Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Thousands of courses are offered through the Vocational Education and Training (VET) education sector in Australia. Qualifications gained through the VET sector lead to a variety of diverse and exciting careers.
Who offers VET courses?
VET courses are offered by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). These can include Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes and private colleges. These organisations are all registered by each Australian state or territory authority to:
- provide quality training
- deliver courses developed with industry
- issue a nationally recognised qualification.
A list of registered RTOs is provided on the National Training Information Service (NTIS)website.
RTOs that offer courses to international students must also register with the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). This register allows the government to monitor the education offered to international students in Australia, and ensure that it is of consistent and ongoing high quality. Full details can be found on the CRICOS website.
Courses and qualifications
Australian vocational education and training courses provide students with skills that employers have identified as important in the workplace. They are also generally considered to provide more practical, work-orientated skills than the higher education (university) system.
The types of qualifications that can be obtained through the VET system include:
- Certificate I–IV: these courses are designed to provide introductory skills and training. They provide industry-specific knowledge and skills in communication, participation, literacy and numeracy, and teamwork. They vary in length from a few weeks to six or more months.
- Diploma: a diploma course prepares students for industry, enterprise and para-professional careers. Diploma courses can be completed at TAFE institutes and private colleges. Diplomas require 18 to 24 months of full-time study.
- Advanced diploma: an advanced diploma provides a high level of practical skills for employment in a specific career area, such as accounting, building design, and engineering. Some advanced diploma courses can also be completed at university level. Advanced diplomas vary in length from 24 to 36 months.
- Vocational graduate certificate/diploma: the vocational graduate certificate and diploma are the equivalent of the higher education graduate certificate or diploma. They provide high level employment-related skills and knowledge. The graduate certificate usually requires six months of full-time study and the graduate diploma usually requires one year of full-time study.
VET courses, particularly at the diploma and advanced diploma level, can often lead into higher education courses such as bachelor degrees. On the other hand, it’s increasingly common for higher education graduates to complete VET qualifications in order to gain practical, work-orientated skills to assist them to enter the workforce.
Average tuition costs$5500–$18,000 per year
Please note that course fees can vary widely depending on the course, institute and location chosen and should always be sourced from the relevant provider(s).
Entry into the VET system usually requires students to have reached a level of study equivalent to the Australian Year 10, 11 or 12. Some courses may have prerequisite subjects or work experience requirements. Entry into some courses, such as art and design courses, may also require submission of a portfolio. Students should check with individual colleges for any additional entry requirements, English language requirements, information on fees and charges, and course starting dates.