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Carpentry career options

Carpenters can work on projects ranging from small residential fit-outs to large civil engineering projects and are in high demand in Australia.

The following carpentry roles are currently listed on the national Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) on the skilled occupation list:

The term ‘carpentry’ encompasses many specialisations that carpenters may choose to pursue such as:

  • Joiner carpenter - Typically completes woodwork within a workshop

  • Framework carpenter - Constructs or repairs building frameworks

  • Formwork carpenter - Works on large-scale construction or civil projects

Book IELTS for carpentry courses

Visa options for carpenters in Australia

There are several permanent residency visa options available to carpenters migrating to Australia. These include:

Alternatively, applicants may be eligible for a provisional (temporary) visa which may provide a pathway to permanent residency at a later date. Provisional visas available to carpentry professionals include:

  • Subclass 494 - Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa - Employer sponsored stream

  • Subclass 491 - Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa - State or Territory nominated

  • Subclass 491 - Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa - Family sponsored 

  • Subclass 482 - Temporary Skill Shortage visa

Australia is currently grappling with a housing crisis, leading to a flourishing trade sector, particularly in carpentry. The carpentry profession serves as a gateway to an enhanced lifestyle and financial stability. By following the migration steps outlined in this article, aspiring carpenters can significantly improve their chances of attaining a Permanent Residency in Australia, unlocking a new and promising career path. -- Gurdeep Singh (MARN 2117400)

Steps to obtain permanent residency as a carpenter: 

  • Step 1: Begin your journey by acquiring a Certificate III in Carpentry and a Diploma in Building and Construction that sets the foundation for your career. 

  • Step 2: Apply for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) and work for one year as a carpenter. This 18-month work visa provides the necessary time to accumulate the required work hours. 

  • Step 3: Secure a positive Skills Assessment.

  • Step 4: Achieve the required IELTS score.

  • Step 5: Submit the Expression of Interest (EOI).

  • Step 6: Upon receiving an invitation, take the final stride and apply for Permanent Residency in Australia as a qualified carpenter.

Get migration advice from registered agents

Skills assessment requirement in Australia

Before migrating to Australia, carpenters must achieve a positive migration skills assessment (MSA) result via Trades Recognition Australia (TRA). The MSA will confirm whether you have the carpentry skills and experience required to work in Australia in your nominated occupation. 

International students who have completed carpentry courses in Australia, need to first apply for a Provisional Skills Assessment (PSA) with TRA before they apply for the 485 visa. After obtaining their skills assessment, they will then need to undergo an employment-based skills assessment program (Job Ready Program). It's for international student graduates with an Australian qualification that has been verified through a Provisional Skills Assessment.

The Job Ready Program gives you:

  • the opportunity to develop your skills

  • employment experience in an Australian workplace

  • a Skills Assessment outcome that can be used to apply to the Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs) for a skilled visa

You can register and apply online through the TRA online portal. An English language test is not required for the MSA, however, you may need to provide translations for any documents not written in English. 

Learn how to migrate to Australia without a job offer

Professional registration for carpenters by state

Registration and licensing requirements for carpenters vary from state to state. Once qualified, check with your state's regulatory board to ensure you are abiding by any professional registration requirements. 


Carpenters operating in New South Wales must be licensed if they are completing works valued at more than $5,000 (including GST) in labour and materials. Carpentry licensing and registration in NSW is regulated by the NSW Government Fair Trading authority.


The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) is the licensing authority for carpenters in Queensland. Individuals or companies completing building works valued at more than $3,000 (including materials and labour). You do not need a QBCC carpentry licence if you are:

  • An employee of a licensee

  • A sub-trade contractor for a licenced trade contractor

  • An unlicensed person in partnership with a licensee


If you intend to carry out any carpentry work exceeding $5,000 in value (including materials and labour) in Victoria, you are required to hold a carpentry licence. The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is tasked with regulating the registration and licensing of Victorian carpenters. 


While there is no specific carpentry licence in South Australia, carpenters may apply for a Building Contractor Licence via South Australia’s Consumer and Business Services (CBS) authority. The Building Contractor Licence allows a tradesperson to legally contract or subcontract work, and this licence must be held by all contractors in a partnership, as well as subcontractors.  


There is no specific carpentry licence in Western Australia, however, you will need to become a registered building practitioner if you intend to complete work that:

  • Is valued at more than $20,000

  • Is performed in WA

  • Requires a building permit

  • Is regulated under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011

Once qualified, contact Western Australia’s Building Services Board to find out which licensing requirements you may need to meet. 


Tradesperson registration in the Northern Territory is supervised by the Building Practitioners Board. Before advertising services or entering into residential contracts exceeding $12,000 in value, carpenters are required to hold the following licences:

  • Building Contractor Residential (Unrestricted)

  • Building Contractor Residential (Restricted)


In Tasmania, a tradesperson must be registered or accredited and supply a building permit to carry out works valued at more than $5,000 (including labour and materials). Trade licences can be obtained via the Department of Justice. Non-accredited tradespersons in TAS may carry out building work valued at less than $5,000, even if the work requires a building permit. 

Top Australian cities for study and work

Hear from a migration agent

We sat down with Gurdeep Singh (MARN2117400), IDP's in-house migration agent to get some advice for students who are considering a career in carpentry.

Australia is currently grappling with a housing crisis, leading to a flourishing trade sector, particularly in carpentry. The carpentry profession serves as a gateway to an enhanced lifestyle and financial stability. By following the migration steps outlined in this article, aspiring carpenters can significantly improve their chances of attaining a Permanent Residency in Australia, unlocking a new and promising career path,he advised.

If you’re an international student interested in migrating to Australia, get personalised visa advice from one of IDP's friendly and experienced Migration Services agents.

Get migration help

Study requirements to become a carpenter in Australia

In order to work as a carpenter in Australia you must obtain a Certificate III in Carpentry, as well as a White Card. 

  • A Certificate III in Carpentry (CPC30211) provides you with the foundational skills and knowledge required to work as a carpenter. 

  • A White Card is required to be held by anyone intending to work on a construction site in Australia. A White Card training course (CPCCWHS1001) will teach you how to adhere to safety standards on Australian worksites.

Explore top carpentry courses in Australia

Carpentry courses are offered by various Vocational Education and Training (VET) institutions and, are designed to provide comprehensive training in carpentry skills, construction techniques, and building regulations. Students can choose the course that best aligns with their career goals and aspirations. Here are some popular carpentry courses in Australia and their IELTS requirements:



IELTS score


Everthought College of Construction

Certificate III in Carpentry


Learn more

Trinity Institute

Certificate III in Carpentry


Learn more

Builders Academy Australia

Certificate III in Carpentry


Learn more

TAFE Western Australia

Certificate III in Carpentry


Learn more

Altec College

Diploma of Building and Construction


Learn more

Salford College

Certificate III in Carpentry


Learn more

Not sure which course is right for you? Contact the experts at IDP and receive personalised course guidance and visa advice. Our advisors can help you explore your options and choose a course that is appropriate for your circumstances and goals.

Contact our experts to receive study advice

IELTS requirements for carpentry courses

Most universities and academic institutions have different requirements when it comes to IELTS scores. The best way to find out about the requirements for the course you’re interested in is to contact the course provider directly.

You can also get in touch with an education counsellor, who has access to information from multiple education providers. 

For enrollment, generally, carpentry students must achieve a minimum overall IELTS band score of 5.5, and a minimum band score of 5 in each of the four sections (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

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Why choose IELTS?

BODY IMAGE 5 - When to apply - IDP - 686x369 - counsellor - Canada

IELTS is the world's most popular English test for a reason. Why choose IELTS?

  • IELTS is accepted by more universities, colleges, and academic institutions than any other English test. The test is accepted globally by more than 12,000 organisations.

  • Are you more comfortable with paper or computer? IELTS lets you choose how you want to take your test. 

  • Feel confident on test day with official IELTS preparation materials. They are free and you'll get access to premium materials including webinars, videos, and practice tests. 

  • IELTS is the only major test to offer One Skill Retake. You can now retake any section of the test: Listening, Reading, Writing or Speaking. It's perfect if you want to improve on one area instead of redoing a full test. With other tests, you need to book, pay, and sit a full test again. 

Ready to get started? Book your IELTS today and take the first step on your journey to living, working, or studying in Australia!

Immigration and the law

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for changes that may apply to you. If you are interested in Australian student visas, work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Australian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent.

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About this Article

Published on February 14, 2024

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