Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers cut, shape, join and repair metal components of iron and steel structures, boilers, pressure vessels and pipes, ships and other vessels.

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and three in five workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification.

Tasks

  • studying blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine job requirements
  • selecting, cleaning and preparing metal stock
  • cutting marked-out metal sections and shapes using hand tools, flame cutting torches and metal cutting machines
  • shaping and bending metal sections and pipes using hand and machine tools, and by heating and hammering
  • aligning parts to be joined using hand tools and measuring instruments
  • joining metal sections using various welding techniques, bolting and riveting
  • examining welds for width of bead, penetration and precision
  • finishing products by cleaning, polishing, filing and bathing in acidic solutions
  • cleaning and smoothing welds by filing, chiselling and grinding

Job Titles

  • Metal Fabricator
  • Pressure Welder
  • Welder (First Class)
  • Metal Fabricator

    Marks off and fabricates structural steel and other metal stock to make or repair metal products and structures such as boilers and pressure vessels.

    Specialisations: Boilermaker-Welder, Brass Finisher, Metal Fabricator-Welder, Metal Template Maker, Structural Steel Trades Worker

  • Pressure Welder

    Assembles, welds and repairs pressure vessels and pipes to relevant standards.

  • Welder (First Class)

    Fabricates and repairs metal products using various welding techniques.

    Specialisations: Special Class Welder

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,106 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    70,600
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    99.6%
  • Female Share

    0.4%
  • Full-Time Share

    94.5%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 70,600 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Manufacturing; Construction; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 41.2 hours per week.
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are similar to the average at around $1,106 per week. Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 37 years (compared to 40 for all careers).
  • Most workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

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.
YearEmployment Level
200568900
200678600
200775900
200881800
200968800
201078100
201176800
201280600
201379500
201473400
201570600
202063200

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Careers Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015 cat. no. 6333.0. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsStructural Steel and Welding Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings11061230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
CategoryStructural Steel and Welding Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time95.669
Part-time4.430.8
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)41.540.2

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing59.8
Construction15.3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services7.6
Mining6.7
Other Industries10.6

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.
StateStructural Steel and Welding Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW19.731.8
VIC23.725.5
QLD27.219.8
SA8.26.7
WA15.611.1
TAS3.32
NT1.91.1
ACT0.41.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
Age BracketStructural Steel and Welding Trades WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-194.9-5.45.4
20-2415.3-9.99.9
25-3424.3-23.323.3
35-4419.9-21.621.6
45-5420.0-21.121.1
55-597.3-8.68.6
60-646.9-5.95.9
65 and Over1.5-3.73.7

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
CategoryStructural Steel and Welding Trades WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males99.6Males53.8
Females0.4Females46.1

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: Based on ABS 2016 Survey of Education and Work (SEW).
Type of QualificationStructural Steel and Welding Trades WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.58.5
Bachelor degree2.2-17.817.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma2.5-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV66.4-18.818.8
Year 1212.1-18.618.6
Years 11 & 109.7-17.617.6
Below Year 107.1-8.08.0

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and three in five workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification. Registration or licensing may 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 Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers who are reliable, work well in a team and who have good people skills.

Knowledge

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

  1. Design

    82% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  2. Mathematics

    82% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Building and Construction

    77% Important

    Materials, methods, and the tools used to construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

  4. Mechanical

    76% Important

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

  5. Production and Processing

    76% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

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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. Controlling Machines and Processes

    91% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  2. Handling and Moving Objects

    91% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  3. Performing General Physical Activities

    89% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  4. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    88% Important

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

  5. Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment

    86% Important

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing mechanical machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

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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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