Marine fabricator

What they do

Marine fabricators fabricate aluminium, stainless steel, and other metal stock to build or repair 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.

Working conditions

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.

Tools and technologies

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.

How do I become one?

Education and training

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.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.