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The way Australian students and international students learn a trade in Australia is different. The table below details the difference in modes of learning. Both international and Australian students obtain the same Australian recognised qualification.


Who can study Australian Students International Students
Length 4 years 1 or 2 years
Learning Method Majority on site learningPartial in-class study Majority in-class study and practice360 hours of vocational placements on site
Qualification Obtained Cert III in your Trade Cert III in your Trade
Where is Training the Delivered? Majority delivered on site by an employerPartially delivered in class by a teacher Majority delivered in class or workshop by a teacherPartially delivered on site by an employer
What Trade Can you Study?




Cabinet Making

Automotive Electrical

Automotive Panel Beating

Automotive Mechanical

Metal Fabrication/Welding

Boat Building

Electrical Instrumentation




An Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is learning a skilled trade under a qualified tradesperson. In Australia, most trade based apprenticeships take 4 years to obtain the Cert III in your trade. Foreigners cannot work a full 4 year apprenticeship in Australia as you cannot obtain a work visa to do so.

Generally speaking throughout the apprenticeship you will work on-site under your supervisor, as well as off-site with an education provider for a small amount of time.


International students learn a trade

International Students can study a 1 or 2 year trade course at an education provider and receive exactly the same qualification as Australians who undertake a 4 year apprenticeship. For example, an international student who goes to Tafe QLD and studies the Cert III in Carpentry for 2 years will receive exactly the same qualification (a Cert III in Carpentry) as an Australian who does an apprenticeship for 4 years.

The main difference is that international students learn their trade in a class/workshop the majority of the time. They are continuously learning new skills and also have vocational placement with Australian employers.


What is vocational placement?

Vocational Placement is a requirement for most trade courses, and students generally undertake 360 hours throughout the duration of their course. A student is placed in a real life work site and receives practical training and experience on site to complement their in-class learning.


If you are interested in studying to a trade in Australia contact Pathway to Aus to speak with one of our Education Agents. We can explain to you the course costs, duration and location so you better know your options.

P: +61(7)55265 900

E: [email protected]

Or Apply or Enquire online


Studying a Trade in Australia was last modified: December 14th, 2018 by Nick Yock