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Welder (first class) (Aus)

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Summary of occupation

Welders shape, join and repair metal parts for use in machinery and other metal products and structures. They use a range of welding processes to apply heat or electrical current to metal parts to join them together. In Western Australia welders work mostly in the resources sector, but may also work in manufacturing or construction.

ANZSCO description: Fabricates and repairs metal products using  various welding techniques.
Alternative names: Welder (NZ), Coded Welder, Pressure Welder
Specialisations: Special Class Welder
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A welder needs:

  • manual and practical skills;
  • physical fitness, strength and stamina;
  • problem-solving skills;
  • good hand-eye co-ordination;
  • to be able to follow instructions well; and
  • a patient and methodical approach to their work
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Working conditions

Welders work in workshops, factories and a range of other industrial production and engineering environments.

In line with occupational health and safety requirements, welders use a range of personal protective equipment (PPE), which will vary depending on the specific work being carried out.

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Salary details

Welders, classified under structural steel and welding trades workers, can expect to earn between $1 250 and $1 999 per week on average ($65 000 to $103 999 per annum), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience. As a welder develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Welders need to be familiar with a number of different welding techniques and equipment. They work with a number of different metals, hand tools, power tools, specialist welding tools and heavy machinery. They are also required to wear PPE, which may include leather gloves or welding gauntlets, ear plugs, breathing apparatus, and welding masks or helmets.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a welder, you usually have to complete an engineering tradesperson fabrication (first class welder) apprenticeship. The apprenticeship usually takes 42 to 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

Welders can gain additional skills through post trade welding certificates aligned with Australian and international standards.

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.

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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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