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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.

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

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.

Overall, employment levels for Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians increased between 2002 and 2022, from 43,500 to 72,200 respectively. Employment is projected to continue to grow to 2026 to 82,200.

Overall, employment levels for Signwriters decreased from 5,000 in 2002 to 2,200 in 2022, although the levels fluctuated significantly over the 20-year period. The employment level is projected to increase to 2026 to 5,600.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Overall, program enrolments in Signage and Building Surveying-related qualifications decreased from approximately 1,780 in 2017 to 1,480 in 2021. Program completions decreased overall between 2017 and 2020, from approximately 290 to 230, before increasing in 2021 to more than 310.

Enrolments in this sector were concentrated at the diploma or higher level (58%) and certificate III levels (42%) in 2021, with more than half of program enrolments (58%) in Building Surveying qualifications and the remaining (42%) in Signage qualifications. The intended occupations for training in this sector are Building Inspector (58%) and Signwriter (42%).

In 2021, more than half (55%) of qualifications in this sector were delivered by TAFE institutes, approximately 26% by private training providers and 19% by universities. TAFE institutes delivered 61% of Building Surveying qualifications with universities delivering 19%. In relation to Signage qualifications, TAFE institutes delivered almost half (48%) of, with private training providers delivering 34% and universities 18%.

Overall, most of the Signage and Building Surveying-related subjects were Commonwealth and state funded (86%) in 2021. However, the distribution of funding between government and domestic fee for service varied by provider type.

Victoria had the highest proportion of students (43%) enrolled in Signage and Building Surveying-related qualifications in 2021, followed by New South Wales (25%) and Queensland (17%). Approximately seven out ten program enrolments in Signage and Building Surveying-related qualifications were delivered in Victoria (39%) and New South Wales (31%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements declined between 2012 and 2020, from approximately 210 to 190. However, between 2020 and 2021 commencements increased 41% to 270. Overall, apprentice and trainee completions slightly declined from approximately 120 to 100 between 2012 and 2021, although the number of completions fluctuated over this period.

Apprenticeships and traineeships in this sector have an intended occupation of Signwriter. Approximately a third (33%) of all apprenticeships in 2021 were undertaken in Queensland, closely followed by New South Wales (32%) and Victoria (18%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

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 2020 Skills Forecast was the final skills forecast released by the IRC. It stated that new workforce skills were emerging within an existing environment of continuing and intensifying regulation.

The report Building Confidence (BC) considered the effectiveness of compliance and enforcement of systems for the building and construction industry and made 24 recommendations for a best practice model. These included recommendations for Building Surveyors; see Recommendations 1-4 and Recommendation 9. The BC report noted the role of building surveyors was critical to the building approvals process and suggested there may be an inadequate supply to meet future needs. It also called for supervision of trainees to be pragmatic, so their engagement is commercially viable.

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) agreed to progress a response to Recommendation 4 which focused on career pathways for building surveyors. In late 2021, ABCB released a model guide on Evidence of experience for building surveyor registration, which was informed by stakeholder feedback and suggestions. The model guide was endorsed by Building Ministers or state and territory consideration and implementation.

To help meet skills shortage in Building Surveying, improve gender balance in the construction industry and drive construction stimulus projects, the Victorian Government established the Women Building Surveyors Program. It provided funding for 40 women to begin an Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying or Bachelor of Building Surveying, gain work experience with their local council and attend development opportunities.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

National Skills Commission 2022, Occupation Employment Projections viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nationalskillscommission.gov.au/topics/employment-projections

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2026
    • 3996 Signwriters
    • 3121 Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2022, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ08 - Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, viewed 1 August 2022, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2022

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 4 digit 3996 Signwriters and 3121 Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians, 2002 to 2022, 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
    • CPC60121 - 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:

  • 2017 to 2021 program enrolments
  • 2017 to 2021 program completions
  • 2021 subject enrolments.

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:

  • 2012 to 2021 commencements
  • 2012 to 2021 completions
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2021 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 29 Nov 2022
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