How to Apply for A Builders License in NSW (Part 2 – Experience Requirements)

Published on August 21, 2020
Written by Living Planit
Living Planit is a market leading Project & Leadership Management, Building and Construction training and consultancy specialist. Living Planit is also an Australian Registered Training Organisation (RTO 40552).

In Part 1, we covered the qualification requirements that you need to be eligible for a builders licence. In Part 2 of our information blog, we will discuss and outline the Experience that you will need to have and provide evidence of when applying for a builders licence.

Industry Experience

When applying for your builders licence, the Department of Fair Trading of New South Wales have some specific requirements that they require all applicants to have, which we have summarised as follows:

A minimum of two (2) years residential building experience under a licenced builder.

On your application you will need to provide the following proof:

  • That you have been employed by AND completed work under someone who holds a builders licence in the state of NSW, issued by the Department of Fair Trading of NSW
  • That the building sites you have worked on relate to the construction of residential buildings
  • That the above work has been completed within the last 10 years

As well as completing the application form, you will need to complete as many referee statement and applicant experience forms as you can in order to show the range of experience you have from working on a building site.

Additionally, when it comes to experience you will want to show that you’ve worked across all facets of a building site covering working on the tools, handling contracts, administration work, organising trades, etc.  

Basically, the more experience you’re able to demonstrate and evidence, the more likely your application will be approved for a builders licence.

What else should I know about my experience requirements?

Here are some IMPORTANT FACTS to know when considering whether your experience is relevant:

I hold a home owner builders permit and I have built a number of my own homes under a home owner builders permit.  Is this experience relevant? 

No, this experience is not acceptable as while it has allowed you to build a home, you would not have had to factor in the legal requirements for building a home, running a construction business and its obligations.

Must I have been employed by the licenced builder? 

The candidate must either have been:

  • An employee of the licenced builder (you may be asked to provide proof of employment such as payslips, proof of superannuation payments, etc)
  • A sub-contractor where they held an endorsed contractor licence or a qualified supervisor licence and were the nominated supervisor for a contractor licence.  The work must have been financially remunerated.

How is two years of experience counted?  

Periods of experience is counted and assessed from the total time when the applicant started on a building site to when the applicant finished on the building site. 

If the applicant worked on more than one site during the same period, only one site will be considered for that time.

Work sites don’t need to have been worked on immediately in a consecutive order, but must have been worked on within the last 10 years of the candidate submitting their application for a builders licence.

So in conclusion:

  • Applicants need to prove they have had a minimum of 2 years residential building experience under a licenced builder in the last 10 years and;
  • Applicants must provide proof of as much of their experience as possible.

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Could you run your building projects more efficiently? Check our course page to see how a Diploma of Project Management could boost productivity in your business! 

Living Planit also has a range of training solutions to help you meet the needs of your growing business.  For eligible candidates, we can even provide access to government funding.

Visit our course page to find out more information about CPC40110 Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)Contact us now for more information on how Living Planit can assist you to meet the trade qualifications required for a builders licence.

*Disclaimer: all information shared in this article is based off the current licencing requirements set by the Department of Fair Trading of New South Wales.  Please consult the governing body in your state for any information regarding the issue of builders licences.

For more information on builders licences, please visit the Department of Fair Trading NSW website:


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