White Card Courses

How to get a construction job

Working in construction, particularly labouring, is a popular job among working holiday visa makers. However, you can't work in labouring or construction without a White Card.

Labouring jobs are easy to get into, even at entry-level, and its a great way for backpackers to earn money, BUT BEWARE of not having your White Card qualiftcations on your resume BEFORE you apply.

The construction industry in Australia is big business. Standards of work safety on construction sites in Australia are very high and to work on a construction site in Australia you need to be sure that you meet these standards, and having a White Card ensures that you meet these standards.

To do this you need to complete an OH&S (Occupational, Health and Safety) Course or a ‘White Card’ course as it is more commonly known. Obtaining a ‘White Card’ is a must if you wish to work on any construction site in Australia.

White Card FAQs

What is a White Card?

An OH&S Course or ‘White Card’ is not that difficult to get. It is an entry-level, basic construction health and safety training course and takes less than a day to complete. Having a White Card means that you will be less at risk of having an accident on-site, or indeed causing one.

It is called a “White Card” because you get a physical white card (the same size as a credit card) once you have completed the training. To be valid your White Card must be issued by a Registered Training Organisation. Every construction site worker must always have their White Card with them at all times while they are working.

Can a White Card expire?

No, White Cards do not have expiry dates. However, your employer can ask that you take a refresher course if they feel that it’s necessary.

Who Needs a White Card?

It doesn’t matter how qualified or experienced you are in your home country, everyone who works directly in construction in Australia must have a White Card. This includes: skilled labourers; general labourers; apprentices; anyone over-seeing construction: i.e. contractors, supervisors, site managers, project managers etc.

Tip: If you are sure that want to work in construction when you get to Australia, you can arrive prepared and do a White Card course online before you even leave home.

Where Can I Get a White Card?

Check out to search for nationally recognised Registered Training Organisations so you can get that White Card.

There are two ways you can get a White Card. You can do the course online (so you can even do it before you leave home) or in person (face-to-face).

Online Courses
You can do the course online and it usually takes 2 to 4 hours. Doing it online means you can do it any time of the day at your convenience. You can also do it in sections, which means you don’t have to do the whole course at once. You can do some of it and then come back and do the rest.
Receive your ‘White Card’ in the post though you will get a temporary certificate that you can print off.
Face-to-Face Courses 
If you prefer, you can do the course face-to-face once you get to Australia, rather than doing it online. A face-to-face course lasts about 6 hours, including breaks.
Tip: Many backpackers will put on their resume that they have White Card and then wait until they secure a job in construction to actually do the course, which is easily done as the course only takes 2 to 4 hours. This can save you money in case you end working in a completely different sector.

How much does a White Card cost?

Prices vary with White Card courses and it really depends on what Registered Training Organisation you go with. The least amount you be looking to pay is about $67, but course prices can go up to over $100, so it is best to shop around and find a good price. You can pay for your course online or over the phone with a credit card or visa debit card.

Tip: If you know that you will need to do other construction courses, for example a road traffic controlling course, you may be able to get a discount if you pay for both together.

Can I Use the Same White Card in Different States?

White Cards are nationally recognised, so if you get a White Card in one state, you can use it in any other state.


For more information on getting a White Card, check out the Australian governement's Fair Work and Buliding webiste.




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