article, we’ll show you how to get an apprenticeship in 4 simple steps. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about building apprenticeships. But first, let’s look at what exactly an apprenticeship is…

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship involves learning a trade, with a mix of schooling and hands-on experience. Anyone of working age can do an apprenticeship.

While doing your apprenticeship, you’ll also do a Certificate III trade qualification.


If you want to do a building apprenticeship in Melbourne, you could complete a CPC30220 Certificate III in Carpentry. As a carpenter’s apprentice, you’ll do 22 core units and 8 electives. In this course, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use a Nail gun
  • Use Power tools
  • Do Scaffolding
  • Operate Generators
  • Use automatic and laser levels
  • And much more

This course usually goes for 3-4 years full-time, or longer if you go part-time.

Once you get your Cert III and possess the relevant experience, you’ll be prepared to apply for a builder’s registration or licence. This lets you work for a building company, become an independent contractor or start your own business.

Step 1: Choose a trade

There are a lot of trades out there, including:

  • Carpenter
  • Joiner
  • Bricklayer
  • Concreter
  • Tiler
  • Stonemason
  • Plasterer
  • Electrician
  • Plumber

Trying to figure out which career is right for you can be daunting. Don’t worry, there are a lot of resources out there to help.

At the Australian Apprenticeships Pathways (AAP), you’ll find links, fact sheets and information about apprenticeships. This will help you choose the right apprenticeship for you

When choosing a trade, Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you prefer working indoors or outdoors?
  • Do you prefer working alone or in teams?
  • Do you like building things or decorating?

building apprenticeship

Step 2: Do a pre-apprenticeship

Once you’ve figured out which trade you want to do, you need to get ready to do your apprenticeship.

You can prepare for an apprenticeship by doing a Cert II Pre-Apprenticeship course. This will improve your chances of getting an apprenticeship.

Employers often choose applicants with a Cert II because they stand out above the other applicants. Your Cert II shows the employer that you have all the skills you need to get started in their trade.


If you want to do a building apprenticeship in Melbourne, you could prepare by taking a CPC20211 Certificate II in Construction Pathways.

This course gives you a good start in the construction industry. It teaches the basics of working on a building site and how to use tools safely, giving you the skills you need to enter a full apprenticeship confidently.

Step 3: Study a Cert III

After completing your pre-apprenticeship, you’ll want to do your Certificate III. Choose a trusted provider with a proven track record in helping apprentices enter the workforce.

At Builders Academy Australia, we provide training across Melbourne and Victoria. We’ve helped hundreds of trade apprentices get their Cert III on the path to successfully becoming qualified.

While completing your Cert III, you will be learning both practical skills and theory, while being guided by a qualified trainer.  You’ll get insight into the construction industry. You’ll also learn about networking, and how to take your career to the next level when you’re ready.

Step 4: Find an apprenticeship

If you do your Cert III with a training provider like Builders Academy Australia, we help hook you up with an apprenticeship. We have a lot of industry partners like builders and construction companies that employ our apprentices.

If you want to find an apprenticeship by yourself, there are two main options. Apprenticeships are usually not advertised, so both involve a direct approach.

Option a) Ask employers

You could look for an apprenticeship by yourself by asking employers. You might call building and construction companies to see if they have any job openings.

You could also browse job ads online or in your local paper, however as mentioned, apprenticeships are not often advertised.

Another way to find apprenticeships is through networking. You might try to meet employers through family and friends or by going to trades events.

You can also try contacting a jobactive organisation in your area.

Option b) Register with a GTO

Group Training Organisation (GTO) are run by trades industry associations. They employ apprentices and place them with employers.

When you work for a GTO, you could work for one or more employers. You could work for these employers on a short or long term basis.



What is an Australian School-Based Apprenticeship?

You can do an apprenticeship while you’re still in high school. This means you can learn a trade and earn money while finishing your VCE.

What to know more? Speak to your career counsellor or call BAA.

What is an adult apprenticeship?

Adult apprenticeship is just another word for an apprenticeship. You can do an adult apprenticeship at any age. In many cases, you don’t need a high school certificate.

Can you do an apprenticeship at 15?

Yes. Anyone at working age can do an apprenticeship. For many apprenticeships, you don’t need a high school certificate, however for some you do.

To find out if you’re eligible, speak to a teacher, career counsellor or call BAA.

Can you change employers during an apprenticeship?

Yes. Luckily, you don’t have to start your studies from the beginning. In many cases, you can continue where you left off.

Because your apprenticeship involves your training provider, your employer, and in some cases, your GTO, changing employers can be complicated.

If you change employers, you will need to talk to your training provider and GTO to make sure your new employer is suitable.

I’m an employer. What’s in it for me?

Taking on an apprentice has many advantages. Because there’s a skills shortage in Australia, it can be hard to find qualified tradies.

When you take on an apprentice, you get to train up your own worker. If they like working for you, they will stay with you after their apprenticeship.

You may also be eligible for benefits and incentives from the government. To find out if you’re eligible, visit the Australian Government’s Apprenticeships Incentives Program.

Interested but not sure where to start? Give our team a call on 1300 LEGEND and we can help you.