Working in the building and construction industry involves a lot of hard work, but it’s also a really rewarding career. The work itself is varied and challenging, the salary is solid and due to a national skills shortage, tradies are in higher demand than ever. It’s no surprise that construction is an increasingly attractive industry.

Like every industry today, building and construction is in a constant state of change, thanks to new materials, new technology, and new legislation and regulation. A major change has been in the educational requirements for entry to the industry.  It is no longer possible to drift through school and expect to easily find work in the building industry. So how do you get your foot in the door?

Well, we’ve compiled a little list of the three simplest pathways to the tradie life.

1. Do Some pre-apprenticeship training

Doing some basic training is probs the most sensible and calculated way to enter the construction industry, because you get a feel for the industry before you’ve committed to a specific trade. If you’re still a student, see if your high school offers a Cert II program or speak to your local TAFE about a pre-apprenticeship course. There a variety of different pre-app courses that are designed to help people get experience and easier access to an apprenticeship in the building industry.

2. Start as a labourer

This is probably the most organic way to get your foot in the door of a construction related trade. It starts with a bit of casual work–usually just some unskilled labouring with a builder–but it can eventuate into a solid career. The first step is showing your employer that you’re interested in the trade and keen to learn the necessary skills. From there, you can hit up your boss to take you on as an apprentice.

3. Get an apprenticeship

Getting an apprenticeship is a mandatory requirement for a proper career in the construction industry. Apprenticeships take between 3-4 years depending on your trade, during which you work in your trade and complete additional training at a TAFE or registered training organisation.

While it’s true that there are some people in the industry who manage to work without having completed an apprenticeship, this is the rare exception rather than the rule. If you want to earn a proper wage for your work, be covered by insurance and work your way up in the industry, getting the qualifications offered by an apprenticeship is a necessity.