Trade Licensing in Australia

July 23 2015   02 PM  


Construction Jobs Australia

If your trade skills and qualifications were gained overseas, regardless of whether you’re migrating to Australia permanently, temporarily on a 457 visa, or are well settled from a visa persepective and now want to get properly set up with a contractor licesnse, you must comply with local regulations.

Obtaining a local contractor license

In order to obtain a contractor licesnse from one of the licensing bodies listed below, your qualification must be recognized locally in Australian standards. For example Certificate III in Carpentry, or Certificate III in Bricklaying / Blocklaying.

Regardless of how long you’ve been working in Australia, if you’re trade skills and qualifications were gained overseas, you’ll have to get assesed before applying for a licesnse.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process wherby you’ll be given credit for skills, knowledge and experience gained both here an overseas. To have your skills recognized you need to get a formal assessment from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). For more information on where to go for your trade, visit

After getting your skills assessed, you can apply for a trade license from the relevant licensing body in your state. We compiled the list with links to make it easy for you:

New South Wales: NSW Fair Trading
See: Fair Trading

Victoria: Building Commission
See: Building Commission

See: Building Services Authority

See: Workplace Standards Tasmania

Northern Territory
See: Building Practitioners Board

Australian Capital Territory
See: Australian Capital Territory Planning and Land Authority

Skilled Migration for Permenant Residency

If you have skills and want to apply for a points tested skilled migration visa to migrate to Australia permanently, after an Expression of Interest (EOI) is accepted, you will need to get your skills tested by a relevant skills assessment service provider. Find out more on this process here.

Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) is a skills assessment service provider specialising in assessments for people with trade skills gained overseas or in Australia, for the purpose of migration and skills recognition. Find out more here

Alternatively, if you're a skilled worker such as an electrician, welder, plumber, carpenter or motor mechanic, you may apply for a trades skills assessment with Vetassess. You can find more information here.  

457 Visa for Temporay Immigration

Not everyone is required to get a skills assessment to obtain a 457 visa, however, if you are a passport holder of one of the following countries and your trade appears on the 457 Nominated Occupations list, you’ll have to get recognized:

Brazil, China, Fiji, India, PNG, Phillippines, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam or Zimbabwe

Compulsary occupational Licesning for 457 Visa holders

Electricians, General Plumbers, Technical cable jointers and Air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics must get their skills assessed and operate with a valid occupational license before starting work. This applies to people coming from:

  • Ireland
  • Canada
  • Poland
  • South Africa
  • UK
  • USA
  • Sri Lanka

Check out Trades Recognition Australian (TRA) for more information.

We're always happy to help

This topic causes major confusion and we’re quickly finding ourselves becoming more and more knowledgeable, so if you want some more information, feel free to drop us a line at and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.