Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers

ANZSCO ID 3223

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
80,800
Future Growth
2.1%
Weekly Earnings
$1,760
Full-Time Share
91%
Female Share
1%
Average age
38

Summary

Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers cut, shape, join and repair metal components of iron and steel structures, boilers, pressure vessels and pipes, ships and other vessels.

Tasks

  • studying blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine job requirements

  • selecting, cleaning and preparing metal stock

  • cutting marked-out metal sections and shapes using hand tools, flame cutting torches and metal cutting machines

  • shaping and bending metal sections and pipes using hand and machine tools, and by heating and hammering

  • aligning parts to be joined using hand tools and measuring instruments

  • joining metal sections using various welding techniques, bolting and riveting

  • examining welds for width of bead, penetration and precision

  • finishing products by cleaning, polishing, filing and bathing in acidic solutions

  • cleaning and smoothing welds by filing, chiselling and grinding

Characteristics

Job Type
Technicians And Trades Workers
Skill Level
Medium skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
Physical Demand
  • Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.

Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
2.1%
(or 1,400 jobs)
From
66,900
in 2021
To
68,300
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 76,200
2012 79,800
2013 79,200
2014 70,300
2015 66,700
2016 74,500
2017 81,600
2018 69,600
2019 79,800
2020 69,400
2021 66,900
2026 68,300

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 91% of people employed as Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 25 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 46 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,760 per week, this is higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,343
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,282

    Median hourly earnings are $39, this is similar to the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,760 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Manufacturing
65.8%
2
Construction
13.8%
3
Mining
7.8%
4
Other Services
5.2%
5
Other industries
7.5%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

24.0% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

21.0% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

23.5% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

7.6% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

19.2% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.7% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.7% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

0.4% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers All Jobs Average
NSW 24.0 31.6
VIC 21.0 25.6
QLD 23.5 20.0
SA 7.6 7.0
WA 19.2 10.8
TAS 2.7 2.0
NT 1.7 1.0
ACT 0.4 1.9


  • Around 56% of Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Western Australia and Queensland have a large share of employment relative to their population size.

    The region with the largest share of workers is Perth - South West.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
38
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
1%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers is 38 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 1% of the workforce. This is 47 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers All Jobs Average
15-19 4.3 5.0
20-24 11.7 9.3
25-34 25.5 22.9
35-44 23.3 22.0
45-54 20.9 21.6
55-59 7.4 9.0
60-64 4.6 6.0
65 and Over 2.3 4.2
Median Age 38 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Extensive experience or a certificate III in engineering - fabrication trade is needed to work as a Structural Steel or Welding Trades Worker.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Manufacturing and Metal and Engineering VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.2 10.1
Bachelor degree 1.7 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 3.1 11.6
Certificate III/IV 73.2 21.1
Year 12 8.3 18.1
Year 11 3.5 4.8
Year 10 and below 10.1 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers who are reliable, work well in a team and who have good people skills.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 50%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 48%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 46%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 45%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 45%

    Repairing

    Fixing machines or systems.

  • 45%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 45%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 45%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 43%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 43%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 43%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 43%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 43%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 43%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 41%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 39%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 39%

    Equipment selection

    Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.

  • 39%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 37%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 36%

    Operations analysis

    Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 71%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 67%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 63%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 61%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 48%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 48%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 44%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 42%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 38%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 38%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 34%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 33%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 31%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 31%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 30%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 30%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 25%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 24%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 19%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 13%

    Foreign language

    Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 55%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 54%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 48%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 48%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 48%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 48%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 46%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 46%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 46%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 46%

    Static strength

    Lift, push, pull, or carry things.

  • 46%

    Visualization

    Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

  • 46%

    Extent flexibility

    Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.

  • 45%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 45%

    Trunk strength

    Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.

  • 45%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 43%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 43%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 43%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 41%

    Auditory attention

    Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.

  • 41%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 84%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 84%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 78%

    Working with mechanical equipment

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

  • 70%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 67%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 66%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 66%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 64%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 62%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 61%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 58%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 56%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 55%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 53%

    Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts

    Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

  • 50%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 50%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 50%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  • 49%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 43%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 39%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 38%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 24%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 71%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 62%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 57%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 50%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 43%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 38%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 98%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 94%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 93%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 93%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 88%

    Spend time standing

    Spend time standing at work.

  • 88%

    Dangerous equipment

    Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.

  • 87%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 86%

    Dangerous conditions

    Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.

  • 86%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 85%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

  • 84%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 84%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 83%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 83%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 83%

    Cramped work space

    Work in an awkward position or in cramped work spaces.

  • 82%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 81%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 79%

    Bright or inadequate lighting

    Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.

  • 78%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 78%

    Walking and running

    Spend time walking and running.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 47-2011.00 - Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters.


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