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

  • $1,015 Weekly Pay
  • 7,900 workers Employment Size
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 87.7% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 39.9 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 14.3% female Gender Share

The number of Precision Metal Trades Workers grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow moderately over the next 5 years:
from 7,900 in 2017 to 8,100 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 1,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Precision Metal Trades Workers work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Western Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Other Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Manufacturing.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (87.7%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 39.9 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 14.3% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

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 Jobs and Small Business latest skill shortage research opens in a new window.

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
20077500
20086900
20099500
20106600
20119200
20125700
20136800
20145700
20159800
20167000
20177900
20228100

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.
EarningsPrecision Metal Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10151230

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)
Other Services37.1
Public Administration and Safety30.9
Manufacturing12.4
Health Care and Social Assistance6.0
Other Industries13.6

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 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.
StatePrecision Metal Trades WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW32.131.6
VIC25.326.2
QLD9.019.7
SA3.86.7
WA23.810.8
TAS3.32.0
NT1.61.1
ACT1.11.8

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 BracketPrecision Metal Trades WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-2418.2-9.99.9
25-3418.9-23.623.6
35-4425.5-21.721.7
45-5413.6-20.820.8
55-5919.7-8.88.8
60-640.0-6.06.0
65 and Over4.1-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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
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, 49-9061.00 - Camera and Photographic Equipment Repairers.

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. 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
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, 49-9061.00 - Camera and Photographic Equipment Repairers.

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