Subject focus: Courses in building trades in Australia and New Zealand

  • Building and construction students working at Melbourne Polytechnic. Photo credit: Melbourne Polytechnic.Building and construction students working at Melbourne Polytechnic. Photo credit: Melbourne Polytechnic.

This subject focus looks at courses in different building trades that are available at colleges in Australia and New Zealand. Retrain in an internationally recognised trade, and gain a new, sought-after skill.

Tradespeople are in high demand all over the world at the moment, including in Australia and New Zealand. These trades courses provide the practical and theoretical training that will allow you to work in your chosen trade. You need to be physically fit for these courses, and be prepared to spend a lot of time on your feet – but it’ll all be worth it, particularly when you think of the job prospects available when you qualify.

More Information

Certificate 4 in Building and Construction at TAFE NSW

The Certificate 4 in Building and Construction (Building) is for people who want to become builders and managers of small to medium building businesses. You will acquire the skills and knowledge required to coordinate the overall construction of low-rise buildings, which entails selecting contractors, overseeing the work and its quality, and liaising with clients.

Career opportunities

This course provides education and training for the building industry at technician level to effectively operate at middle management level in the residential building sector. Currently the requirements of the NSW Office of Fair Trading for a license as a NSW Building Contractor include this course (with specific unit of competency requirements) PLUS one of the following qualifications:

  • Certificate of Proficiency in the Bricklaying Trade
  • Certificate of Proficiency in the Carpentry Trade
  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Civil)
  • Bachelor of Engineering degree (in civil or structural engineering)

Licensing requirements

The Certificate 4 in Building and Construction (Building) (19734) meets one of the requirements for a Fair Trading NSW Contractor License (Building). Please visit Fair Trading NSW website for all of the license requirement details.

Course structure

To receive the Certificate 4 in Building and Construction (Building) students must complete all core units and, if available, a range of additional units.

Note: Additional units are chosen by the teaching staff and contain compulsory and elective units which may vary between each semester and campus, and will depend on a number of considerations including the packaging rules for the qualification and demand for the unit.

Core units

  • Apply building codes and standards to the construction process for low rise building projects
  • Apply legal requirements to building and construction projects
  • Apply structural principles to commercial low rise constructions
  • Apply structural principles to residential low rise constructions
  • Conduct on-site supervision of building and construction projects
  • Identify and produce estimated costs for building and construction projects
  • Manage occupational health and safety in the building and construction workplace
  • Manage small business finances
  • Plan building or construction work
  • Produce labour and material schedules for ordering
  • Read and interpret plans and specifications
  • Select and prepare a construction contract
  • Select, procure and store construction materials for low rise projects

Programme Details

Duration: 1 year

Fees: AU$11,900 – AU$13,610 *(the course fee varies based on the location chosen and the year study commences)

Entry requirements: No formal academic requirements

Find out more about TAFE New South Wales >> 

Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) at Melbourne Polytechnic

Building companies provide the power to create. They aspire to improve living standards by designing and constructing environmentally responsible infrastructure. Our diploma aims to provide you with the latest skills in residential and medium-rise building projects. You will learn how to coordinate the construction of a building. Take responsibility for job completion, contractor selection, overseeing the work and its quality and liaising with clients. With an emphasis on project based learning and incorporating sustainability throughout the course, you will be forging the necessary skills to have an exciting career in the construction industry.

The building industry needs your leadership skills

Construction is a thriving industry and with your skills as a leader in this fast-paced trade, take this opportunity to hone skills, learn and grow your own business, or become and even more valuable employee to any construction employer.

Possible career paths for building and construction professionals include:

  • building/construction project supervisor
  • building planner
  • coordinator
  • site manager
  • building estimator
  • registered builder

The department has an excellent reputation and has relationships with a range of residential and commercial builders. On successful completion of their studies, past students have gained exciting work opportunities. Given the timetabling of the course, students are encouraged to obtain part-time work as they study to complement their learning and continue to build their resume.

Reach your full potential with Melbourne Polytechnic

At Melbourne Polytechnic, you will have access to leading-edge technology and be taught essential methods and practices by our qualified and industry-experienced teachers.

Learn the essentials of building management, including project risk, quality standards pertaining to the construction industry, client liaison and relevant costing systems.

Gain practical skills in building and construction

Enhance your employability prospects in the building construction industry as an assistant site manager, estimator or quantity surveyor. With the necessary industry experience you can be registered as a building practitioner in many categories or alternatively you can pursue further studies in the Built Environment.

Programme Details

Duration: 2 years

Start: Semester 1 (February)

Course fees: Approx. AU$13,000 per year

Find out more about Melbourne Polytechnic >>

Diploma of Engineering Technology (Locksmithing) at Melbourne Polytechnic

Locksmithing is a trade that has been around for many centuries, although the skill involved in the creation, repair or replacement of a lock is routinely underestimated in our day-to-day lives.  Until that is, your key is lost, or your house or car is broken into; it happens all the time and everywhere, so the opportunities available to qualified locksmiths are near endless! By training to become a locksmith you will work on developing a wide range of skills, from replacing a traditional door lock, to repairing locking mechanisms in cars, or setting up security systems.

The Diploma of Engineering Technology with a speciality in Security Engineering is a two year course offered to international students at only one institution in Australia; Melbourne Polytechnic.The locksmithing tutors have many years of experience of locksmithing both trading and teaching, and were recently invited to showcase their Biometric Lock invention on the ABC New Inventors program.

During the course your areas of study would include:

  • client relationships
  • power tools/hand held
  • key production
  • lock mechanisms
  • basic machining processes
  • basic fabrication techniques
  • automotive security systems
  • mechanical access control systems
  • security containers
  • mechanical security for buildings

Melbourne Polytechnic has close links with industry and you will have the opportunity to gain work experience with local locksmiths alongside other students from your course, which will put you in a great position to get a job in the trade once you’ve graduated.

Read about Malayasian student, Reagan Ng's experience of studying at Melbourne Polytechnic

Programme details

Duration: 0.5 year

Start: Semester 1 (February), semester 2 (July) or mid-year

Course fee: AU$7,250 (total)

Entry requirements: Year 12 studies to include maths or physics

Find out more about Melbourne Polytechnic >>

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