How to start a career in construction

Have you been considering a career as a construction worker? Do you know what qualifications or experience you need to get your foot in the door?

There are many online construction courses which can help, depending on the type of construction work you are chasing.

Firstly, it’s important to know why pursuing a career in construction is a good idea.

The construction industry is one of the most significant sectors in the Australian economy. There is expected to be around 1.3 million jobs in construction in Australia by the year 2024, and the sector is likely to continue to expand due to government expenditure on infrastructure projects.

Source: Australian Industry and Skills Committee

In the building and construction industry there are many different career paths you could choose to follow, such as

  • Builder
  • Carpenter
  • Concreter
  • Plasterer
  • Landscaper
  • Painter
  • Plumber
  • Tiler
  • Stonemason
  • WH&S officer
  • Project manager

Here are 4 tips on how to start a career in construction:

  1. Get qualified – study an accredited construction course
  2. Attain your Construction White Card
  3. Get your skills recognised via RPL
  4. Get the right insurance – income protection/insurance you’ll need as a sole trader/business owner

In Queensland for example, completing the Low Rise Site Supervisor (Queensland) course is a great first step into the industry, as it requires no previous experience. Not only will you gain the skills and knowledge needed to flourish in the industry, you will also be eligible to apply to become a registered builder* after completing the course.


You must hold a White Card to work on a construction site in Australia. You can get your white card by completing a construction induction course. Your white card will be valid in all states, so if you have the ambition to pursue construction jobs interstate you can do so with confidence.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a skills assessment process which allows you to use your existing skills, expertise, and experience to demonstrate your competency and ability to perform construction work.

After you have gained some experience on the tools you could be able to complete a number, or all, of the units in the Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) CPC50210, which could be your springboard to finding work as a site manager or foreman. Some courses, such as the Advanced Diploma of Building and Construction (Management) CPC60220 can only be completed through the RPL program.


If you are working for a company, you might consider getting income protection insurance. This will keep you covered against the risk of losing income through illness or injury which stops you from working.

If you decide to work as a sole trader, you may need a variety of insurances to protect your livelihood, such as public liability insurance, motor vehicle insurance and business insurance. You should also consider getting personal accident insurance and permanent disability insurance.

If you need more information about which course is right for you, get in touch with us today to speak with one of our education consultants.

Source: Statista, Australian Industry and Skills Committee, WorkSafe Qld, Australian Taxation Office

*Information here is a guide only and regulations change for each state. Please check with your local authority for licensing applications or more information

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