Wondering how to get your Building Practitioner License? Get all the details of how to go about becoming a licensed builder and moving your career uphill. 


Do you consider yourself to be a qualified tradesman who would work perfectly well with a team as you would work calmly under stress on your own? Your attention to detail is legendary and you wear many hats at the same time while at a construction site?

If you agree to most of these questions, you may be ready to apply for a builder’s license to widen your scope as a tradesman and build on more opportunities to boost your career trajectory. We often get inquiries from students and tradesmen alike about the procedure to apply for a Building Practitioner Registration. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked and we thought we would help throw some light into this vast yet important aspect for growing your career prospects.

  1. What is a Building Practitioner Registration?

If you want to carry out building work of more than $10,000  as a sole trader or a company, having a Builder’s License issued by the Victoria Building Authority is a mandatory requirement. Entering into a contract without having a Builder’s License can lead to heavy fines and possible prosecution.


  1. What qualifications do you need to be a builder?

To apply for a Builder’s Registration the applicant must:

  1. Have a minimum of 3 years of full-time experience in the building registration category that you are applying for (eg. Commercial, domestic, etc)
  2. Register with VBA and submit your application
  3. Sit your test and get your skills and knowledge approved and recognized by VBA
  4. Be up-to-date about the national building codes and ethics.
  5. Need to be involved in at least 3 projects from start to finish of which all the detailed documentation need to be submitted to VBA.
  6. Need to have 1 Builder Technical referee of the same class or above for which the applicant is applying.


  1. What is the process of applying for a Builder’s License?

Step 1: To begin with, you have to register with VBA (Victorian Building Authority). You will have to submit an application along with submission of evidence of your previous work experience and plans such as elevation, sites, floor plans, permit documents, photos, and key stages of the build. You will also have to include a technical referee, passport photos, and a police check.

Step 2: VBA will assess your application and may ask you to sit an exam to test your knowledge and skills. Followed by which, there may be a face-to-face interview. VBA will notify you should there be a need for this.

Step 3: If you are successful, you will get a registration number and you will be listed on the VBA “Find a practitioner” register.


  1. How much does it cost?

There are different categories of licenses that you can apply for. Click here for the list: https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/building/fees


  1. How long does it take to become a builder in Australia?

To apply for a Builder’s Registration License you would require a minimum of 3 years of full-time experience in the building registration category that you are applying for (eg Commercial, domestic, etc)


  1. What are the different categories of building practitioners you can register in?

There are eight categories of building practitioners, each category has more classes which allows you to specialise in different building work. The eight categories are:

  1. Builder (subcategories: Commercial, Domestic, and Demolisher)
  2. Building Inspection
  3. Builder Surveyor
  4. Quantity Surveyor
  5. Project Manager (Domestic)
  6. Engineer
  7. Draftsperson
  8. Erector or Supervisor (Temporary Structures)


  1. What course should I study to become a builder?

To become a builder, you will have to complete a VET qualification of Cert IV or Diploma of Building and Construction from a TAFE college, university, or Registered Training Organisation followed by three years of hands-on full-time experience in the building registration category you wish to apply for.


  1. What are the types of licenses that can be applied for?

The different types of registrations are:

  1. Domestic Builder (Limited): Carry out, manage or arrange to carry out domestic building work specified by the Building Practitioners Board.
  2. Domestic Builder (Unlimited): May personally carry out, manage or arrange for sub-contractors to carry out all domestic building work.
  3. Domestic Builder (Manager): Manage or arrange for domestic builders registered in another class to carry out domestic building work specified in the Certificate of Registration.
  4. Commercial Builder (Unlimited):
  5. Commercial Builder (Limited): https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/105556/Commercial-Builder-Registration-Application-Unlimited-Medium-Low-Rise.pdf



  1. What if I am unsuccessful in my application?

VBA will notify you in writing and outline the reasons why your application was unsuccessful. If you are not satisfied with the outcome you have the right to appeal the decision by requesting an internal review or you may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review of the decision. For more information, visit the VCAT website or call VCAT on (03) 9628 9755.

When you reapply for the license at a later date you will have to demonstrate and address the gaps that caused your application to be rejected.

  1. How much does a builder earn?

The average builder’s salary is $86,473/ year and more experienced builders can earn up to $175000 / year.

Please note: This information is subject to change. Be sure to check with the regulating bodies, listed below, for the most up-to-date requirements.