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

  • $1,106 Weekly Pay
  • 72,900 workers Employment Size
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 94.4% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 43 hours Average full-time
  • 38 years Average age
  • 0.7% female Gender Share

The number of Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 72,900 in 2017 to 69,700 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 34,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Construction; and Mining.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,106 per week (similar to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (94.4%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43.0 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 38 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 0.7% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200774000
200882000
200973000
201076100
201174600
201283800
201376400
201476500
201573900
201669700
201772900
202269700

Weekly Earnings

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.
EarningsStructural Steel and Welding Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings11061230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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)
Manufacturing59.3
Construction19.4
Mining7.0
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services6.1
Other Industries8.2

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 2017, 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.
StateStructural Steel and Welding Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW24.531.6
VIC28.026.2
QLD22.919.7
SA7.86.7
WA12.110.8
TAS2.52.0
NT1.71.1
ACT0.51.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketStructural Steel and Welding Trades WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-194.3-5.25.2
20-249.4-9.99.9
25-3428.8-23.623.6
35-4422.7-21.721.7
45-5421.7-20.820.8
55-596.0-8.88.8
60-644.4-6.06.0
65 and Over2.7-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationStructural Steel and Welding Trades WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree2.2-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma2.5-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV66.4-18.918.9
Year 1212.1-18.718.7
Years 11 & 109.7-17.717.7
Below Year 107.1-8.18.1

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Manufacturing and Metal and Engineering VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers who are reliable, work well in a team and who have good people skills.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-2011.00 - Boilermakers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-2011.00 - Boilermakers.

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