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Marine fabricator

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Summary of occupation

Marine fabricators make aluminium, stainless steel, fabricated metal and other products that are used to build 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.

ANZSCO description: Marks off and fabricates structural steel and other metal stock to make or repair metal products and structures such as boilers and pressure vessels.
Alternative names: Metal Fabricator (Marine), Shipwright
Specialisations:
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A marine fabricator needs:

  • a passion and enthusiasm for marine vehicles
  • practical and technical skill
  • physical strength and fitness
  • good hand-eye co-ordination
  • problem solving skills
  • to be able to complete detailed and accurate work.
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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.

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Salary details

On average, marine fabricators, classified under structural steel and welding trades workers, can expect to earn between $1 250 and $1 499 per week ($65 000 and $77 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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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.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a marine fabricator, you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. The metal fabricator (boilermaker) or boilermaker/welder apprenticeships usually take 42 months to complete and are available as school-based apprenticeships.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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Marine fabricator Video Marine fabricator Occupation

Marine fabricators make aluminium, stainless steel, fabricated metal and other products that are used to build boats and other marine vessels.

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