Career Snapshot: Construction workers

Do you like working with your hands and learning on the job?

Then you should consider a career in construction!

What jobs are available?

The job opportunities in construction are almost endless. Some of the most common trades are:

  • Carpenter
  • Electrician
  • Heavy equipment operator
  • Ironworker
  • Labourer
  • Mason
  • Plasterer
  • Plumber
  • Pipefitter
  • Sheet metal worker
  • Steel fixer
  • Welder

Click here to check out the national skills needs list.

How do I get started in Construction?

There are three ways to get started:


Apprenticeships allow you to study for a trade qualification and take around 3-4 years to complete. The bonus is you get paid as you’re learning. Click here for a step-by-step guide on becoming an apprentice

Post-secondary training

Structured training can be done at a TAFE or a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). At the end of it, you can get a nationally recognised qualification.

On-the-job training

You may be able to receive structured training on the job from your employer.

White Card

To get a job in the construction industry, you need what’s called a White Card, which is evidence that you have completed a General Construction Induction course/White Card course. It’s mandatory for anyone who wants to work in construction. Here's who issues White Cards in your state:

VIC: Worksafe Victoria
QLD: Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
WA: Worksafe WA
SA: Safework South Australia
NT: Worksafe NT
TAS: Workplace Standards Tasmania

NSW/ACT: Workcover Authority NSW

What does the industry currently look like in Australia?

Here’s some stats for you on the construction industry from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (May 2009) and Builders Academy Australia (2016). 

  • Average weekly earnings in construction are around $1,332 (full time adult).
  • Fourth largest employing industry (9.1% of working population) behind Retail Trade (11.2%), Health Care and Social Assistance (11.0%) and Manufacturing (9.2%).
  • Australia’s total construction employment rate is predicted to increase by 2.9% in June 2017.

Who are the leading employers in Construction?

Some of Australia's biggest employers in construction are:


Speak to your MAX consultant about how to get your foot in the construction door!


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