What they do
Metal trades assistants work in the metal or engineering fields, providing support to tradespeople, such as boilermakers, fitters or metal moulders. They perform a range of routine tasks such as positioning and holding metal so work can be carried out, assembling and dismantling products, and transporting tools and materials around workshops and storage areas. They may also carry out basic cutting, pressing, shaping or welding duties.
Specialisations include: Boilermaker's Assistant, Fitter's Assistant, Metal Forger's Assistant, Metal Moulder's Assistant
Metal trades assistants work in the manufacturing, construction and mining industries. They can work all over the state, from construction sites in the centre of Perth, to remote mine sites in the Pilbara or Eastern Goldfields regions. They often work in enclosed workshops, which can be hot and noisy. A number of metal trades assistants also work outdoors, in all weather conditions. It is a physical occupation, requiring a great deal of lifting and standing.
Tools and technologies
Metal trades assistants use metal working machinery, including cutters, power hammers, presses, welders and a range of hand tools. Because the work can often be dangerous, they must also wear appropriate safety equipment, which may include overalls, steel capped boots, safety glasses and protective ear wear, some sites may also require hard hats.
How do I become one?
Education and training
You can work as a metal engineering process worker without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a formal qualification in engineering.
The Certificate II in Engineering is offered at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can also complete a traineeship. The engineering production worker traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete and is available as a school-based traineeship.
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.