Manufacturing & Engineering

The global economy is changing, and Australia’s manufacturing industry is undergoing rapid change to remain competitive. A productive manufacturing sector is a key part of a thriving economy, so our manufacturing enterprises are becoming innovative, adaptive and flexible. They need workers with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) who can respond to shifts in technology. This is an important industry for Australia’s future, and you’ll be amazed at the career choices that are available.

Contribution to the Australian economy

Manufacturing and Engineering

Industry Value

$74.0 billion

Gross value added

People Employed


People employed in the sector

Business Trading


Businesses trading in the sector

* Statistics sourced from Australian Bureau of Statistics and Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. For more information, please refer to the Statistics Explained page.

THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO SUCCEED. Real Skills for Real Careers

Sectors & Occupations

The manufacturing industry is a key part of Australia’s economy. Using physical or chemical processes, our manufacturing businesses transform a range of materials into new products. These products include our shoes, clothes, furniture, pharmaceuticals, paper, textiles, cars, ships, planes and boats. A large percentage of the workforce gained their practical skills through ‘real life’ vocational education and training (VET) courses.

Check out a sample of the most popular occupations in each sector. Click on them for more information.

Want to view courses related to this Industry?

Apprenticeships & Traineeships

Australian Apprenticeships (apprenticeships and traineeships) are an important part of VET. Gaining a VET qualification through an Australian Apprenticeship gives you the opportunity to train, study and earn an income at a variety of qualification levels in most occupations. Australian Apprenticeships combine time at work with training, and can be full-time, part-time or school-based.

Search Apprenticeship & Traineeship Courses in this Industry

Career Stories

VET delivers outstanding employment results for its graduates – watch the following stories and see for yourself. You will be amazed at the career pathways that a VET qualification can unlock for you in the manufacturing industry.

Melinda’s Story - Video Thumbnail

Melinda’s Story

The day after my final exam I started my apprenticeship at Hartig Engineering and it’s been fantastic.”

VET Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade

Career: Fitter and Machinist

Melinda always had a fascination for hands-on work, but felt obliged to pursue a tertiary pathway. After gaining work experience at a precision engineering company, she decided an apprenticeship in fitting and machining was a better option, and she is now a qualified fitter and turner.

Patrick’s Story - Video Thumbnail

Patrick’s Story

An apprenticeship can take you anywhere in the world, and if you’ve got a hobby, it can do exactly what it did for me and turn it into a career.”

VET Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade

Career: Metal Fabricator

Patrick’s career was ignited at a young age when his father taught him how to weld. After completing a school-based apprenticeship in engineering, he enrolled in a metal fabrication apprenticeship through the University of Ballarat. He completed his apprenticeship in just over two years, and he now owns the business where he trained.

Rachel’s Story - Video Thumbnail

Rachel’s Story

“Vocational education and training gave me the launching pad for a very successful career.”

VET Qualification: Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Avionics) and Diploma of Management

Career: International Sales and Business Manager/Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

After trying both university and vocational education and training (VET), International Sales and Business Manager, Rachel Bacon, found she thrived with the on-the-job learning that an Australian Apprenticeship provides. By completing an Australian Apprenticeship, a Diploma of Aeroskills (Avionics) and a Diploma of Management, Rachel is now working in her dream career in the aviation industry.

Skills for your Career

My Skills can help you find the right course to ignite your career in the manufacturing industry. You can search for VET courses and compare information such as fees, durations, graduate satisfaction, job prospects and available subsidies.

There are a number of different ways to search for VET courses on My Skills.

Course Search

Search for keywords in course titles, such as ‘polymer’ or ‘engineer’:

Local Providers

Explore Training Providers in your area:

Careers in Demand

A number of skilled occupations are currently in shortage in the manufacturing industry. These jobs are in demand across Australia, so there’s a good chance of ongoing employment when you complete your training. If you want to set yourself up for a rewarding career, check out the following jobs and the VET courses that will give you the practical skills you need to gain employment in them.

Growth Areas

Machinery and equipment manufacturing is the largest employing sector in the industry. If you’re interested in a career in manufacturing, go to the Defence Industry page to explore the courses that will prepare you for work in areas where employment is expected to grow over the next three years.


With so much information about careers, it’s hard to know where to start or where to look.
Here are a few sites you may find useful once you’ve found the right VET course and training provider on My Skills.