How to pass a Carpentry Skill Assessment

In order to apply for any permanent work visa to Australia, you must first pass a skill assessment. The carpentry skill assessment is done through an organisation called Trades Recognition Australia.

Please note the information contained in this article are general in nature. Every skill assessment is judged on a case by case basis, so it is recommended that before applying you talk to a registered migration agent.

What is a skills assessment and why do I need it?

A skills assessment is an assessment of your qualifications and previous work history to ensure you meet the Australian standards for your occupation. Having a skills assessment is a requirement for all permanent general skilled migration visas. These visas include Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) or State Nomination (Subclass 190), Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) or Permanent Employer-Sponsored (Subclass 186)

Passing a skill assessment is the first step in order to apply for any of these visas.

Who does the carpentry skills assessment?

Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) is the Skills Assessor that provides skill assessments for most trades from within Australia. It has been specified by The Australian Government to assess whether the applicant has the relevant skills to work as a carpenter in Australia.


Do I need to do a practical test to pass a carpentry skill assessment?

For the occupation of carpenter, you may be required to undertake any practical assessment. To pass the skills assessment requirement you will need to meet the Education Requirement and also The Previous Work Experience Requirement.

Below is an overview of the requirements to pass a skill assessment.

  1. If you have an overseas carpentry qualification

As a general rule of thumb, to pass a successful carpentry skill assessment you will need to have the overseas equivalent Australian trade occupation to work in the field + 3 years post-work experience. The required Australian qualification to work in the field is generally the Certificate III in Carpentry.

For example, to be a qualified carpenter in Australia you will need to achieve the Cert III in Carpentry. This is usually obtained through a 4 year apprenticeship for a standard Australian. The Australian qualification of the Cert III in Carpentry generally be the equivalent of an NVQ Level 3 carpentry qualification in the UK.

Therefore for a UK trained carpenter to pass a skills assessment as a Carpenter in Australia, you may need to have an NVQ level 3 certificate, plus 3 years post qualification experience.


2. You have obtained a qualification through Recognised Prior Learning.

It is very common for someone in a trade occupation to have never actually previously obtained a qualification. Instead they learned their skills on the job site. Even if you don’t have a qualification, you may still be eligible to pass a skills assessment if you have enough previous work experience.

Generally speaking, if this is the case you will need to obtain a relevant qualification through recognized prior learning. If you don’t hold a qualification, usually you will need 6 years previous work experience in order to pass a skills assessment.


3. You obtain the qualification through studying Carpentry in Australia.

Studying in Australia can be a great way to obtain your certificate III in Carpentry and pass a full carpentry skill assessment. By studying in Australia, you can become a qualified carpenter in only 2 years. Upon completion of the course, applicants may be eligible to apply for a graduate work visa. To encourage applicants to study in Australia, immigration has allowed Australian trained carpenters to obtain a skill assessment in only 1 year through the Job Ready Program.

This means that you can complete your qualification in 2 years + 1-year post qualification work experience and obtain a carpentry skill assessment used to apply for a permanent work visa.

This is compared to foreign-trained carpenters who must obtain a relevant qualification + have 3 years post qualification work experience to obtain a carpentry skill assessment.

Find out more on studying carpentry here.


What documents will you need to provide?

In order to obtain a positive skills assessment you will most likely need to provide:

Educational Documentation

  • a full academic transcript or other documents that include the start and end date of your training, and details of the program of study
  • apprenticeship documents such as the contract of apprenticeship, journal or any other relevant document from your employer, governing body or training institution relating to your apprenticeship if applicable.

Work Experience Documentation:

In order to pass a carpentry skill assessment, you will need to demonstrate that you have previous work experience in the relevant occupation. In order to do this you must provide:

– Previous Letters of Reference from Employers
– Pay slips
– Employment Contracts
– Bank Statements
– Tax Assessments


What if I cannot pass a skill assessment? Can I still get a permanent work visa to Australia?

If you cannot meet the requirements to pass a skills assessment, then you may want to consider studying the occupation in Australia. International students can become a fully qualified tradesman in Australia in only 2 years.

If you have any questions about getting your skills assessed in Australia as a carpenter, please feel free to contact Pathway to Aus on:

  • E:
  • P: +61 755 265 900
  • Skype: pathwaytoaus
  • Or enquire online