Precision Metal Trades Workers fabricate, assemble, maintain and repair metal precision instruments.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Three in five workers have this level of qualification. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification and registration or licensing may also be required.

Tasks

  • assembling parts and subassemblies of precision instruments, locks, timepieces and firearms
  • dismantling precision instruments, locks, timepieces and firearms, repairing and replacing defective parts, and reassembling articles using hand and power tools and specially designed machines
  • inscribing letters, figures and designs on surfaces of jewellery, trophies and other ornamental items
  • installing security systems, changing tumblers in locks, changing locks, cutting keys and opening locks by manipulation
  • calibrating precision instruments using standard weights and measures, jigs and fixtures, and hand tools to adjust and align parts and small balancing weights
  • making blades for circular, band and other power saws and repairing, setting and sharpening blades for hand and power saws
  • testing circuits in electronic timepieces
  • may estimate costs and prepare quotes for repairs

Job Titles

  • Engraver
  • Gunsmith
  • Locksmith
  • Precision Instrument Maker and Repairer
  • Saw Doctor
  • Watch and Clock Maker and Repairer
  • Engraver

    Inscribes letters, figures and designs on metal, glass, wood, rubber, plastic and other surfaces.

  • Gunsmith

    Modifies, services and repairs rifles, revolvers and other firearms. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Locksmith

    Installs and maintains locks and related security devices and systems. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Safemaker

  • Precision Instrument Maker and Repairer

    Assembles, calibrates, installs and overhauls mechanical precision instruments and equipment.

    Specialisations: Camera Repairer, Scalemaker, Scientific Instrument Maker and Repairer

  • Saw Doctor

    Repairs, sets and sharpens blades for circular, band and other saws.

    Specialisations: Saw Sharpener

  • Watch and Clock Maker and Repairer

    Makes, repairs, cleans and adjusts watches and clocks.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,015 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    8600
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    93.6%
  • Female Share

    6.4%
  • Full-Time Share

    82.5%

Find Vacancies

This is a small occupation employing 8600 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has stayed about the same.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Precision Metal Trades Workers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Other Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Manufacturing.
  • Full-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 40.5 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,015 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 44 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • More than 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

There have been shortages of Locksmiths for a number of years. In 2016, employers in most locations found it hard to fill vacancies for Locksmiths. To find out more, view the Department of Employment's latest skill shortage research opens in a new window.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20055900
20069000
20075500
20088800
20098000
20108600
20116800
20125600
20137600
20146900
20158600
20209900

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsPrecision Metal Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10151230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPrecision Metal Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time82.568.4
Part-time17.531.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)40.540

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Other Services31.7
Public Administration and Safety26.7
Manufacturing16
Wholesale Trade7.5
Other Industries18.1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePrecision Metal Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW31.831.8
VIC24.625.5
QLD23.419.8
SA3.16.8
WA1311.2
TAS1.42
NT1.51.1
ACT1.21.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPrecision Metal Trades WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.4-5.45.4
20-249.6-9.99.9
25-3419.8-23.423.4
35-4425.8-21.721.7
45-5431.9-21.121.1
55-594.4-8.78.7
60-641.5-5.95.9
65 and Over6.6-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryPrecision Metal Trades WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males93.6Males53.6
Females6.4Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Three in five workers have this level of qualification. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification and registration or licensing may also be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Precision Metal Trades Workers who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Mechanical

    78% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  2. Computers and Electronics

    74% Important

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  3. Customer and Personal Service

    72% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  4. English Language

    70% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  5. Engineering and Technology

    65% Important

    Use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

Occupational Information Network Camera and Photographic Equipment Repairers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment

    82% Important

    Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing electronic machines, devices, and equipment.

  2. Getting Information

    74% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    74% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  4. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

    72% Important

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  5. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    71% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

Occupational Information Network Camera and Photographic Equipment Repairers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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