Metal Machinists (First Class) set up and operate 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.

Either extensive experience or a certificate III in engineering - mechanical trade is needed to work as a Metal Machinist (First Class).

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

All Metal Fitters and Machinists

  • $2,062 Weekly Pay
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Metal Machinists (First Class)

  • 2,400 workers Employment Size
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • 92% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 43 hours Average full-time
  • 45 years Average age
  • 1% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Metal Machinists (First Class) (in their main job) fell over 5 years:
from 3,100 in 2011 to 2,400 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Metal Machinists (First Class) work in many parts of Australia. Western Australia has a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Other Services; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (92%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 45 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 1% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employers found it hard to fill vacancies for Metal Machinists (First Class) in 2018. Find out more in the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business latest report on Metal Machinists (First Class).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

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

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing64.4
Other Services14.1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services4.8
Mining3.9
Other Industries12.8

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateMetal Machinists (First Class)All Jobs Average
NSW23.231.6
VIC25.525.6
QLD18.820.0
SA8.17.0
WA22.310.8
TAS1.62.0
NT0.31.0
ACT0.11.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketMetal Machinists (First Class)All Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-192.4-5.05.0
20-246.8-9.39.3
25-3416.7-22.922.9
35-4424.0-22.022.0
45-5424.5-21.621.6
55-5911.5-9.09.0
60-649.0-6.06.0
65 and Over5.1-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationMetal Machinists (First Class)All Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.8-10.110.1
Bachelor degree4.2-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma9.4-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV68.6-21.121.1
Year 126.8-18.118.1
Year 112.4-4.84.8
Year 10 and below7.7-12.512.5

Either extensive experience or a certificate III in engineering - mechanical trade is needed to work as a Metal Machinist (First Class).

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • 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.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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

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

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Mechanical

    68% Skill level

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

  2. Mathematics

    63% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Production and processing

    52% Skill level

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

  4. Engineering and technology

    50% Skill level

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

  5. Technical design

    49% Skill level

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

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-4041.00 - Machinists.

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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Wear common protective or safety equipment

    97% Important

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  2. Face-to-face discussions

    94% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  3. Being exact or accurate

    93% Important

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  4. Dangerous equipment

    90% Important

    Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.

  5. Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    90% Important

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-4041.00 - Machinists.

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