Can’t decide what trade you want to do or what career path to take?
Here you'll find a list of trades and career paths you can follow. Take a look to see what's right for you.
Brick and block layers work with clay bricks, concrete blocks and other materials such as mud bricks.
They construct and repair veneer and full brick construction, walls, arches and other structures.
With further experience brick and block layers can become registered to enable them to work on projects directly for clients worth more than $10,000.
Brick and block layers may:
- Spread mortar to bind bricks in rows or shapes.
- Seal foundations with damp-resistant materials.
- Repair and maintain clay bricks, cement blocks and related structures.
- Work from plans and specifications.
Carpenters construct, install, finish and repair wooden and metal structures and fixtures.
They can work in both the domestic or commercial sector on building sites, civil engineering projects and in maintenance in large factories and hospitals.
- Read plans and specifications to determine dimensions, quantify and order materials.
- Erect sub-floor, floor and wall framework, pitch a roof, erect suspended ceilings and lay timber floors.
- Build timber decks, pergolas, verandahs and carports.
- Install doors, windows, staircases, kitchens and hardware fixtures.
- Clad buildings with sheet or weatherboard.
Cabinet makers construct or repair furniture of flat panel, solid timber or timber based construction.
They fit and assemble components for the domestic, office, commercial and shop fitting sectors of the industry, and may:
- Operate woodworking machines and hand-tools to fabricate and repair cabinets and furniture.
- Study drawings and planning sequences of cutting and shaping .
- Glue, fit, and clamp parts together using a clamp or clamping machine.
Electricians install and maintain electrical power, communications, lighting and control systems in homes, commercial premises and factories.
Electricians inspect electrical systems, equipment and components to identify hazards and defects and correct the problem, ensuring compliance with codes, and may:
- Install electrical equipment including lighting, appliances, heaters, signs and motors
- Read electrical layouts to correctly install components such as switchboards, power outlets, lights and switches
- Install insulated cables and connecting supplies, outlets and fittings using hand or power tools.
Glaziers cut, shape and install glass used in windows, doors, walls, mirrors, display cabinets and furniture. They work on domestic and commercial projects and may:
- Interpret plans to work out materials and quantities required for a project
- Cut, drill and notch glass with diamond-tipped cutters and drills
- Assemble and secure pre-fabricated glass units, such as shop fittings, display cases and shower enclosures
- Install shop-fronts.
Painter & Decorator
Painters and decorators apply paint, varnish and wallpaper to protect and decorate interior and exterior surfaces.
They work on domestic, commercial and industrial projects from redecorating homes to applying heavy-duty finishes to large structures, and may:
- Calculate material quantities using plans and specifications
- Mix paint to specific colours by hand or using computerised equipment
- Apply decorative finishes such as stencils, glaze, graining and marbling
Wall & Floor Tiler
Wall & floor tilers lay ceramic, clay, slate, marble, glass and other types of tiles on external/internal walls and floors to provide protective and decorative finishes.
Projects can include new buildings and renovations of houses, shops, offices, factories and swimming pools.
Wall & floor tilers may:
- Prepare wall and floor surfaces by removing old tiles, grout, cement and adhesive
- Using tile-cutting tools to prepare tiles for corners, edges and around fittings
Stonemasons carve blocks of stone, or lay and fit stonework into place on construction projects.
Stonemasons repair and replace stone on heritage buildings and cut and polish stone for use in kitchen bench tops or vanity units, and may:
- Cut and shape a variety of stone.
- Build stone walls or fit cladding, using mortar and specialist fixings.
- Make and fit stonework like window surrounds, archways, ornamental garden features and head stones.
- Set stone or marble in place, according to a layout or pattern.
Joinery includes three specific trades: joinery, shop fitting and staircase manufacturing.
Joiners can be involved in projects such as creating a kitchen or an ornate staircase, through to fitting out a new retail shop, and may:
- Manufacture items such as window frames, architectural joinery and staircases.
- Fit wooden structures, like floor and roof joists, roof timbers, staircases, partition walls, door and window frames.
- Install skirting boards, doors and surrounds, cupboards, shelving and door handles.
A plumber is responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining pipes, fixtures and other plumbing used for water distribution and waste water disposal in residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
Plumbers ensure that all water supply networks and waste and drainage systems are installed, repaired and maintained to meet all standards of building codes and safety.
- Review building plans and specifications to determine the layout for plumbing and related materials.
- Assemble pipe sections, tubing and fittings, using plastic solvent, caulking, or soldering.
- Fill pipes or plumbing fixtures with water or air and observe pressure gauges to detect and locate leaks.
- Repair and maintain plumbing, replace or repair broken pipes.
Landscapers work on domestic and commercial projects, and roles can include design, construction and maintenance. Landscapers may:
- Construct features, which may be attached to houses such as pergolas, decks, stairs and ramps
- Construct freestanding features such as gazebos
- Install driveways, paths and paving
- Construct fences, gates and retaining walls
- Install ornamental ponds and water features
- Lay turf and install planting.
Plasterers work in two areas: fibrous plastering and solid plastering. They work on domestic and commercial buildings and may erect scaffolding and trestles to provide work platforms.
Fibrous Plasterers may:
- make, apply and fix the internal linings of rooms
- measure rooms, cut plasterboard
- spray fibrous materials over surfaces
Solid Plasterers may:
- Apply decorative and protective coverings of plaster, cement, or similar materials to the interior and exterior of buildings
- Mix and apply coats of plaster to walls, using trowels to obtain an even thickness
Roof tilers may be involved in installing new roofs and repairing or replacing older roofs. Roof tilers cover the roof structure with roof tiles, slates or shingles in order to form a waterproof surface, and may:
- Carry out risk assessments
- Erect ladders and tile elevators
- Lay overlapping layers of tiles, sizing and cutting materials to fit around vents, chimney edges, and varying roof forms.
Architects generally take a leading role in the design stage and the liaison with clients and the project team.
Some may specialise in areas such as restoration and conservation, or sustainable design and may also be involved with the design of the surrounding spaces.
Architects can be involved in the construction phase to resolve issues that arise.
Estimators prepare cost estimates and quotations, audit projects and manage construction costs. They can be involved in projects ranging from a single house to a large commercial project, and may:
- Communicate with architects, engineers, builders, contractors, suppliers and clients
- Study architectural and engineering drawings and specifications
- Prepare a 'Bill of Quantities', which lists and costs individual components required
- Check on design changes to assess the effects on cost.
A project manager ensures that time frame, budgetary and quality requirements are met, generally on larger scale works, including domestic, commercial and civil projects, and may:
- Co-ordinate the project team and liaise with the client
- Interpret documentation such as architectural and engineering drawings
- Monitor timelines and plan works
- Prepare and monitor project budgets
- Identify process improvements
- Ensure OHS requirements are met
- Contribute to process and procedure improvements.
A Building Surveyor provides independent oversight during the construction stage of a project. They play a role in ensuring that buildings are safe, accessible and energy efficient. An extensive understanding of construction techniques, regulations and standards is required.
Building surveyors may:
- Provide advice before and during construction on meeting regulations
- Assess plans and issue building and occupancy permits
- Undertake inspections of building work
- Enforce safety and building standards
- Give directions to fix non-compliant work where authorised.
Architectural draftspeople interpret design drawings to prepare technical construction documents.
Draftspeople generally work as part of a project team with other professionals such as architects or engineers.
Some may also be involved with the design of buildings, especially in the domestic field.
Contract Administrators are responsible for the management of contracts for commercial and larger scale domestic projects, and may:
- Review, negotiate and finalise contracts
- Prepare packages of work for different subcontractors
- Manage schedules and processing of invoices
- Manage and track project expenditure and budgets
- Compile project compliance documents
- Manage document control
Construction Managers plan, co-ordinate and direct the construction of commercial and larger scale domestic projects and may be responsible for:
- Achieving time frame, quality and budget requirements
- Creating site project schedules and accurate estimates of building stage completion
- Resolving difficulties due to poor weather, emergencies, or any other delays
- Ensuring safety standards are adhered to
- Ensuring the work of contractors meets contract requirements
- Liaising with client and project consultants.
A Building Inspector plays an important role in monitoring building standards. They may carry out inspections of residential and commercial buildings and may:
- Carry out inspections at critical points during construction on behalf of a building surveyor
- Carry out specialised inspections such as essential safety audits
- Prepare written inspection records
- Identify non-compliant work.