Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers
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.
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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
The NSC 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: National Skills Commission 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.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
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)
|Earnings||Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
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.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
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.
Age and gender
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)
|Age Bracket||Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.3||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
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.
- 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)
|Type of Qualification||Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.2||10.1|
|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 can be improved through training or experience.
50%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
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.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
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.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Reading work related information.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Talking to others.
39%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
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.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
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.
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.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Communicate by speaking.
43%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Read and understand written information.
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
See details that are far away.
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.
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 are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
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.
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.
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.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
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.
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.
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.
Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.
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.
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.
Work to strict deadlines.
79%Bright or inadequate lighting
Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
78%Walking and running
Spend time walking and running.
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.