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Building and construction industry - Fact Sheets for a career in the industry


Building and construction industry

If you ’re looking for a career as a tradesperson, a manager, engineer, professional or even a front end loader operator (and many more) then the Construction industry can be a great foundation to build on.

There are multiple points of entry into this industry. You can start at school with a VET in Schools program or post-school with a; pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, diploma or degree. Further study and career progression are integral components of a career in the Construction industry. Seek out work experience opportunities or talk to people who have a job in building and construction to find out whether it could be the right career choice for you.

What skills do I need?

There are a variety of skills used in the building and construction industry, across professional, technical, trade and semi-skilled areas. Here are some of the skills you may find beneficial when seeking a career in the industry:

Professional – degree qualifications usually required

 engineering – such as civil and structural, mechanical, electrical and materials engineers;

 construction management and support areas – occupational health and safety management, safety and logistics personnel (diploma and certificate qualifications may apply to some support areas); and

 design – such as architects, surveyors and town planners


Technical – diploma and post trade certificate training usually required

 draftspersons - including architectural, civil and electrical;

 estimators, contract administrators and schedulers;

 site supervisors and site managers;

 engineering technicians or associates; and

 building designers


Trade – through an apprenticeship

 licenced trades such as electricians and plumbers;

 commercial trades – such as metal fabricators, glaziers, refrigeration and airconditioning tradespeople, fire sprinkler

system installers and painters;

 residential trades – including carpenters, tilers, glaziers, painters, cabinet makers, plasterers; bricklayers, concreters

and wall and ceiling fixers.


Skilled job specific – on the job, certificate and traineeship training options available

 mobile plant and earth moving equipment operators;

 scaffolders, doggers, riggers and trade assistants.



There are many pathways into building and construction. Pathways include pre-apprenticeships which can be started in

year 11 at school, apprenticeships, vocational certificates and diplomas, university degrees or short courses to obtain

tickets/licenses for operating machinery. Current school students need to consider all options available including

school-based apprenticeships as well as accessing vocational certificate courses while completing years 11 and 12.

Completion of years 11 and 12 will greatly improve your future career options. It will help you to access courses,

apprenticeships/traineeships and work. Jump online and research careers that interest you. Find people who work in the

career you are considering and ask them everything you want to know about the job. Consider seeking work experience

opportunities or becoming a trade assistant to test-drive the job. Another option is pre-apprenticeship courses for trades

and other certificate or diploma courses to explore what the tasks might be like in the job and to build useful skills.

For more information see School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) Construction Industries pathways


Useful websites

 – careers in building and construction with information on many job options at various levels from

assistant to professional.

 - comprises information on the industry and offers a useful career planning tool called

‘Career Map ’ that can help you work out which career in the building and construction industry would best suit you.

 - Master Builders Association of Western Australia –  - detailed information about civil construction careers including what they do, the skills

needed and what they can get paid.

 - Engineers Australia –  - an Engineers Australia sponsored website providing information about the future of engineering

careers, including those in building and construction.

 - the Housing Industry Association is Australia ’s largest residential building member organisation.

 - The Construction Training Fund aims to improve the quality of training and to increase the number of

skilled workers in the building and construction industry.

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this information.


(c) Government of Western Australia, Department of Training and Workforce Development

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