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Trade Courses for International Students

Trade Courses

Aussies love an abbreviated (shortened) word! Tradespeople are generally called ‘tradies’.

Some tradies then have short forms for their individual jobs such as ‘chippy for a carpenter, or ‘bricky’ for a bricklayer. Regardless of their name, tradies are in demand, and the courses are popular.

Study an Australian Trade


Most trades often have a shortage of workers. Young Australians are not as keen on being a treaty as they were in past generations, though this is changing as the salaries are increasing. The construction sector in particular has ongoing shortages - now worsened by the last years with Covid. The increasing value of property in Australia has created an intense demand in the building-related industry.  There are also shortages in other sectors requiring tradies such as mining and refrigeration.

Australia is a very respected country for education, site safety, and building code, thus an Australian Certificate III and/or Certificate IV in a trade will serve graduates well in many countries.

In addition, it may be possible to achieve skilled migration as a tradie. However, it is important to consult with a migration agent or lawyer about this pathway should this be your goal. Skilled migration is directly connected to the job market in Australia, thus both eligibility and the rules can change regularly. As a result, international students should only study a program which is of genuine interest, and which will give you strong career prospects in your home country.

If you study a trade in Australia, you can expect your tuition to cost approximately $18,000 - $30,000 depending on the city and institution in which you study. Most institutions have created their courses to meet the minimum of 92 weeks of study, as this is a requirement to be eligible for the 485 Graduate Stream Visa.

What is the 485 Graduate Stream Visa?

If an international student has studied a trade course that entitles the graduate to a provisional skills assessment [for a job that is on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)], and the course was a minimum of 92 study weeks, he or she may be eligible for the 485. This visa provides 1.5 year of full work rights, providing time to get work experience in your new career. Learn more about this visa.

What trade courses can I study? Here are some ideas:

  • carpentry

  • solid plastering

  • painting & decoration

  • light & heavy vehicle mechanic

  • bricklaying

  • floor & wall tiling

  • air-conditioning & refrigeration

  • plumbing (very limited locations)

  • cabinet-making (very limited locations)

Support for International Students


If you think a trade is the perfect career, let's have a chat about your options.

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