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Signage and Building Surveying

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Signage and Building Surveying sector, which is one component of the Construction industry.

The Signage and Building Surveying sector includes the design and production of indoor and outdoor signage, in addition to building surveying for residential, commercial and industrial building construction up to three storeys.

The Signage sector is not regulated, however Building Surveyors work in a highly regulated environment. Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to building surveying in some states.

Nationally recognised training for Signage and Building Surveying is delivered under the CPC – Construction, Plumbing and Services Training Package.

For information on general construction-related skills see General Construction and Demolition.

For information on other qualification related to surveying and spatial design see Architectural, Surveying and Related Services.

Information sourced from Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

As detailed employment information for the Signage and Building Surveying sector is unavailable, employment levels for the occupations of Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians and Signwriters has been used as a guide to employment in this sector.

Employment levels for Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians increased overall between 2000 and 2019. The increase in employment in this occupation between 2018 and 2019 from nearly 71,000 to over 73,000 is projected to continue until 2024, reaching around 92,000.

Employment levels for Signwriters have been variable, with a high of 9,600 in 2009 falling to a low of 4,700 in 2011. There were approximately 6,400 individuals employed as Signwriters in 2019, with employment projected to increase to approximately 7,700 by 2024.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Signage and Building Surveying-related qualifications have fallen between 2015 and 2018 from around 2,430 to 1,220. Program completion numbers remained fairly stable between 2015 and 2016 but have fallen since with 200 completions in 2018. Enrolments in this sector were in qualifications at the diploma level or higher in the area of Building Surveying (730) or certificate III in the area of Signage (490). The intended occupations for training in this sector are Building Inspector or Signwriter.

During 2018, 68% of qualifications in this sector were delivered by TAFE institutes, 17% by private training providers and 15% by universities. TAFE institutes delivered 74% of Building Surveying qualifications and 60% of Signage. A large proportion of Signage and Building Surveying-related subjects were Commonwealth and state funded (76%). Just under 75% of subjects delivered by TAFE institutes were Commonwealth and state funded; this dropped to 60% for private training providers, with domestic fee for service making up most of the remainder.

The largest proportion of enrolments in Signage and Building Surveying-related qualifications in 2018 was by students residing in New South Wales (39%), followed by Victoria (30%) and Queensland (15%).

Close to half of all training was delivered in New South Wales (48%), followed by Victoria (26%) and Queensland (12%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements and completions in this sector have declined overall between 2010 and 2018, with approximately 160 commencements and 70 completions in 2018. Apprenticeships and traineeships in this sector have an intended occupation of Signwriter. Queensland reported 34% of apprenticeship training, with 26% in New South Wales, and 24% in Victoria.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET Students by Industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

For an analysis of skills needs and workforce demand, see the Construction cluster page.

The Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast highlights the growing role of technology in this sector. Signs and graphics can be produced using a range of traditional and contemporary techniques, including the use of advanced printing software and technology. The introduction of new technologies will impact and change many construction processes, methods and jobs, increasing the importance of digital literacy.

The above Skills Forecast also identifies the challenge of older workers within the industry. For the Building Surveying sector, this is confirmed by the Building Confidence report stating the average age of Building Surveyors is now over 50 and the Tasmanian Building & Construction Industry Training Board 2019 State of the Industry Report stating that two thirds of the state’s Building Surveyors are older than 50 years.

The recommendations in the above ‘Building Confidence’ report may impact the Building Surveyors industry sector if adopted, particularly regarding continuous professional development, registration and harmonisation of state regulations. The Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast includes a project to review the Building Surveying-related qualifications to incorporate more knowledge of the National Construction Code (NCC) and the construction process in line with recommendations in the report.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal:

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 3996 Signwriters
    • 3121 Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1 November 2018 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 4 digit 3996 Signwriters and 3121 Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training packages or qualifications:

  • CPC Construction, Plumbing and Services, BCF Off-Site Construction, BCG General Construction and BCP Plumbing and Services Training Packages
  • Building Surveying
    • BCG50103 - Diploma of Building Surveying
    • BCG60103 - Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying
    • CPC50108 - Diploma of Building Surveying
    • CPC60108 - Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying
    • CPC60115 - Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying
  • Signage
    • BCF30700 - Certificate III in Off-Site Construction (Sign Writing/Computer Operations)
    • BCF30800 - Certificate III in Off-Site Construction (Sign Manufacture)
    • CPC30216 - Certificate III in Signs and Graphics
    • CPC32108 - Certificate III in Signage
    • CPC32111 - Certificate III in Signage.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.  This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

CPC Construction, Plumbing and Services, BCF Off-Site Construction, BCG General Construction and BCP Plumbing and Services Training Packages apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2018 commencements
  • 2010 to 2018 completions 
  • 2018 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2018 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast.

Updated: 31 Mar 2020
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