If you're interested in pursuing a career in an engineering trade, then a Fabrication and Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship is an ideal starting point.
This trade offers a wide range of specialisation opportunities that are hands-on, challenging, and require a lot of determination and grit.
As a Fabrication and Mechanical Engineering Apprentice, you'll have the opportunity to work with a range of materials, including steel, aluminium and other metals, to create everything from structural steel components to machinery parts.
You'll learn how to use a variety of tools and equipment to shape, cut, and join materials together, and you'll be taught how to read technical drawings and schematics to ensure your work meets specific requirements.
Types of Engineering Apprenticeships
One of the key advantages of a Fabrication and Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship is the opportunity to specialise in a particular area of the trade. These include:
- Fitter and Turner Apprenticeship
- Boilermaker Apprenticeship
- Mechanical Fitter Apprenticeship
- Sheet Metal Apprenticeship
As part of your engineering apprenticeship, you’ll complete either a MEM30219 Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade or a MEM31922 Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (supersedes MEM30319).
These qualifications are part of the Government’s Australian Apprenticeships Priority List which identifies key trade roles in high demand. In 2023, new commencements in these skills areas may be eligible for additional wage incentives of up to $5000 for the first two years of your apprenticeship.
In an engineering specialisation you'll be exposed to a range of techniques that will help you master your craft. This will help you to become highly skilled and in-demand within your field, and establish a long-term and rewarding career.
You may choose to work for a small, medium or large organisation where your knowledge of the tools and materials used in this trade makes you an invaluable contributor, or you could start your own business and employ apprentices yourself.
How Long Does an Engineering Apprenticeship Take?
Typically an engineering apprenticeship will take three to four years to complete, during which you’ll undertake on-the-job training in a real world environment, and off-the-job training at a Registered Training Organisation like TAFE. Both types of training are paid – you will be earning as you learn.
Once you complete your apprenticeship, you'll be qualified to work as a tradesperson in a metal and engineering trade. You could even find full-time employment with the same company where you completed your apprenticeship, which is a common outcome for many Australian Apprentices.
How Much do Engineering Apprenticeships Earn?
While undertaking your Australian Apprenticeship, you will be paid under the relevant Modern Manufacturing set by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Depending on your employer or host company, you could be paid above award or under an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA).
Indicative weekly salaries for engineering apprenticeship specialisations under the Manufacturing Award in 2023 are:
- Aged under 17 years (Junior Apprentice who did not complete Year 12): $470 to $828 per week
- Aged 17 to 20 years (Junior Apprentice who completed Year 12): $517 to $865 per week
- Aged over 21 years (Adult or Mature Age Apprentice): $752 to $865 per week
Use Fair Work’s Pay Calculator for details of specific modern awards.
As you progress through your engineering apprenticeship, wages and allowances are reviewed and increased based on your age and reaching specific training milestones.
Allowances that you may be eligible for include living away from home, travel and accommodation, Austudy, Abstudy and Trade Support Loans. As you’ll be undertaking formal study as part of your Australian Apprenticeship, you can also benefit from a range of student discounts.
Career Prospects for Engineering Apprentices
One of the great things about a Fabrication and Mechanical Engineering trade is that there are often opportunities to continue your education and advance your career. Whether you choose to take on further qualifications or move up the ranks within your company, there are plenty of options for career development and growth – as well as earning capacity.
A Fabrication and Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in pursuing a career in a metal and engineering trade. This apprenticeship will give you the opportunity to learn a range of skills, specialise in a particular area, and become a highly skilled and respected tradesperson.
Find an Engineering Apprenticeship
If you're passionate about this trade and willing to work hard, then we encourage you to take the first step and apply for an apprenticeship today!
Pictured above: MIGAS Boilermaker Apprentices in the Hunter, Charlie, Elizabeth, Skye and Haylee.