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TAFE NSW skills underwater welding experts to fill in-demand roles


TAFE NSW skills underwater welding experts to fill in-demand roles

As demand for graduate fabrication trade engineers in Australia skyrockets, TAFE NSW is supplying the industry with job-ready underwater welders who are quickly gaining lucrative jobs in the field.

With the large number of infrastructure projects underway across the country, opportunities for skilled fabricators and welders are expected to increase. According to Australian labour market insights, structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers is the largest employing occupation in the Manufacturing industry[1].

Adding diving experience to fabrication trade skills can significantly increase earning potential, with Salary Expert predicting the average Australian Underwater Welder salary to increase from $127,000 to $150,000 by 2027[2].

Kirrawee local Shaun Pyne seized on this opportunity to maximize his earning potential by pairing his boilermaker skills with a commercial diving license.

“I started my career in the heavy marine industry in 2007 as an apprentice boilermaker with a passion for competitive spearfishing and bodyboarding at an international level,” Mr Pyne said.

“After completing my apprenticeship, I worked predominantly in the Oil and Gas industry as a Boilermaker/Rigger.”

Shaun completed his Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade at TAFE NSW Ultimo in 2019 and combined his skills as a Certified ADAS Commercial Diver licenced to work to 50m deep to gain employment specialising in in-water repairs to ships, inland dams and marine structures. Shaun has now opened his own business – Hellfab Engineering – where he and his team service all aspects of civil, marine and subsea engineering works.

“The technical skills I gained at TAFE NSW set me up with an incredible foundation to take my career in any direction I chose,” Mr Pyne said.

“Welders are in hot demand due to the number of construction works going on across NSW and there are many lucrative career paths in the industry. I’m lucky to lead a team of like-minded people who have combined their love of engineering with diving and my career choices have set me up for life.”

Gary Hibbert, Head Teacher of Metal Fabrication and Welding at TAFE NSW said Mr Pyne thrived on the combination of TAFE NSW’s specialised accredited training in metal fabrication and his personal ambition to take his career to the next level.

“The Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade teaches a combination of theoretical and practical skills in technical drawing and geometric development, fabrication including forging and founding, welding and thermal cutting and more,” Mr Hibbert said.

“Graduates can go on to have a career as a boilermaker, welder, engineering patternmaker or blacksmith.

“Shaun was a naturally good welder who consistently achieved great marks, and once he had his boilermaker trade under his belt, knew how he could maximize his skills and gain entry into the lucrative field of underwater welding.”

To find out more about studying engineering trades at TAFE NSW, phone 131 601 or visit

Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, mobile 0402 528 210.