Electroplaters work in large metal or electronic manufacturing plants and small parts workshops. They work with chemicals and electricity, and are exposed to toxic fumes, all of which can be dangerous. Their work environment can also be noisy and dirty, but should be well-ventilated and lit.
On average, electroplaters, classified under metal casting, forging and finishing trades workers, can expect to earn between $800 and $999 per week ($41 600 and $51 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
Electroplaters use acids, alkalis, waxes, lacquers, tapes, metal solutions and other chemicals to clean, treat and plate metal parts. They use a range of plating equipment, such as tanks and baths, as well as brushes and drum washers. Due to their working conditions, electroplaters are required to wear protective clothing, gloves, goggles and earmuffs.
To become an electroplater you usually have to complete a traineeship or an apprenticeship. The engineering – production systems traineeship usually takes 36 months to complete. The engineering – fabrication trade apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.