How Much Does a Builder Earn in Australia?


first questions to answer is how much does a builder earn a day? And it makes sense that you want to know how to become a builder as a builders salary is appealing.

The answer is that it depends on a number of factors like location, experience, job role, and whether you’re employed, work contract, or work for yourself. We’ll explore these in more detail below.

But if you want to know your prospects right now, you can find out how much you can expect to earn as a builder using this builder salary quiz.

Find out how much more you could be earning as a registered builder through BAA.

How Do You Become a Builder in the Construction Industry?

Step one in how to become a builder is to take on entry-level building and construction courses that can help you secure an apprenticeship.

It’s common knowledge that tradespeople just starting out as an apprentice won’t earn as much when compared to entry-level positions in other industries. Of course, it’s clear to see that the fact that you can get paid for training in the first place is actually a huge positive—instead of starting out your career with a student debt in the tens of thousands of dollars like many university graduates.

From there, you can continue to boost your experience level and therefore salary expectation through building and construction courses like a Diploma of Building and Construction as your career requires.

According to Michael Page’s 2022 Salary Benchmark Report, across Australia, candidates in the construction industry can expect an average of 10–20% increase in salary when they switch jobs within the industry or to an adjacent industry.

Their nation-wide  builders salary for permanent roles, incorporating all experience levels, range from $65,000 for painters through to $170,000 for senior site managers.


building and construction courses

Location and Job Role

According to a 2017 report from job quote site, plumbers in Victoria earned the biggest average increase in their hourly rate on the previous year—an impressive 21% to boast an enviable $91.21 per hour.

Looking around Australia, it seems that each state has different levels of growth in different trades. It’s pretty profitable to be a plumber in New South Wales too, or a builder, electrician or painter in South Australia. If you’re in Perth, plasterers earn almost $60 per hour, up by 20% from the previous year.

And of course, for those with a Diploma of Building and Construction under their belt, the top-tier  builders salaries boast more still.

You can check out the full table of figures by trade and by state to see how your current role compares.

Find out how much more you could be earning as a registered builder through BAA.

Employment Type

The final major factor in considering your value and prospects is in the type of employment you’re in. Generally speaking, contractors can charge a higher hourly rate than those in full-time employment, although a consistently higher overall salary usually sits with the permanent employees, due to consistency of work. For example, a carpenter in Australia in a full-time role earns an average of $78,000, compared to $70,000 in a temporary one.

This can also include whether you work in the residential/domestic, commercial or industrial spaces—each of which have their unique draw cards. Commercial carpenters in Queensland, for example, can earn $90 per hour. If you work in residential work, you might earn a little less, but have more freedom—as told by this 26-year-old who had done both.


diploma of building and construction

Builders Salary Key Takeaways

The most important thing to remember is that a builders salary is dependent on a large number of factors—including what you are willing to put in. While average salaries may help to give an indication of your prospects, different businesses and bosses will all have their own set of expectations. Some will reward loyalty, others might require a Diploma of Building and Construction.

Want to know exactly how much you could be earning? Take this builders salary quiz and tailor the result to your specific requirements and experience. Remember, the more study you complete through building and construction courses, the better your prospects will be.

Finally, the role (and salary) you start off with won’t be forever. Job seekers are changing jobs for better remuneration, to learn new skills, and for better work–life balance—so it’s about weighing up what’s most important to you when you get to the final stages of your job search.

If you want to know how to become a builder, contact our team at 1300 LEGEND (1300 534 363) or request a callback and we will get back to you with all the information you need!

Find out how much more you could be earning as a registered builder through BAA.

This article has been updated and republished on 29th march 2023.