You are currently viewing The Tradie Checklist: Studying a New Skill

The Tradie Checklist: Studying a New Skill

No matter your age or the stage in your career, returning to study can open up exciting new opportunities for your life.

Upgrading your skills through study is a great way to progress your career, explore new industries and increase your earning potential. This happens all over Australia, but it’s especially common in trade industries.

Trades like electrical and plumbing have lots of crossover with adjacent skills. If you work in these industries, earning another qualification can allow you to obtain new licences, pick up more seasonal work, and progress towards your life goals.

If you’re returning to study then it’s worth doing it right the first time around. That means you need a plan for what you want to study, how it will affect your career, and how you’re going to manage the process.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few things you should consider when deciding whether to study a new skill.

Our Checklist for Studying a New Skill

1. Map Out Your Career Path

Going back to study is a big commitment. That means it’s important to map out your career path before you enrol in any qualifications.

The first step is to think about where you want to be in the next one, five and ten years. Do you want to be further along in the same career path? Do you want to try your hand at something new? How will the job prospects in your industry change over that time?

If you’re unsure where to start, the government’s Labour Market Insights website is a great tool to help you decide your next move. It can provide information on whether your industry is growing or evolving, and provide insights into how you can get ahead of the change.

When mapping out your career path, make sure you’re considering things like:

  • Your current income

  • How much income you’ll need in future

  • How your personal circumstances will change (e.g. will you have children, or start a business?)

  • Where the job opportunities will be

  • Whether you need additional qualifications to progress along your chosen career path

  • Whether industry regulations will change, requiring additional licences and qualifications


These things all impact where you’ll be in ten years. You don’t need to predict the future – just make sure you spare a thought for how your life and the industry will change in the near future.

2. Check Which Licences You Need

Now that you have an idea of what your career will look like in the coming years, it’s time to think about what licences and qualifications you will need.

For example, many electricians choose to expand their career potential with air conditioning qualifications.

Air conditioning is a staple in Australia. Skilled air conditioning technicians are always in high-demand, so it makes sense for electricians and apprentices to grow their skills in that direction.

But, if you want to install split system air conditioners, you need to hold a Refrigerant Handling Licence. That requires you to study a Certificate II in Air Conditioning at the minimum.

This type of training is a common way for electricians to expand their career and earning potential. If you work in a different trade, or if you want to become dual-trade certified, you may need additional training and licences.

You can check which licences you’ll need for your chosen career path on the QBCC website.

3. Figure Out How You’re Going to Study

You know what you need to study, and now you need to figure out how you’re going to earn the right qualifications.

The way you study depends on the nature of the skills you want to learn. For instance, if you want to become dual-trade qualified, you’ll need to undertake an apprenticeship with a qualified professional.

On the other hand, if you simply want to expand your existing qualifications, this can usually be done through an RTO. That means you may be able to access a mixture of in-person and online study, so you can find a course that fits your schedule and learning style.

Figure out which method of study suits you best, and make sure you choose an RTO that works around your other commitments.

4. Choose a Reputable RTO

Earning a new qualification, licence or trade certification requires you to study through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). 

It’s important to choose a reputable RTO before committing to a training program. Make sure the RTO you choose has the proper credentials to deliver the courses you want to undertake. You should also check their reviews to make sure they have a good reputation with past students.

You can use this RTO Search tool to verify that your training organisation has the appropriate credentials.

Expand Your Career With Qualifications From Get Skilled Training!

Trades are the most in-demand professionals in Australia. There are lots of opportunities for skilled tradies, and there are plenty of qualifications you can use to expand your career potential.

If you want to upgrade your income, skills and career, check out the qualifications offered by Get Skilled Training.

We’re a Registered Training Organisation that specialises in helping trades upgrade their skills. We offer courses like a Certificate II in Air Conditioning that’s ideal for growing your skills and progressing along your career path.

Whatever you want to achieve, we can help you work towards your dream job.

Explore our courses online, or get in touch and we can tailor a training package just for you!

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