How To Become A Fitter In Australia: A Complete Guide

Students want to know how to become fitters in Australia.

 

Do you have strong maths skills, enjoy working with your hands, and seek a career in the industrial or manufacturing sector? If yes, you are well suited to becoming a fitter and turner.

 

Fitters grind, shape, assemble, and fit metal components and subassemblies to build production machines and other equipment.

 

The best way to become a fitter is to complete an apprenticeship and obtain a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade. Alternatively, you need extensive experience as a Fitter (General) to pursue this profession.

 

This blog will help you understand the role of a fitter to help you determine whether it is the right profession for you. We will discuss the daily tasks of a Fitter, reveal their national average pay, and show how you can become one.

 

 

1. What Is A Fitter?

 

Fitters are skilled craftspeople, who use technical drawings, design specifications and blueprints to cut, shape, assemble, and fit metal components to fabricate machinery parts and other equipment.

 

Fitters are classified into the following types:

 

  • General Fitters 

  • Diesel Fitters 

  • Metal Fitters

  • Machinists

  • Mechanical Fitters 

  • Fitter-Welder

  • Maintenance Fitters 

  • Fitters and Turners

 

 

2. What Are Maintenance Fitters?

 

Mechanical Fitters work with metal parts and use specialized industrial tools and heavy machinery to create products and machines.

 

They also assess the appropriateness of materials, fabricate metal parts, check equipment performance, repair machinery faults, and implement machinery controls.

 

 

3. What Are Fitters And Turners?

 

Fitters and Turners work in the machining industry, studying blueprints and fabricating metal components, including assembling them to form products such as machinery, machine components, and industrial tools.

 

They also operate a mill, lathe, and drilling machine and repair/replace precision instruments and equipment.

 

Fitters and turners work in various sectors constructing and repairing different types of large machinery, such as:

 

  • Diesel-electric powered backup power generators in public buildings, banks, and hospitals

  • Diesel-driven generators in shipbuilding yards

  • Machinery in industrial and manufacturing plants

  • Motorized machines that include bulldozers, road graders, and excavators

  • Components of trains and railway tracks

 

 

4. Mechanical Fitter Duties And Responsibilities

 

  • Read and understand detailed technical drawings, specifications, and diagrams. 

  • Examine equipment and material requirements

  • Determine appropriate materials, machine settings, and operations for specific parts and processes.

  • Install and adjust metalworking equipment and machines to the required settings for the job.

  • Use measuring tools to check the fit, clearance, finish, precision, and the manufactured parts tolerance power.

  • Use cutting, grinding, pressing, boring, planing, drilling tools, and machines to transform raw materials into finished products.

  • Fit prepared metal components and assembles them

  • Carry out periodic maintenance of machinery and tools, mechanical parts, and electric fluid equipment 

  • Weld, dismantle, amass and replace/repair faulty components.

  • Use electric, oxy, MIG, and TIG welding techniques to repair/ replace metal components.

  • Create patterns for metal casting to cut, grind, plane, bore and drill it.

  • Identify issues with machines and report the same to the manager, ensuring that health and safety regulations are followed.

 

 

5. What Does A Fitter And Turner Do?

 

The daily duties of a fitter vary based on the industry they work in. Here are some of the day-to-day tasks you may expect to perform as a fitter and turner:

 

  • Grind, cut, and shape raw materials and metals.

  • Operate, diagnose and repair faults and maintain large machinery

  • Use specialized tools to fabricate components.

  • Oversee the manufacturing procedure carefully and make safe adjustments

  • Follow set routines and procedures.

  • Understand designs, patterns, and forms to determine the best machine, machine settings, and material to manufacture a part

  • Check the accuracy of the assembled metal components and use the correct measuring tools to fit them.

  • Cut, thread, bend and fit pneumatic, and hydraulic pipes, and lines

  • Install machines onsite

  • Conform to the workplace safety guidelines to keep yourself and others safe

 

 

6. What Tools And Technologies Do Fitter And Turner Use?

 

A fitter is a trained professional with working knowledge of different types of digital technology used to accomplish the job. Some of these include:

 

  • Milling machines

  • Grinders

  • CNC & NC Lathes

  • Drilling machines

  • Gear-cutting and Thread cutting machinery

  • Boring equipment

  • Welding equipment

  • Ceramic or Metal spraying equipment

  • Hydraulic presses

  • Bandsaws

  • Workshop technology

 

 

7. Necessary Skills For A Fitter

 

The following skills will help you to become a fitter in Australia:

 

  • Like doing practical work 

  • Good manual dexterity

  • Attention to detail 

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Enjoy working with hands

  • Strong maths skills to precisely measure machine components, interpret complex diagrams, plans, and blueprints 

  • Able to interpret technical drawings, engineering, and machinery 

  • Communication skills

  • Able to work with a range of specialized tools to construct machinery

  • Excellent coordination

  • Effective communication 

  • Active listening skills

  • Able to work as part of a team

  • Quality control and Analytical skills to evaluate the quality of finished products and suggest solutions.

  • Patience completing repetitive, and long tasks

  • Spatial awareness to stay safe while working 

  • Good concentration in noisy industrial settings such as plants, manufacturing sites, etc.

  • Physical strength and fitness

 

 

8. Qualifications To Become A Maintenance Fitter In Australia

 

To work as a Maintenance Fitter, you usually need to complete a mechanical fitter course, such as a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (MEM30205. You can do this course as part of an apprenticeship or at a TAFE.

 

Gain work experience as a qualified tradesperson and specialize in a specific sector such as manufacturing, mining, transport, and construction.

 

 

9. Steps To Become A Fitter And Turner in Australia

 

Here are the steps that will guide you to becoming a qualified Fitter and Turner in Australia.

 

 

Step 1: Find A Mechanical Fitter Apprenticeship 

 

Gaining hands-on work experience with fabrication and specialized skills is necessary to grab real-world job opportunities. And that’s where VET and Apprenticeship pathways come into play.

 

You learn valuable job skills from experienced tradespeople while completing a vocational qualification at an approved educational facility.

 

Fitters and turners enter the trade by completing a Certificate III in Engineering (Mechanical Trade) as an apprenticeship. You can also study this certification at a TAFE or registered organization.

 

Those who want to become a General Fitter in Australia must complete a 4-year apprenticeship to gain their Cert III in Engineering (Fitter General 323211).

 

To become a Mechanical Fitter, you must complete a relevant tertiary qualification, such as an Advanced Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation Engineering in Mining or Oil and Gas Facilities.

 

You will also need to complete a few additional short courses to perform specific tasks like operating a forklift, etc.

 

Now that you have known what course you need to complete to pursue a Fitter profession. Let us discuss the ways that can help you find work-based apprentice training opportunities.

 

 

Gimbal Training is a well-known institute that offers nationally-recognized Apprenticeships in Construction and Engineering in Queensland and New South Wales for Construction and Engineering courses.

 

There are no formal entry requirements to undertake this qualification via an apprenticeship. They provide on-the-job apprenticeship opportunities in Certificate III Engineering Mechanical Trade (MEM30219) in 3 streams: Fitting, Machining (RPL only), and Fitting/ Machining.

 

The training is a combination of face-to-face and online learning at your workplace. 

 

Click here for more details about this apprenticeship program.

 

 

Step 2: Pass A Trade Assessment

 

Once you complete the required practical and theoretical training for an entry role, consider training in workplace safety and first aid.

 

 

Step 3: Search And Apply For Fitter And Turner Jobs

 

After qualifying as a fitter and turner, you can look for jobs online and offline. Online Job search engines help you filter your job search by work location, experience level, and salary to help you find a suitable job.

 

It is beneficial to invest time in networking and expanding your professional contacts. Attend workshops and seminars and join related social media groups and forums to connect with industry professionals and employers.

 

It will improve your chances of finding job opportunities and getting hired. 

 

 

Step 4: Continue Upskilling

 

After getting a job, keep building and refining your analytical and practical skills developed in training.

 

 

10. Where Do Fitters Work?

 

Fitters work in a broad range of commercial or industrial workplaces that operate in the following sectors:

 

  • Manufacturing (56.2%), 

  • Mining (6.5%), 

  • Construction (5.8%) and 

  • Transport (8.5%)

 

The remaining 23% work in other sectors such as:

 

  • Wholesale Trade

  • Transport, Postal, and Warehousing

  • Electricity, Water, Gas, Waste Services

 

Fitters work in the following sites to maintain and repair equipment and production machineries, such as line equipment, generators, hydraulic equipment, pumps, engines, and earthmoving equipment:

 

  • Factories

  • Large engineering works

  • Shipbuilding yards

  • Iron and steel plants

  • Workshops 

  • Industrial plants and factories

  • Mines

  • Government departments

  • Garages

  • Depots

  • Transport companies

 

The skill set they develop as a fitter enables them to work in large buildings such as city banks and hospitals to install diesel-electric backup power generators.

 

Fitters and turners can work in various locations based on regional industrial and manufacturing needs. Below is listed the percentage employment of fitters in different states of Australia. 

 

  • NSW: 13%

  • VIC: 34.4%

  • QLD: 35.7%

  • SA: 9.5%

  • WA: 3.7%

  • TAS: 2.5%

  • NT: 1%

  • ACT: 0.2%

 

NSW, Victoria, and Queensland have a large share of employment concerning the size of the population. Areas that generate high employment opportunities for Fitter include:

 

  • Melbourne - West

  • Melbourne - South East

  • Townsville 

  • Latrobe - Gippsland

  • Central Queensland

 

 

11. Work Conditions For Fitters

 

Fitters usually work in highly industrial environments, including factories and manufacturing plants.

 

Due to being exposed to a noisy and hazardous environment, they usually wear protective items, such as face masks, earplugs, and goggles while at work.

 

It is a physically demanding profession involving standing for long periods, bending, lifting, and moving heavy equipment, tools, and machinery. 

 

Around 94% of people who work as Fitter and Turners work full-time hours. It is 28 percentage points above the average of all other jobs (66%).

 

Full-time fitters and turners usually work for standard business hours, which is 44 hours a week. They may require working long hours, including on weekends, public holidays, and at night. 

 

 

12. Fitter Specialization

 

The skills you acquire during your apprenticeship and working can be used in other jobs.

 

Fitters who have gained considerable experience can consider undertaking a Certificate IV in fluid power systems technician to work in a variety of specialized roles such as:

 

  • Maintenance Fitter

  • Diesel Fitter-Mechanic

  • Fitter-Mechanic

  • Sheet Metal Worker 

  • Mechanic

  • Fitter Armament (Army)

  • Fitter-Machinist

  • Plant Mechanic 

 

 

13. Job Prospects For Fitter In Australia

 

Australia has several industries that work in mining areas. There is a demand for skilled fitters to work on large mining machinery. Most employers look for fitters who can manufacture, fit and replace a wide range of equipment, including line equipment, pumps, hydraulics, engines, earthmoving equipment, and valves.

 

There are many job opportunities available for Fitters in milling, CNC machining, drilling, and hand-making fitting components. The Down Under Centre works with several employers and hiring companies across Australia that recruit Fitters.

 

According to Labour Market Insights, the demand for Fitters was growing over the years in Australia. The Mechanical Fitter roles have moderate growth in the next five years.

 

The average age of Fitter and Turners is 42 years, with a large share of workers falling in the age group of 45 to 54 years. Only 1% of females make up the overall workforce which is 47 percentage points less than the average of 48% of all other occupations.

 

 

14. What Is Mechanical Fitter Salary In Australia?

 

According to SEEK, the average maintenance fitter salary in Australia ranges between $70k and $110k.

 

The average salary range for Mechanical Fitters in different cities is as follows:

 

  • New South Wales: $60k to $90k

  • Victoria: $70k to $80k

  • Western Australia: $80k to $140k

  • Queensland: $70k to $100k

  • Tasmania: $50k to $110k

  • South Australia: $60k to $80k

  • Northern Territory: $80k to $130k

 

 

15. How Much Does A Fitter And Turner Earn In Australia?

 

The average fitter and turner salary in Australia is $45.61 per hour as per Indeed. The earnings may depend on the work location and the industry.

 

For example – The average earnings of fitters in South Australia and Western Australia are $43.22 per hour and $55.78 per hour elsewhere.

 

 

16. How Much Does A Fitter Gets Paid In Australia?

 

The average fitter salary in Australia is $89,203 per year or an hourly equivalent to $44.90.

 

Some of the top-paying cities for Fitters are:

 

  • Gladstone QLD: $144,427 per year

  • Perth WA: $113,735 per year

  • Wangara WA: $91,432 per year

  • Muswellbrook NSW: $90,484 per year

  • Toowoomba QLD: $83,883 per year

  • Dandenong VIC: $81,007 per year

  • Sydney NSW: $75,069 per year

  • Melbourne VIC: $74,976 per year

 

 

17. How Can An Overseas Fitter Work In Australia?

 

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations Codes for Fitter jobs are as follows: 

 

  • Fitters (General): 323211

  • Fitters and turners: 323212

  • Fitter-welders: 323213

  • Metal machinists (first class): 323214

 

Overseas Fitters who wish to migrate to Australia have to complete the mandatory Fitter (General) skills assessment. It is necessary to take this assessment before applying for a Skilled visa to Australia.

 

The Skill assessment is a way for Australian Immigration to find whether you have the necessary skills to work as a Fitter (under the Australian guidelines).

 

The Down Under Centre works with Trades Recognition Australia Approved Registered Training Organisations to deliver this assessment. It is to ensure the Fitters can perform the tasks and duties as expected from a Fitter in Australia. 

 

An Australian Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trades and documents for migration is given to Fitters completing the Australian skills assessment as a Fitter (General). These are essential documents many Australian employers would ask before commencing employment.

 

Fitters need to be between the age of 18 years to 45 years to migrate to Australia. Fitters immigrants between the ages of 25 and 32 receive the maximum visa points. Click on this Free Visa points calculator tool to check your eligibility for a Skilled Visa.

 

Fitter skills assessment for Australia is carried out in two parts: Documentary Assessment and Technical interview. In both rounds, you will have to prove that you can perform most of the above Fitter tasks efficiently.

 

No qualification is required to take the Fitter skills assessment for Australian migration. However, you must have your completed apprenticeship documents and three years of paid work experience.

 

The Australian Fitter skills assessment lasts for three years from the date of the issuance of the skill assessment. Thus, you need to apply for its renewal before the three years. However, your Australian Certificate III in Engineering (Fitter General) has lifetime validity.

 

 

18. Conclusion

 

Fitters are often in high demand in Australia, particularly in industries operating within the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

 

Along with decent pay, the transferable skills you develop while working makes you employable for various other roles.

 

Moreover, fitters enjoy plenty of scope for growth and specialization, which makes this profession worthwhile.

 

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