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Summary of occupation

Electroplaters (metal platers) coat metal plates and objects, such as car bodies, with a protective layer of metal to prevent rust or create a decorative finish. They start by cleaning the item to be plated and covering areas not to be plated with resistant wax or tape. Then they dip the item into or brush it with a plating solution, pass electric currents through the plating solution to oxidise the item, and finally remove and dry the freshly-plated item.

ANZSCO description: Controls plating processes and maintains solutions used to coat metal articles and other parts with non-ferrous metals.
Alternative names: Metal Plater
Specialisations: Anodiser, Electroformer
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

An electroplater needs:

  • to enjoy practical and manual work
  • good physical fitness, with a stamina for working with heavy machinery and loads
  • an interest in chemistry and metallurgy
  • a safety-conscious approach to work.
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Working conditions

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.

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Salary details

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.

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Tools and technologies

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.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

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.

Related courses

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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.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

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.

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