Troy works for John Beever Engineering, a company of design, information and manufacturing engineers. As a mechanical fitter, Troy helps the company conduct maintenance and fit outs on manufacturing plants.
Job description: Troy's job involves anything from fixing pumps, gear boxes or motors to welding and grinding.
Subjects studied: Completed Year 11, Maths, Graphics, English, Metal work (2 subjects)
Further training: Fitter and Turner, 4 year apprenticeship
Salary: Varies, depends on workload
Troy's dad is a diesel mechanic so Troy has always been around people who pull things apart then put them back together. In fact as a kid, he was always doing the same to anything he could. And he still loves making something that is broken whole again, especially if it's something big.
After completing a fitter and turner apprenticeship, like Troy has, there are a whole range of directions you can go into. Troy chose to work in maintenance because, for him, it offered the most variety.
Troy generally works on projects which could involve anything from fixing pumps, gear boxes or motors to welding or grinding. And because he has worked hard to get some additional certificates after his apprenticeship, he gets to work on some pretty unusual machines in some pretty unusual places.
He has worked in a plant that produced toilet paper from woodchips, where he helped fix an eight tonne exhaust fan. His heights certificate means that he can sometimes be found making repairs at the top of a tower or reactor. And his defined space certificate has seen him working between two huge steam rollers at a paper mill. So he could certainly never say that his job is boring.
Troy's job has also seen him working on projects in regional New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. He has even been hired out to large petrochemical companies. He is currently doing some installation work for a new glass recycling centre. An old building has been completely guttered and Troy is helping put in the new recycling equipment, insulation and conveyer belts.
He is currently working toward a Diploma in Maintenance (he currently has Certificate 4) and actually enjoys going to TAFE for one night each week. "It's not all like school," he says. "You are not just sitting in a classroom being told stuff. You are working with what you know and like. It's also very hands on."
For someone who enjoys studying, it seems that there is no end to the further qualifications you can get. From first aid certificates to forklift licences, Troy says it will all help you at work. Troy's additional certificates have seen him work on a couple of really big jobs, take control of jobs and organise staff to work on an eight week project.
Troy says that the variety of work he does and the people he works with are two of the best things about his job. He loves working with apprentices and passing on his knowledge and experience as he can remember how much it meant to him when he was an apprentice. He would like to stay in a similar field for at least the next five years, gradually taking on more management responsibilities.
And his final words on a career as a mechanical fitter? "There's not many jobs where you get paid for doing something you like."
Mechanical engineering tradespersons carry out a range of mechanical work on machines, sub-assemblies and manufactured parts using a range of processes, tools and machines.
A mechanical engineering tradesperson may perform the following tasks:
- Examine detailed drawings or specifications to find out 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 sub-assemblies, 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 sub-assemblies.
- Enjoy technical work
- Physically fit
- Good hand-eye coordination
- Able to work as part of a team
- Able to work independently
- Practical ability
- Attention to detail
- Normal hearing
- No skin allergies
Find out more about a career as a fitter and turner:
Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (VIC)
251 Queensberry Street, Carlton South, 3053
Tel: (03) 9230 5700
Australian Industry Group (VIC)
20 Queens Rd Melbourne, VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9867 0111
Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).