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How to work as a Carpenter in Australia

This article explains some tips and tricks to working as a carpenter in Australia. There are plenty of things to love about working as a Carpenter in Australia:

  • The flexibility of the job
  • Working outside in the Australian weather
  • The high pay you receive

There is also currently plenty of work for skilled and qualified carpenters in Australia. Even though there is currently a downturn in the mining boom, there is a housing and construction boom on the East Coast major cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and The Gold Coast.

What is the first thing I should do:

If you are a qualified carpenter back in your home country, the first thing you should do is apply for your construction is to apply for a White Card. Anyone that works on a construction site in Australia is required to do construction induction training and get their White Card. This is very simple and teaches you mainly about safety standards in Australia. You can apply for a white card online here.

You will need to obtain the required safety equipment:

In order to work on a construction site in Aus, you should always have: Steel capped boots, Hard Hat, Protective Eyewear.

Get your own set of tools:

If you are subcontracting as a fully qualified carpenter then you will most likely need to have your own tools. The very basic tools required include:

  • Drill and Driver
  • Tool belt
  • Chisel Set
  • Hammer
  • Nail gun

Please note if you are doing work experience or vocational placement then you will often borrow the main employer’s tools.

When you have you buy brand new tools it can be quite expensive. A great idea is to buy a second-hand set of tools from a skilled tradesman. When a tradesman upgrades their tools, they will often sell their complete set of tools at a discount rate.

How do I find a job?

Probably the best way to find a job a job is through networking. The easiest way to do this is to go directly to construction sites and ask if they are looking for any workers.You might have to go around to a few job sites, but usually, someone on the site will be looking for workers or will know someone who is. By going directly to job sites it shows you are committed and know how things work in Aus.

In my opinion applying for jobs online is difficult in this line of work. If you get desperate it is worth a try, but I think it will be far better off networking at pubs or bars or better yet onsite.

How much should I earn?

Well, this completely depends on your skill level. A qualified carpenter with their own tools who is subcontracting can expect to get paid anywhere from $45 – $60 per hour.

A labourer can expect to be paid roughly $20 – $30 per hour.

Can I study to become a carpenter in Australia?

Yes, international students can become a qualified carpenter in as short a time as 1 year. You can find more about studying carpentry in Australia here. In fact, because Carpenters are in demand in Australia, you may even be able to obtain the graduate work visa when you finish a course and potentially additional work visas in the future.

If I am a qualified Carpenter, can I migrate to Australia?

Carpenter is currently on the DIBP Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). This means that if you are qualified carpenter you MAY be eligible for permanent work visas to Australia

What are the most common visas to work as a carpenter in Australia?

The most common visas for a carpenter or other tradesmen to work in Australia are:

What visas require a skills assessment?

For most countries, only general skilled migration visas require a skills assessment. However certain countries require a skills assessment before they can obtain an employer sponsored (457 or 187) visa.

Most onshore skills assessments are done through Trades Recognition Australia.

Most offshore skills assessments are done through VetAssess

General Requirements for the skills assessments are:

• Have a trade qualification or education equivalent to Australian standards
• Have at least 3 years post qualification experience
• Have worked in the field for at least 12 months over the last 3 years

Can I do an apprenticeship if I am an international student?

Unfortunately, international students cannot undertake an apprenticeship in Australia. However, there are many international colleges that offer the course that allows you to become a qualified tradesperson in Australia. Most of these courses include at least 360 hours of work experience with a qualified trades person. Have a look through this link for some available courses in Aus.

I have completed half my apprenticeship or trade qualification back home, can I get qualified in Australia?

If you have completed a partial qualification from outside Australia, you may be able to apply for partial credit transfer so you get credit for some components of an Australian qualification. A city and guilds level 2 from the UK, may be considered comparable to an AQF level 3 under certain circumstances. This is judged on a case by case basis depending on the content of the course studied.


Please note the above information is general in nature and you must consult the relevant skills assessor or migration agent for the correct information specific to your case.

The original article was written by Nick Yock for the Pathway to Oz website http://pathwaytoaus.com/blog/work-carpenter-australia/.

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