So You Want To Be A Tradie?

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We covered why being a tradie is a great career choice in a previous post, but what if you’re right at the beginning of the journey and have no clue what kind of tradie you might want to be?

There are a few different paths you can take depending on what skills you have (or want to gain) and that can seem confusing. We’ve listed the main areas of trade below, and the first steps you need to take to begin your journey. 


Often when people think of tradies, they think of carpenters. As a staple of the building industry, carpentry is a needed and in-demand skill. If you like working with your hands and are great with maths and communication then this could be the path for you. There are different kinds of carpentry and a few of the main ones in the building industry are:

Formwork – Deals with roofing or structural work.

Joister – Lays floor joists which floor surfaces are fixed to.

Cabinet maker – Makes cabinets and other furniture such wardrobes.

Framer – Specialises in the frameworks of buildings.

Roofer – Works with rafters and beams in roof construction.


When it comes to construction if you’re into physical labour then bricklaying could be for you. If you prefer to let the machines do the talking then it might be better to head into concrete. Both of these trades have foundations in common. So the work you do will provide the support that the rest of the structure or building will be resting on. 


There’s more to plumbing than fixing emergency leaks and cracked pipes. Plumbers can work on installing steam, water and gas ware, sanitation or irrigation. They can also work onsite dealing with compliance improvements and blueprints, so with larger jobs there can be a lot more involvement with building infrastructure. 


Sparkies cover a lot of vital areas in construction besides general installation of lights and power. You can specialise in data, vehicles, and solar panels to name just a few. So that means you can learn general building skills, but be able to gain maths, design and mechanic skills if you choose to go into those areas. 


For those of you who absolutely love the outdoors, becoming a landscaper is a career path that will give you more fresh air than you know what to do with. You can cover growing and creating sites, maintaining already established areas and even work on planning and development. The amount of variety means you’ll never be lost for options and that’s a great way to keep things interesting.

Once you have decided on your area of expertise, there are a few key steps you need to take to get the ball rolling. 

An Apprenticeship – You’ll need to complete an apprenticeship to gain not just your trade qualification, but on the job training too. A quick online search will give you quite a few options that you can apply for. There will usually also be a list of requirements for you to complete the application process so be sure to read everything carefully.

A White Card – This is also known as the Prepare To Work Safely In The Construction Industry training course. You’ll need one no matter what kind of tradie you’re looking to become. 

A Network – Being connected to other members of the trade industry is vital. It’s not only great for work opportunities but also means you have people around you that understand what being a tradie is about. And the best thing about creating a network, or joining one, is that there are more experienced tradies out there that will be happy to support you and answer your questions. The Goodwork app is a fantastic way to get you started, and since it’s easy to set up and use, it’s definitely an important step on your journey to a trade career. You can find out more about the app and what it can do for you here.

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