What they do
Builders oversee and undertake a range of projects in the construction industry. These may include the construction of homes or other buildings, the repair of existing building structures, or the alteration of buildings to give them new form and function. They may liaise with clients to work out the best way to undertake a project, work out quotes for the project, arrange plans for the project with local authorities, organise subcontractors to complete particular work, make calculations about quantities of materials needed, supervise the project and co-ordinate the activities of the building team and other staff, and undertake some of the building work themselves.
Builders usually work outdoors as part of a construction team, often in large industrial conditions, with loud, and potentially dangerous equipment. They work with building materials such as wood, steel, cement, plaster and stone, and the fittings and materials that are used to join and finish these. Due to the hazardous nature of much construction work and the exposure to the elements that accompanies it, builders are usually required to wear safety equipment such as hard hats, steel-capped work boots, ear protection and protective wet-weather clothing.
Builders may also work in offices co-ordinating the administrative elements of a building project, or liaising with clients or local authorities.
Tools and technologies
As they work on construction sites, builders will usually need to know how to use a range of construction-related equipment such as power and hand tools, measuring equipment, machinery like cement mixers and utility vehicles. They also need to know how to use building materials such as timber, steel, cement and plaster, and how to work with these in construction processes.
As they may also work in an office undertaking administrative tasks, they may also be required to use general office equipment, including computers.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a project builder, you usually need to gain a qualification in building and construction.
The Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) is offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. To find a registered provider near you, browse the TAFE Admissions full time studies guide website and the My Skills website.
Most project builders will generally have worked for a number of years in building and construction positions before progressing to a project builder role.
Required registration and licensing
Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a “white card”). In Western Australia, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by the WorkSafe Division, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
In Western Australia, builders carrying out work valued at more than $20,000 must be registered as, or work under the supervision of a registered building practitioner. For further information, contact the Building Commission Division, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.