Do you enjoy working outdoors and are interested in working with metals? Then, a career as a welder might be perfect for you.
Welders are highly skilled workers who fabricate and repair various metal products. They use heavy machinery, specialist welding tools, hand tools, and power tools to perfectly execute the job.
Do you want to know how to become a welder in Australia? You must complete an engineering tradesperson (First Class Welder) apprenticeship i.e., “Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (MEM30305)”.
If you wish to make a career in this hands-on and physically challenging profession, then you are at the right place. The article can be your go-to guide to becoming a qualified welder (first-class) in Australia. You will learn about what it takes to be a welder, which includes personal requirements, qualifications, routine tasks, and steps to pursue this role.
1. Who Is A Welder?
Welders, also called Fitter-Welders, cut, fit, measure, and join materials to prepare automotive parts, electronic components, and pipes, for various industries. They also repair structural repairs in welding equipment.
A welder can specialize in specific wedding techniques, such as gas metal arc, or shielded metal arc. A metal fabricator welder fabricates structural steel, aluminium, and other metals to construct or repair metal structures or products.
Welders are classified into three main categories in Australia:
First Class Welder
Second Class Welder
2. What Does A Welder Do?
The job of welders (First Class) comprises varied tasks and duties. Here is the summary of their routine work:
Interpret technical drawing, blueprints, and engineering plans
Choose the right materials to cut or join and arrange them in the desired configuration
Apply welding principles
Execute welding operations while adhering to safety policies
Use measuring instruments and hand tools to align metal parts
Join metal sections using welding techniques, such as riveting, and bolting
Evaluate welds for width, accuracy, and penetration
Weld using manual metal arc, gas metal arc, gas tungsten arc, or submerged arc welding procedure
File, chisel, and grind welds surface to make them clean and smooth
Perform mechanical cutting, thermal cutting, and manual heating
Implement quality procedures
Examine and test welds and welding equipment
Assist with periodic maintenance of welding tools
Upgrade or repair damaged machinery or spare parts
What Tools And Technologies Do A Welder Need?
Welders work with the following tools and technologies:
Heavy machinery such as cranes and forklifts
Different types of metals
Specialist welding tools such as stick welders and cutting torches
To keep themselves safe from the probable safety hazard, they are required to wear a PPE kit, which includes breathing apparatus, welding gauntlets, earplugs, leather gloves, welding masks, and wedding helmets.
3. What Are The Requirements To Be A Welder?
Following are the most-sought personal requirements in a welder:
Good eye-hand coordination
Enjoy outdoor work
Able to handle a physically demanding job
Good communication skills
Attention to detail
Good Mathematical skills
Able to work independently
Good problem-solving skills
Able to deliver a high quality, neat and precise work
Able to use CAD software
Proficiency in power tools and hand-held operations
Good knowledge of welding equipment and welding/positional welding techniques
Knowledge of safe welding practices
Able to read blueprints, engineering plans/drawings, and sketches
4. Qualifications To Become A Welder In Australia
You need the following welding qualifications to become a qualified welder (First Class) and work legally in Australia.
Complete your High School Education
Complete the Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (MEM30305). This welding certificate course is completed as part of a traineeship.
Though not essential, you may complete a pre-apprenticeship course, that equips you with the essential knowledge, and skills to seek an apprentice role in the engineering industry.
5. How To Become A Welder In Australia?
Nearly all states in Australia require aspiring welders to complete a Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (MEM30305)/ engineering tradesperson fabrication (first-class welder) to qualify as professional welders.
Available as an apprenticeship, the course teaches learners the necessary skills to students while working on the job. The typical duration of the apprenticeship is around 42 to 48 months.
You can undertake this traineeship whether you are a school-pass out, or as an adult looking for a career change. You can start your apprenticeship while studying in school. Talk to the VET Coordinator of your school to begin your training through VET.
However, in other cases, you can apply for an apprenticeship at a registered training provider and get paid while learning and working.
6. How Long Does It Take To Become A Welder In Australia?
To work as a Welder in Australia, it is essential to hold a certificate III in engineering - fabrication trade (first-class welder).
The typical duration of this apprenticeship program is around 42 to 48 months.
7. Online Welding Courses In Australia
Australian Welding Solutions has developed a system to enable welder’s complete welder qualifications online. It prepares the “Australian welding ticket” that is a mandatory document for Welder Qualification Testing.
AWS also provides customized training programs for welders, short courses for Supervisors, Engineers, and workshops for inspectors on the Science of Welding. The institution runs online welding courses in Australia via a web-cam, video conference, or smartphone.
This makes the online wedding process simple, cost-effective, and efficient. In addition to convenience, you will save a lot of money on travel and accommodation.
8. Welding Certification Programs
The Australian Welding Institute has designed a certification scheme for the evaluation of the skills and capabilities of a welder. This is a flexible, progressive, and logical certification scheme driven by industry.
Successful completion of a welding certification confirms that the welder’s competence meets the required standards and codes in the Australian welding and fabrication industry.
The welder obtains a wallet card and a certificate that is verifiable and acknowledged by the Australian industry.
AWS works in partnership with TWI Global that is the largest provider of welding technology and inspection-based training in the world.
Thinking about how to become a welding inspector in Australia? AWI could be the best training institute to consider. It works with Registered Training Organisations and TAFE to implement a nationally recognized education scheme that caters to:
Certification of Welding Inspectors
AS 1796 certificates or welding tickets 1-9
Certification of Welding Supervisors to AS 1796 and AS 2214
9. Welder Apprenticeship Programs
Do you want to know how to become a welder apprentice? Weld Australia is a globally recognized training institution that offers a wide range of flexible learning courses to aspiring welders.
Weld Australia is the leading welder training organization in Australia that is committed to producing highly skilled future welder’s generation. They run a wide range of training, certification, and qualification programs for Australian welders, manufacturing and fabrication companies, and industries.
Weld Australia delivers specialist industry-based learning courses in a wide range of study options such as face-to-face, blending, and online. List of their training courses include:
Welding Inspection courses
Welder Certification Courses
Welding Appreciation Courses
Welding Supervision and Coordination Courses
These courses equip students with the understanding and skills to improve job opportunities on a global scale.
10. TAFE Welding Courses
Wondering about becoming a welder with no experience? TAFE Statement In Basic Welding is a basic course designed for beginners with no experience. This is a short-duration part-time course delivered on campus.
Other TAFE courses to consider are as follows:
TAFE Statement In Advanced Welding To As1554 – TAFE NSW (Short Course)
Introduction to Welding – TAFE Queensland (Non-Accredited)
Manufacturing and Welding – TAFE SA
Welding For Beginners – North Metro TAFE (Short Course)
Certificate IV in Engineering (Welding) –South Metro TAFE
Introduction To Welding – Wodonga TAFE (Short Course)
Introduction To Welding –TAFE Gippsland (Short Course)
Women in Welding - TAFE Queensland (Non-accredited Short Course)
11. Welding Tickets 1-9 List
Here is the complete list of welding certificates:
Certificate No. 1 - Manual metal-arc welding (MMAW) of butt welds in carbon steel plate and carbon steel pipe over 600 mm outside diameter (single vee welded from both sides).
Certificate No. 1E - Manual metal-arc welding (MMAW) or butt welds in carbon steel plate and carbon steel pipe over 270 mm outside diameter (single vee welded from one side only).
Certificate No. 2 - Manual metal-arc welding (MMAW) of butt welds in carbon steel plate and carbon steel pipe (single vee welded from one side only)
Certificate No. 3 - Manual metal-arc welding (MMAW) for butt welds using hydrogen-controlled electrodes in alloy steel plate and alloy steel pipe over 270 mm outside diameter (single vee welded from both sides).
Certificate No. 3E - Manual metal-arc welding (MMAW) of butt welds using hydrogen-controlled electrodes in alloy steel plate and alloy steel pipe over 270 mm outside diameter (single vee welded from one side only).
Certificate No. 4 - Manual metal-arc welding (MMAW) of butt welds using hydrogen-controlled electrodes in alloy steel pipe (single vee welded from one side only)
Certificate No. 5 - Gas tungsten-arc welding (GTAW) root run and manual metal-arc welding (MMAW) of butt welds using hydrogen-controlled electrodes in alloy steel pipe (single vee welded from one side only).
Certificate No. 6 - Gas welding (GW) (single vee welded from one side only).
Certificate No. 7 - Gas tungsten-arc welding (GTAW) (single vee welded from one side only).
Certificate No. 8F - Flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) or plate and pipe.
Certificate No. 8G - Gas metal-arc welding (GMAW) of plate and pipe.
Certificate No. 9 - Automatic welding.
12. Job Prospects For Welder In Australia
This is a medium-sized occupation. Most of the qualified welders (First Class) work in Construction, Oil and Gas, Petro Chemicals, Mining, Power Stations, Technical, Professional, and Manufacturing industries in Australia. The government Job Outlook website projects a stable future growth in this sector.
Though welders are needed in all regions of Australia, a majority of them work in Western Australia. Most welders after gaining experience choose to specialize as a “Special Class Welder”.
13. How To Emigrate To Australia As A Welder?
Are you a migrant wanting to work as a welder in Australia? Then, you would need to complete a skills assessment to apply for a skilled visa to Australia. This way, the Australian Immigration checks whether you have the necessary welding skills as per the Australian guidelines.
It is not necessary to hold a Welder qualification to take the Welder skills assessment. However, you must hold either a Welder apprenticeship certificate or 3 years of paid work experience before or after qualification for the Welder skills assessment.
Your age must be between 18 and 45 years. Migrants who are below 31 years of age, can consider applying for a Working Holiday Visa.
First stage: Here the applicant provides documents that prove that he is a Welder. Payslips, elaborate CV, references, qualifications, photos, and videos are documents required to attest your Welder designation.
Second stage: You need to attend a technical interview with an Australian qualified trainer, assessor, and welder. The interview can happen over Skype, Zoom, or as a one-to-one discussion.
Once you complete the Australian Welder skills assessment, you will obtain a TRA skills assessment letter to get a skilled visa to Australia and an Australian Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (First Class).
You will require to present both these documents before Australian employers when applying for Welder jobs in Australia.
Documentary Assessment: $1280
Technical Interview: $2000
Validity of Assessment:
The Australian Welder skills assessment has validity for 3 years from the date of issue of the skills assessment letter. You must reapply for the assessment before the completion of 3 years.
However, there is no expiry date for Australian Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade.
14. Work Environment Of A Welder In Australia
A welder works in physically strenuous outdoors conditions and is exposed to different types of weather conditions. This work environment can be uncomfortable and loud.
Considering the associated safety hazards, a welder has to mandatorily protective safety clothing and gears that include life jackets, safety shoes, gloves, glasses, and hard hats.
Talking about the nature of employment, around 88% of workers work full-time. This is higher than the industry’s average of 66%. When working full-time, welders work for approx. 44 hours per week.
The average age of the employed welders is 41 years which is almost the same as that of the average of 40 years of all other professions.
This is a male-dominated job where only 1% of the employed workforce is female.
15. How Much Does A Welder Earn In Australia?
Based on PayScale, the average welder salary is AU$57,812 a year or an equivalent of AU$27.30 per hour in Australia. $1,541.
Based on Experience:
An entry-level Welder (< 1-year experience): AU$23.75 per hour
An early career Welder (1 to 4 years of experience): AU$25.10 per hour
A mid-career Welder (5 to 9 years of experience): AU$27.62 per hour
An experienced Welder (10 to 19 years of experience): AU$29.38 per hour
In late-career (20 years and above): AU$29 per hour
Based on Location:
Based on Indeed, the top paying Australian cities for Welders are as follows:
Darwin Northern Territory: $57.44 per hour
Perth Western Australia: $41.26 per hour
Melbourne Victoria: $39.42 per hour
Sydney New South Wales: $38.50 per hour
Brisbane Queensland: $38.41 per hour
Welshpool Western Australia: $38.25 per hour
Dandenong Victoria: $36.27 per hour
Newcastle New South Wales: $35.58 per hour
A career in welding may not appeal to many. However, it can be a great option for those who enjoy working with their hands in a challenging environment. Working as a welder gives you a great sense of fulfilment and pride when you look at your welding creation.
With no major formal qualification, it doesn’t take much to pursue your passion and enter this role. Completing a welding course from the above prestigious institutions prepares you for a thriving career in the welding industry.
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