Summary of occupation
Marine fabricators make aluminium, stainless steel, fabricated metal and other products that are used to build boats and other marine vessels. They cut, shape, join and repair the metal components that make up the hulls, frames and other structures of boats. These structures may include fuel tanks, boarding ladders and platforms, rails, canopy bows and a range of smaller or specially customised fittings.
Marks off and fabricates structural steel and other metal stock to make or repair metal products and structures such as boilers and pressure vessels.
Metal Fabricator (Marine), Shipwright
A marine fabricator needs:
- a passion and enthusiasm for marine vehicles
- practical and technical skill
- physical strength and fitness
- good hand-eye co-ordination
- problem solving skills
- to be able to complete detailed and accurate work.
Marine fabricators work in shipyards and slipways, which are often on the waterfront or close to water. They may also work in ports or marinas. They may work outdoors in various weather conditions. Work in boatyard workshops may be dusty, dirty and noisy. They may be required to work long hours depending on the demand for their work. They may also need to travel to meet clients or material suppliers.
On average, marine fabricators can expect to earn between $1,250 and $1,499 per week ($65,000 and $77,999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.
Marine fabricators work with building materials used to make boats and other marine vessels, which include steel, aluminium, wood, fibreglass and other composites. They use hand and power tools, such as saws and drills, as well as welding and sanding equipment. They often work with resins and other chemical products that are used to seal and waterproof surfaces. They are often required to wear safety equipment such as goggles, earmuffs and safety boots. Depending on the type of work they undertake they may also be required to use Computer Aided Design (CAD) software.
To become a marine fabricator, you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in engineering tradesperson fabrication.
The engineering tradesperson fabrication (marine), engineering tradesperson fabrication (marine fitout), the engineering tradesperson fabrication (first class welder) and the engineering tradesperson fabrication (heavy/welder) apprenticeships usually take 42 to 48 months to complete, and are available as school-based apprenticeships.
To work as a marine fabricator, you may need to obtain a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a “white card”) from a registered training organisation authorised by the WorkSafe Division, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
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.