Metal Fitters and Machinists fit and assemble fabricated metal parts into products, set up machining tools, production machines and textile machines, and operate machining tools and machines to shape metal stock and castings.

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and four 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.

Tasks

  • studying drawings and specifications to determine suitable material, method and sequence of operations, and machine settings
  • fitting fabricated metal parts into products and assembling metal parts and subassemblies to produce machines and equipment
  • checking fabricated and assembled metal parts for accuracy, clearance and fit using precision measuring instruments
  • setting guides, stops and other controls on machining tools, setting up prescribed cutting and shaping tools and dies in machines and presses, and setting controls for textile machines
  • forming metal stock and castings to fine tolerances using machining tools to press, cut, grind, plane, bore and drill metal
  • cutting, threading, bending and installing hydraulic and pneumatic pipes and lines
  • preparing pattern mechanisms to control the operation of textile machines used to spin, weave, knit, sew and tuft fabric
  • diagnosing faults and performing operational maintenance of machines, and overhauling and repairing mechanical parts and fluid power equipment
  • may erect machines and equipment on-site

Job Titles

  • Fitter (General)
  • Fitter and Turner
  • Fitter-Welder
  • Metal Machinist (First Class)
  • Textile, Clothing and Footwear Mechanic
  • Other Metal Fitters and Machinists
  • Fitter (General)

    Fits and assembles metal parts and subassemblies to fabricate production machines and other equipment.

    Specialisations: Computer Numeric Control Setter, Diesel Fitter-Mechanic, Fitter-Machinist, Fitter-Mechanic, Maintenance Fitter, Mechanic (Diesel and Heavy Earthmoving Equipment), Plant Mechanic

  • Fitter and Turner

    Fits, assembles, grinds and shapes metal parts and subassemblies to fabricate production machines and other equipment.

    Specialisations: Fitter Armament (Army)

  • Fitter-Welder

    Fits, assembles and welds metal parts and subassemblies to fabricate production machines and other equipment.

  • Metal Machinist (First Class)

    Sets up and operates machine tools to shape and form metal stock and castings to fine tolerances, using detailed drawings and specifications.

    Specialisations: Aircraft Machinist, Automotive Machinist, Metal Machine Setter, Metal Turner, Milling Machinist, Vertical Borer

  • Textile, Clothing and Footwear Mechanic

    Sets up, adjusts and maintains industrial or domestic sewing machines, or machines used in the production of yarn, textiles or footwear.

    Specialisations: Loom Tuner, Sewing Machine Mechanic, Textile Machine Mechanic

  • Other Metal Fitters and Machinists

    Includes Printing Engineer

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,500 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    117,200
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    98.8%
  • Female Share

    1.2%
  • Full-Time Share

    96.5%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 117,200 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 5,001 and 10,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Western Australia has a large share of Metal Fitters and Machinists.
  • They mainly work in: Manufacturing; Mining; and Other Services.
  • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 43.3 hours per week.
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are high at around $1,500 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
2005101600
200698300
200798900
2008103700
2009107000
2010104200
2011113900
2012117200
2013117900
2014122000
2015117200
2020109900

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.
EarningsMetal Fitters and MachinistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings15001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
CategoryMetal Fitters and MachinistsAll Jobs Average
Full-time95.769
Part-time4.330.8
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)42.340.2

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)
Manufacturing28.8
Mining23.1
Other Services13.0
Construction7.2
Other Industries27.9

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.
StateMetal Fitters and MachinistsAll Jobs Average
NSW28.631.8
VIC15.325.5
QLD22.219.8
SA7.36.7
WA22.011.1
TAS2.92
NT1.51.1
ACT0.11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
Age BracketMetal Fitters and MachinistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-192.1-5.45.4
20-2410.5-9.99.9
25-3431.8-23.323.3
35-4420.7-21.621.6
45-5419.1-21.121.1
55-597.5-8.68.6
60-646.0-5.95.9
65 and Over2.2-3.73.7

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
CategoryMetal Fitters and MachinistsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males99.1Males53.8
Females0.9Females46.1

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: Based on ABS 2016 Survey of Education and Work (SEW).
Type of QualificationMetal Fitters and MachinistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.58.5
Bachelor degree4.9-17.817.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma7.2-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV77.9-18.818.8
Year 122.6-18.618.6
Years 11 & 106.3-17.617.6
Below Year 101.1-8.08.0

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 Metal Fitters and Machinists who are reliable, flexible, adaptable and work well in a team.

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. Mathematics

    74% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Building and Construction

    71% Important

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

  4. Design

    71% Important

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

  5. English Language

    67% Important

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

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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. Getting Information

    81% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Controlling Machines and Processes

    73% Important

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

  3. Handling and Moving Objects

    72% Important

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

  4. Operating Vehicles or Equipment

    70% Important

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  5. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    70% Important

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

Occupational Information Network Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, Except Engines 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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