Michael Pearce Chases his Dream with a Switch in Career

Michael Pearce discovered a love for timber work all the way back in Year 7 when wood tech was introduced as a subject. He had never liked the drudgery of sitting through regular classes. So when he got the opportunity to head to the high school workshop and create things from scratch, it was an eye opener.

Michael admits he “went with the flow” when younger, and didn’t really think about what he wanted to do long-term. When someone offered him a job in refrigeration, he took it without a second thought. It was only when he reached his 30’s that he realised he wanted to do something different with his life.

“… it’s never too late to try something.”


Realising you want to change careers and actually doing it are two different things. Michael knew he didn’t want to keep working in the job he had and he knew he’d love working with timber. His love of woodwork had never waned. He often spent spare time creating pieces of furniture for his family. But a career change and a four year apprenticeship seemed to be too big a leap. Michael explains, “It wasn’t until I reached my 30s that I thought I had actually missed my opportunity because I really couldn’t go down the path of a 4 year apprenticeship because I have a young family. It just wasn’t going to work financially.”

Then Michael discovered the CPC30220 – Certificate III in Carpentry offered by the Trade Institute of Victoria (TIV). He heard a radio ad advertising courses and was also told by a friend that many AFL players study there due to the flexibility of classes. Suddenly, a career change didn’t seem so impossible. Michael says, “I found the course and thought, it’s only a year of my time. I can probably get that done quickly, and hopefully it’ll give me the skills that are needed to go and get a job and move on with life.

Back to School

For someone who didn’t love being in the classroom as a youngster, Michael found returning to ‘school’ a whole new experience. Lucky enough to also find some casual work with a builder, Michael recommends you “try and find somebody to work with because the stuff you do in school, you then learn out on site and they just mesh well together and you can really push forward.”

Michael is also full of praise for the TIV trainers who he describes as “knowledgeable and really approachable.” He explains, “I’ve asked one of the trainers a few questions about things and he’s happy to pull me aside and sit there for 10 to 15 minutes or more talking me through it. They will go out of their way and go to that extra effort to help you. I’ve been really, really impressed with it all.

“Michael now advises others to pursue a career they love.”

A Future Full of Possibilities

Michael’s almost finished his CPC30220 – Certificate III in Carpentry, and says, “For now I’m just going to go and work with somebody and get a bit more experience in just doing solid carpentry.” He also flags the possibility of doing his CPC40120 – Certificate IV in Building and Construction, and possibly even pursuing a builder’s licence or cabinetry making. What’s clear is that Michael’s career opportunities are suddenly much broader than what they were.

Advice to Others

Michael now advises others to pursue a career they love. “If you’ve got the opportunity and you’re willing to work things out from a financial side of things, it’s never too late to try something. It’s never too late to give it a crack.”

He adds, “It’s really fulfilled me. I’ve got a young child and a wife and we’ve somehow managed to make it work. I just find it super fulfilling that I’ve been able to do it. It was almost like a goal of mine and I sort of lost that goal and now I’ve come back to it, and I’ve been able to complete it. It’s really made my life.”

If you’re considering a career change into the building and construction industry, and want to become part of the TIV success story, please get in touch.  


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