How To Become an Engineer In Australia: A Complete Guide

Students want to know how they can become engineers in Australia and what qualifications they need.


If you seek stability, career growth, and job progression, consider a career in engineering.


Engineering has plenty of specialised and extensive roles to offer, through which engineers can flourish creativity and exhibit their knowledge.


Are you passionate about learning more about engineering? You can choose several fields and courses to specialise in any field to make your dream come true.


These courses will provide you with a strong foundation in technical, scientific, and problem-solving skills to create, design, and improve systems.


This blog explains the steps to becoming an engineer in Australia, the qualifications needed, how long it takes to become one, what they do, the subjects you need to study, degrees, salary, and more.


If you want to break into the engineering industry, keep reading!



1. What Does an Engineers Do?


Engineers work in various industries, like developing, designing materials and systems, and testing and evaluating new technologies. They study proven scientific methods and try to apply them to real-world issues. 


Furthermore, they implement their mathematical, scientific, and technological expertise to nearly every aspect of everyday life; from designing safer cars and aircraft, improving global communication systems, and building roads and skyscrapers to creating more efficient data storage, developing new materials and chemicals, and helping minimise pollution in our environment.


Engineers are global problem solvers, striving at every level to improve the universal standard of living, expand humanity's reach, and enhance our world overall.



2. Major Duties and Tasks of an Engineer


The tasks and duties of an engineer vary as per their chosen field. 


Here are the most common tasks and responsibilities performed by an engineer:


  • Conduct routine maintenance of mechanical and electrical systems.

  • Provide support in developing management and energy conservation programs.

  • Assist in coordinating, planning, and executing engineering projects.

  • Implement audit recommendations and offer support in conducting energy audits. 

  • Work in compliance with company policies and standard operating procedures. 

  • Execute the daily workload assigned by the Project Manager promptly.

  • Work with management to develop the project budget. 

  • Plan operations and select locations (for instance, choose a mining site for the efficient, safe, and environmentally sound extraction of ores, natural gas, petroleum or minerals).

  • Manage maintenance and repair requests promptly.

  • Plan and supervise construction.

  • Analyse potential problems and suggest corrective actions.

  • Recommending and researching materials (e.g., for use in manufacturing).

  • Address customer complaints in an accurate and timely manner.

  • Provide support in energy conservation improvements and develop preventive maintenance programs. 

  • Ensure the work area is adequately maintained by keeping it safe, clean, and organised.

  • When needed, assist other engineers.

  • Maintain and inspect everything from buildings and machines to electrical systems and software.

  • Handle engineering equipment safely to avoid accidents effectively.

  • Ensure that engineering tools and equipment are properly stored, cleaned, and kept in good condition.



3. What Are The Educational and Training Requirements To Become an Engineer in Australia?


If you want to become an engineer in Australia, you must first decide what type of engineer you want to become. Even though most of an engineer's skills are transferable between different fields, choose your area of expertise early so that you can focus on your studies and training.


It would be best if you pursue a Bachelor of Engineering degree, majoring in the field of your choices, such as in geotechnical engineering or mining. When deciding where to study, you must choose an accredited institution to become successfully licensed as an engineer. 


Remember, employers also prefer to hire graduates who have taken up an accredited engineering program.


After completing your bachelor's degree, you can work as a graduate engineer. You will typically spend two to three years as a graduate before you become a professional engineer.


Furthermore, depending on your specialisation, you can take up additional certifications. Many qualifications are available, such as Registered Professional Engineer (RPEng) or Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) from Engineers Australia.



4. Steps To Become an Engineer in Australia


Are you more into problem-solving or logic? Do you love being innovative, improving efficiency, and finding better ways to solve societal issues? 


If yes, you should consider becoming an engineer. Here are a few steps you can take to become an engineer in Australia:



Step 1: Decide What Type of Engineer You Want To Become


You must know what type of engineer you want to be so that you can choose a specialisation accordingly and focus on studying and training for that particular field. 


For instance, if you wish to enter transport systems and treatment plants or help with buildings' construction and design, you should study civil engineering. On the other hand, if you are interested in inventing self-driving cars, more efficient machines, or safer aircraft, you can opt for mechanical engineering.


Environmental engineers help improve the world's condition by working on various things, like improving water and air quality and reducing pollution. In contrast, electrical engineers work on complex telecommunication and electronic systems. 


They also help to improve energy efficiency in different devices and products. Knowing the type of engineer you want to become helps to achieve your goal faster.


Whether you like to design innovative programs as a software engineer, create new compounds as a chemical engineer, or design robots as an aerospace engineer, there are many options.



Step 2: Complete Your Studies


It requires ongoing study and training to build a promising career in engineering. Purse first an advanced diploma in engineering or an associate degree. It will give you a strong foundation and help you learn the basics of engineering.


The other advantage of studying these courses is that they will introduce you to different engineering fields, such as electrical, chemical, civil, and mechanical engineering. They will help you better understand what area interests you the most. 


After completing an introductory course in engineering, you can take up a bachelor's degree in the area of your choice.



Step 3: Volunteering And Working Your Way Up


Finding a job as an engineer right out of college can be challenging, so you must volunteer to obtain more experience to include on your resume. Conduct thorough research on companies you would like to work for and introduce yourself to them — try offering help or inquiring if they have internships available.


When you demonstrate your skills and prove your worth, there is a high possibility that your work as an intern leads to employment. If not, you could still add more experience to your resume. Remember, with more experience, your resume will always look better, and you will become more skilled.



Step 4: Register With The Relevant Organisation


Once you complete your education and obtain some experience in the engineering background, you must do your best to apply for additional certification. As per your specialisation and state, you can apply for different qualifications, such as Registered Professional Engineer (RPEng) and Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng).


While not strictly required for a career in engineering, these certifications reflect your skills to ensure a certain degree of professional growth. They can help make your resume stand out to every potential employer. 


As plenty of certifications are available, you must conduct thorough research and apply for a company that fits your ideal career path.



5. Employment Opportunities for Engineers in Australia


There are plenty of employment opportunities for engineers in Australia. Most engineering professions in Australia offer an opportunity for growth, innovative experimentation, creative thinking, and intriguing design and development.


As an engineer, you work in diverse areas like watercraft, aircraft, software programs, road designs, and more. 


Here is a list of some popular engineering careers that you can consider:


  • Mechanical Engineer: Mechanical engineering is among the most popular and oldest engineering disciplines. As a mechanical engineer, you will be responsible for organising, designing, and managing the operation, construction, and maintenance of mechanical equipment, machinery, or apparatus.


  • Civil EngineerCivil engineering involves several aspects of construction, including sewerage systems, large buildings, stadiums, bridges, harbours and dams. As a civil engineer, you will design, plan, and construct the built environment. Additionally, you will be responsible for providing technical expertise for the physical infrastructure.


  • Mining EngineerAs a mining engineer, you will specialise in the development and management of mines, minerals processing, mine reclamation, and extractive technology.


  • Chemical EngineerAs a chemical engineer, you must employ biological and chemical techniques to process and transform raw materials into functional and usable substances or products.


  • Environmental Engineer: As an environmental engineer, you manage and evaluate the effects of human or other activities on the natural environment.


  • Electronic or Electrical Engineer: As an electrical engineer, you need to deal with extensive electrical systems, like electrical engines or generators. An engineer works with small-scale electronic systems, such as circuits, motherboards, and nanoelectronics.



6. Skills Required To Become an Engineer In Australia


No matter the industry, you need diverse skills to become and excel as an engineer. 


Here are the most common skills required to become an engineer in Australia:





Having problem-solving abilities is one of the most crucial skills that an engineer can possess. A significant part of an engineer's job consists of identifying problems, analysing a situation, and finding solutions. Employers usually look for individuals ready to face and handle obstacles in their day-to-day work.





Another essential skill an engineer needs to have is planning their time effectively. As an engineer, you will get various tasks. It will be entirely up to you to decide which duties are the most crucial ones to execute first.


Here are a few other questions you might consider asking yourself, like how long will one task take and is there another way to do it more efficiently? Overall, planning your tasks is a valuable skill in any profession and will allow you more control over time.





When working as an engineer, you will often have to discuss your designs and plans with others. Hence, it would be best to communicate your ideas with ease and clarity, mainly when dealing with non-engineers with no technical background.


Remember, whether verbal or written, communication will allow you to be more understood and effective and help you progress in your engineering career.



Project Management


From the beginning until the end, Engineers have to juggle between many elements of a project, ensuring they complete tasks on time without going over budget.


Strong project management skills are necessary to understand the project thoroughly and bring it to fruition.



Attention To Details


Engineering is a field that requires a lot of precision, so engineers need to be detail-oriented. Even the slightest error in executing or drafting technical plans can potentially cause threatening situations or financial losses. 


Remember, employers expect candidates to prove their ability not to overlook minor yet significant details.





Engineers primarily work in teams, so they must work cooperatively with designers, engineers, management, and manufacturers. 


Being a part of a team makes work easy and enables you to lean on your team members whenever you need to and help them move towards a common goal.



7. How Long Does It Take To Become an Engineer In Australia?


Becoming an engineer usually involves initial education, which includes obtaining a bachelor's or master's degree with a specialisation. Furthermore, you will have to undergo supervised training and additional post-graduate examinations to achieve a professional engineering license. 


Altogether, combined with education and on-the-job training, it usually takes around six to seven years to become an engineer in Australia.



8. How Much Does an Engineer Earn in Australia?


The salary of an engineer in Australia dramatically varies, depending on different engineering professions. The average salary of a person working as an engineer is around AUD 76,000 per year. 


The highest average engineer salary can reach AUD 162,000, and the lowest average wage falls under AUD 25,000. The average annual salary may include transportation, housing, and other costs.


Now that you know everything about how to become an engineer in Australia, you are ready to explore a career in engineering. 


It is a huge advantage to have experience in engineering. However, having an improved skill set, a great mentor, and continued education will help you progress in your career as an engineer.


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