Student Guides: How To Become A Building & Construction Apprentice

Want to build a career in the construction industry? Don’t know where to begin? We've pulled together a guide of what's in an apprenticeship, how to get one and what the best part of getting involved in the industry!

What’s involved in this industry?
Building! The building and construction industry involves much more than laying bricks or tiles, fixing pipes and constructing floors. It covers carpentry, glazing, signage, building for the entertainment industry, interior design and renovation.
What is an apprenticeship?

Australian Apprenticeships is the title that covers both apprenticeships and traineeships. Australian Apprenticeships are jobs that combine paid work and structured training.
With an Australian Apprenticeship you spend time in paid employment, learning practical skills on-the-job and putting them into practice.
Structured training can be done either on-the-job or off-the-job training at a TAFE or another Registered Training Organisation (RTO), depending on the industry you are in. At the end of it, you can get a nationally recognised qualification.

How long does it go for?
Apprenticeships generally last between thirty six to forty eight months. Traineeships generally take between twelve to twenty four months to complete.

However, it's important to note the Plumbers and Gasfitters who apply for early completiopm are not eligible for registration until they have a total of four years experience in the trade. Apprentices who want to work in the trade, but not as a registered Plumber in Victoria, must contact the Plumbing Industry Commision for a work permit.

How much do I get paid as an apprentice?
Employers are governed by the National Training Wage Award System. To see how much you are entitled to earn as a trainee, call the Australian Workplace Authority . How much you can earn can depend on things including how much education or training you already have, or a competency-based wage.
Wages could also depend on your age.

How much do I get paid when I’m qualified?
Weekly earning for those in building, architecture and surveying is roughly $1186 per week.
Brickies can look at earning $855, carpenters usually earn around $872 per week, with plumbers earning around $800.

The best part of the job?
"It's well paid, you can travel anywhere and get a job, it's healthy and it's fun.'' Says Brick-layer Lenny Pustahija . "Brickies work from 7am to 3pm. It's great because I can go swimming at the beach every afternoon. You get a lot of time to yourself.”

Anything else cool to know about?

Looking for inspiration? Check out some Podcasts chatting to apprentices about how they felt entering their apprenticeship.
SkillsOne has loads of short clips about apprentices in the building and construction industry. One video chats to Chadd Houssenloge , who is a carpenter who works on everything from small matinence jobs to Better Homes And Gardens!

Trying to narrow down exactly what you want to do?
Several sites have Career Profiles and statistics about the jobs within the building industry that you might want to enter.

Check out:

My Future, which lists loads of building career profiles and an industry snapshot.

Job Guide lists loads of jobs in the Architecture, Building And Planning Industries.

Job Search has a listing of statistics about the industry - including job prospects and pay.

And SkillsOne, of course, has loads of Career Profiles about people who build successful careers!

Links to people who really know how to build!

Housing industry Association -
Master Builders -
Master Plumbers & Mechanical Services Association of Australia -
Australia Glass And Glazing Association -
Australian signs and graphics association -
National Association for Women in Construction -
Be Contructive -
Construct My Career -

[Sourced from: Skills Tasmania, Job Juice, Job Guide, Job Search, SkillsOne, My Career, Australian Apprenticeships, My Career.]