How to become a Shipwright

Shipwright

Shipwrights construct, fit out, commission and repair all types of vessels from small pleasure craft through to a range of competitive, commercial and naval vessels. These vessels are built from a range of materials including metal, wood, aluminium, fibreglass, plastic, composites or ferro cement (reinforced cement or concrete).

Personal requirements for a Shipwright

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Aptitude for technical activities
  • Able to work at heights on scaffolding
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Organised, methodical approach to work

Education & Training for a Shipwright

To become a shipwright you usually have to complete an apprenticeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.


Duties & Tasks of a Shipwright

Shipwrights:

  • Prepare preliminary sketches of structural parts and sections of vessels
  • Produce templates and patterns from full-size detail drawings
  • Fit out internal and external components of vessels
  • Position sections accurately prior to permanent fastening
  • Prepare slipways and construct cradles used to support ships during construction, transportation, launching and slipping
  • Supervise launching and slipping procedures
  • Carry out repairs.

Tasks

  • Marks reference points and lines on dry docks and slipways..
  • Installs masts, frames, decking, fittings, machines, shafts and safety equipment..
  • Assembles shells of boats and erecting hull sections of ship..
  • Determines repair requirements and procedures..
  • Builds and installs structures such as cabins, machine mountings, propeller supports and rudders..
  • Checks position and functioning of slipway apparatus..
  • Studies plans and specifications, and prepares templates and scale plans for fabrication and cutting of hull sections..
  • May make hull moulds and fabricate and repair vessels using materials such as aluminium, wood, glass, reinforced plastics, carbon fibre, kevlar, fibreglass and concrete..
  • Erects and prepares launching platforms, conducting pre-launch tests and supervising launching procedures..

Working conditions for a Shipwright

Shipwrights work on the waterfront in shipyards, in the repair sections of ports or in small boat yards and marinas. They may also work for boat manufacturers in workshops away from the waterfront.


Employment Opportunities for a Shipwright

Shipwrights are employed in construction firms, the Australian Defence Force, companies building leisure craft, as surveyors, and in firms engaged in building and operating marinas. Opportunities for self-employment may also exist. Some of these businesses may operate on a mobile basis.


Specializations

Shipwright

Shipwrights construct, fit out, commission and repair all types of vessels from small pleasure craft through to a range of competitive, commercial and naval vessels. These vessels are built from a range of materials including metal, wood, aluminium, fibreglass, plastic, composites or ferro cement (reinforced cement or concrete).

  • Average age
    Average age
    41 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Stable
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    1% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    44 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,602
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    88% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    810 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.0%
    NSW: 40.7%
    NT: 0.9%
    QLD: 14.0%
    SA: 12.4%
    TAS: 3.8%
    VIC: 8.6%
    WA: 19.6%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 3.6%
    20-24: 11%
    25-34: 21.6%
    35-44: 23.6%
    45-54: 22.1%
    55-59: 9.1%
    60-64: 6.4%
    65 and Over: 2.6%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 4.2%
    Bachelor degree: 3.6%
    Certificate III/IV: 73.8%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%
    Year 10 and below: 4.2%
    Year 11: 3.2%
    Year 12: 11%
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