The South Australian metals and engineering industry employs 23,200 people, which is almost 3.0% of the State’s workforce.

Most people working in this industry are production managers, engineering managers or metal fitters and machinists.

Most of the jobs are in metropolitan Adelaide but there are also opportunities in the Whyalla area.

Job openings for skilled workers

Engineering Manager

Metal Fitter and Machinist

Structural Steel and Welding Trades Worker

Quick facts about this industry

  • Science and maths are important for training and work in this industry.
  • Almost everyone works full-time.
  • The most common qualification held by workers is a trade qualification (certificate III).
  • Mostly men work in this industry.
  • People are generally younger than those in other industries.
  • You need to enjoy working with machines, be patient and accurate and have good coordination and the physical strength to handle materials, machinery and tools.
  • Metal fitters and machinists earn on average between $1,000 and $1,250 per week; structural steel and welding trades workers earn between $800 and $1,000; and specialised industrial, mechanical and production engineers generally earn from $1,500 to $2,000 or more per week.

School options

Ask your Vocational Education and Training (VET) Coordinator at school for information about doing vocational education during the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), including the Training Guarantee for SACE (or equivalent) students. Visit the VET section of the SACE website for training options in:

  • Engineering

Vocational qualifications include:

  • Certificate II in Engineering with specialisation in production technology
  • Certificate III in Engineering with specialisations in electrical/electronic, mechanical, fabrication trade, production systems and industrial electrician
  • Certificate IV in Engineering
  • Diploma of Engineering with specialisations in jewellery, advanced trade, and technical
  • Advanced Diploma of Engineering with specialisations in computer systems, electrical, design and network technology
  • Certificate II – Diploma in Manufactured Mineral Products
  • Certificate III in Marine Craft Construction
  • Certificate III in Jewellery Manufacture
  • Certificate III in Locksmithing

See courses related to this industry.

University disciplines include:

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Civil and structural engineering
  • Computer and network systems engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Electronic engineering
  • Engineering science
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Mechatronic engineering
  • Mining engineering
  • Petroleum engineering
  • Robotics engineering
  • Software engineering

Explore university courses offered in South Australia, including courses from:

For more information about university courses visit South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) or for information about student satisfaction visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Apply to study

For application information for South Australian universities and some TAFE SA courses, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

For subsidised training enrolment information, see Enrolling in subsidised training.

For more information, call the Infoline on 1800 673 097.

Occupations in this industry


The metals sector includes transforming metals into intermediate or end products by forging, stamping, bending, forming, machining and welding.

Welders construct and repair metal products by joining parts either manually or by machine. These parts are used to complete structures and equipment such as ships, bridges, pipelines, vehicles and domestic appliances


Engineering is related to a number of industry sectors, including civil construction, mining, food processing, defence and textiles, clothing and footwear.

Engineers design materials, structures, and systems while considering practicality, regulation, safety, and cost. Some engineering specialities include civil, environmental, marine and chemical engineering.

Chemical engineers design and coordinate the construction and operation of manufacturing facilities and processes that convert raw materials into everyday products such as petrol, pharmaceuticals and plastics.

Engineering managers plan, administer and review engineering and technical operations both onsite and from their offices.

Key occupations

Other occupations in this industry include:

Agricultural engineer, aircraft maintenance engineer, biomedical engineer, boat designer, chemical engineer, civil engineer, electrical engineer, electronics engineer, engineering drafting service, hydraulic/water resources engineer, marine engineer, materials handling engineer, pipeline engineer, process engineer, production engineer, software engineer, traffic engineer, boilermaker (heavy fabrication), electroplater, engineering patternmaker, civil engineering draftsperson and technician, electronic engineering draftsperson and technician, engineering tradesperson, heat treater, mechanical engineering associate, mechanical engineering technician, metal fitter and machinist, metal press operator, metallurgist, moulder/coremaker, powder coater, welder — first class or welding trades worker.

Related industries for these occupations

Useful links

Career information has been sourced from government publications.  See data sources for more information.

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