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Engineering Tradesperson - Mechanical

Apprenticeship Year 10 Preferred

Mechanical engineering tradespersons carry out a range of mechanical work on machines, subassemblies and manufactured parts using a range of processes, tools and machines.

Recent changes in the industry have resulted in a number of trade jobs being merged into broad occupational areas.

The new training structure provides a mix of skills across a number of traditional occupations, while also allowing apprentices to develop specific skills.

Mechanical engineering tradespeople usually work in workshops or production areas that can be noisy, hot and dusty. They may spend most of their day standing and often need to bend, crouch or climb.

They must be aware of safety regulations and wear protective equipment (earmuffs, for example) to maintain personal safety in the workplace.


    Mechanical engineering tradespeople may perform the following tasks:

  • examine detailed drawings or specifications to determine job, material and equipment requirements
  • set up and adjust metalworking machines and equipment
  • operate machines to produce parts or tools by turning, boring, milling, planing, shaping, slotting, grinding or drilling metal stock or components
  • fit and assemble metal parts, tools or subassemblies, including welding or brazing parts
  • cut, thread, bend and install hydraulic and pneumatic pipes and lines
  • dismantle faulty tools and assemblies and repair or replace defective parts
  • set up and/or operate hand and machine tools, welding equipment or Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines
  • check accuracy and quality of finished parts, tools or subassemblies


  • enjoy technical work
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • practical ability
  • attention to detail
  • normal hearing

Interest Area

Manual/Practical Technical/Engineering


Fitter - fits and assembles parts and subassemblies made from metal and other materials to maintain and repair production machinery and other equipment. The work of fitters can be divided into three main areas: marking out work to be done, assembling and installing machines, and maintaining and repairing them.

Gunsmith - alters, services and repairs rifles, revolvers and other firearms. Gunsmiths need good background training in fitting, turning and welding. Knowledge of woodwork and different types of steel is useful for producing, fitting and polishing various parts.

Metal Machinist - sets up and operates tools to cut, shape and form metal stock and castings to exact sizes, using detailed drawings, computer-aided drafting (CAD) systems and specifications. They machine metal components from simple to complex forms. Metal machinists construct machines and equipment that are used to produce goods such as food, clothes, steel products and cars.

Toolmaker - makes and repairs moulds, dies, jigs, fixtures, press tools and other special equipment to produce parts for industrial machinery and most other manufactured articles. They may make precision machinery for machine tools and other manufacturing machinery.


Apprenticeship Year 10 Preferred

To become a mechanical engineering tradesperson you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Engineering-Mechanical Trade.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

    To use or be in possession of firearms, you need to hold a firearms licence. To deal in or repair firearms, you need to hold a firearm dealers licence. You may be required to undergo training in the safe handling and use of firearms. See www.police.nsw.gov.au/recruitment or www.police.act.gov.au for further information.

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Metal and Engineering Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.


Mechanical engineering tradespeople are employed by engineering workshops, manufacturing firms, mining and mineral processing companies, the oil and gas industry and utilities, and government organisations and municipal authorities.

Fitters and gunsmiths may have self-employment opportunities.

Demand is affected by levels of activity in the manufacturing, mining, transport, construction, electricity, gas and water sectors, as well as advances in technology.

With experience and further study, competent tradespeople can upgrade their qualifications to the technician, associate, technologist or engineer level.

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