Why do you need a builders licence?


In Victoria, you have to be licensed to perform certain types of building and construction projects.

If you’re an apprentice doing a Certificate III, you won’t get a builder’s licence automatically when you graduate.

Instead, you have to submit an application to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).

Here, we’ll show you why you need this builder’s licence and how to get it.

What is a Builder’s Licence?

In Victoria, a builders licence is called a builder’s registration.

When you get your builder’s licence, you can undertake any kind of building work in Australia. This includes both residential and commercial constructions.

It’s important to note that builder registrations apply to people, not companies or businesses.

What types of Builder Registrations are there?

Depending on what type of building and construction project you want to do, there are different types of registered building practitioners. Each one requires specialist skills, knowledge, and experience.

Some common types of builder registrations include:

  • Domestic Builder (Limited)
  • Domestic Builder (Unlimited)
  • Domestic Builder (Manager)
  • Commercial Builder (Limited)
  • Commercial Builder (Unlimited)

If you’re an apprentice tradie, you will probably want to get a domestic building practitioner registration, and work on residential low-rise constructions.

The builder’s registration is essential if you want to do:

  • Domestic construction work that costs more than $10,000 (including building and construction materials and labour)
  • Re-blocking, re-stumping, demolishing, removing a home, or any building work that requires a permit, regardless of the cost of the building project
  • More than one type of building work, such as plastering and painting, where the cost is more than $10,000.

However, not all tradies need to get a builder’s licence. If you are doing small jobs or working for a business or company, you might not need to apply.

Why do you need a builder’s licence?

There are many reasons why you should obtain a builder’s licence. We’ve listed the top two reasons here:

  1. It is a legal requirement in Australia before you can take on any type of building work

One of the legal obligations of tradies who wish to undertake any kind of building work in Australia is obtaining a builder’s licence. Once you understand its purpose, you’ll be glad they exist.

Even though getting a builder’s registration is hard work, it is important because it ensures that work is done to a high standard.

If you try to do certain types of building work without the right licence, you could be penalised with a fine.

  1. It gives clients the assurance that the licencee has the necessary skills and knowledge to undertake building and construction projects

It’s not just your legal obligation to get registered — it also helps you get jobs in the building and construction industry.

Clients these days are well informed about building laws, and they will expect builders to be correctly licensed.

If you try to work without a licence, you’ll likely be competing against a fully licensed builder who is better positioned to get the job.

How can I get a builder’s licence in Australia?

The type of builder’s registration application you need will depend on the category you’re working within.

For all applications, you need to have at least three years of full-time experience in your category, and be able to provide proof of that experience.

The VBA will check that any information you provide is true, so make sure you’re honest in your application.

Sometimes, you might need to sit an exam, do a face-to-face interview, or give extra information.

What do you need to study for your builder’s licence?

Because the builders registration application requires that you have expert knowledge and experience, it’s best to get the relevant qualifications before you apply.

A lot of people start out with a Certificate III in Carpentry (CPC30220) so they can get experience on construction sites as an apprentice.

The builder’s registration requires even more in-depth knowledge than the Certificate 3 can provide, so continuing professional development is recommended.

The best course to take in order to learn the right knowledge and skills to get your domestic builder registration is the CPC40120 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building).

This qualification covers a range of topics, including the building code and standards, building and construction contract law, risk management requirements, and project and construction management. You will also learn how to manage work health and safety, supervise site communication, do construction project management work, and run your own business.

When you do this Certificate IV with BAA, you even get free builder registration mentoring to help you with your application.

The mentorship will be with one of our experienced trainers who has worked in the building industry, and who has guided hundreds of students like you in completing the application.

Study Building and Construction at Builders Academy Australia

As a registered training organisation (RTO) that has helped thousands of tradies get their builders licences, Builders Academy Australia is a notch above other schools.

With over 8000 successful graduates across 120 locations in Victoria, we’re confident that we can give you the skills you need to advance your career.

Study with us to get your builder’s license and you’ll join our growing family of happy graduates. Want to become a licensed builder in Victoria? Give us a call today on 1300 534 363 (LEGEND) or complete the online form, and one of our course advisors will get in touch soon.