what is a fitter?

As a fitter, you assemble metal parts to put together machines used in production or manufacturing. You use technical drawings to determine the position of various components and utilise a range of tools and engineering techniques to fit parts together. Since you fit fabricated metal parts, you determine the suitable material or method for assembling the parts. You also set controls on various machining tools, like textile machines, hand tools, and cutting or shaping tools.

Your duties revolve around forming metal stock and casting to cut, press, and grind metal to the desired shape or size. After preparing the metallic parts, you check for accuracy, clearance, and fit to ensure a perfect fit. Aside from assembling and testing machine functionality, you also perform routine maintenance tasks. As a fitter, you repair and maintain the mechanical parts of workplace machines.

Since the role involves fitting complex machine parts, you should be attentive to details. You rely on your attention to detail to assemble fabricated parts in the exact dimensions provided in the technical drawings. During testing, you pay attention to every aspect of the machine, including sounds, to ensure it runs as expected.

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average fitter salary

The average remuneration package of a fitter in Australia is $90,000 per year. Typically, your earnings fluctuate based on various factors, such as experience, academic qualifications and the complexity of your role. Entry-level fitter roles attract a salary of $80,000 per year. On the other hand, experienced fitters take home over $100,000 per year.

what factors affect your salary as a fitter?

As a fitter, your remuneration package depends on your expertise. When you have over three years of experience, you can negotiate a higher salary. Fitters who just completed their apprenticeships earn a lower salary due to their minimal experience and qualifications.

Your area of specialisation may also influence your earnings. Fitters who work on diesel engines and assemble diesel vehicles or machinery often take home an average salary of $145,000 per year, while mechanical fitters earn $105,000 per year. Thus, the complexity of the role determines the remuneration package. For instance, a general fitter may require additional training to work as a diesel fitter.

The size of the company and the industry you work in will also influence your earnings. When you work in manufacturing or mining companies, you take home a higher salary due to the complexity of your role. A large company also pays more due to the vast number of resources available.

Want to know what you will earn as a fitter? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.


types of fitters

Fitters can specialise in assembling specific types of machines or heavy equipment. As a diesel fitter, you assemble and disassemble diesel engines in trucks, vehicles and heavy machinery. You also inspect assembled equipment and test their functionality. Due to your knowledge and expertise in diesel engines, you perform repairs and maintenance tasks.

Mechanical fitters specialise in repairing and installing heavy machinery and equipment. You work in industrial settings that rely on heavy machinery and use technical drawings to assemble the machines. You're able to repair, maintain and assemble any type of machine.

man repairing equipment
man repairing equipment

working as a fitter

Working as a fitter involves assembling metallic parts together. If you enjoy practical work, read on to discover the duties, work environments and job outlooks of a fitter in Australia.


education and skills

If you want to become a fitter, you require a trade qualification combined with an apprenticeship. Complete a Certificate III in Engineering, majoring in mechanical trade at a registered Technical and Further Education (TAFE) provider. Alternatively, pursue an apprenticeship in mechanical trade that combines coursework with on-the-job training. When you complete the apprenticeship, continue gaining experience as a qualified tradesperson to move into specialised roles, such as diesel fitter or maintenance fitter.

Depending on the industry you work in and the duties you perform, you may require additional licensing to work as a fitter. Consider getting a forklift licence or a licence for working in confined spaces and working at heights. Some employers may even require an elevated work platform licence.

fitter skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of fitters include:

  • technical knowledge and skills: as a fitter, you use specialised tools to assemble mechanical parts. Hence, it is important to have mechanical and engineering knowledge to understand how machines operate. Your technical skills help you construct, repair and maintain equipment parts.
  • maths skills: as a fitter, you require a strong aptitude for maths. When assembling metal parts, you rely on precise measurements to measure machine parts and evaluate complex blueprints or technical diagrams. Your mathematical skills help you assess the best techniques for assembling parts.
  • hand-eye coordination: as a fitter, you rely on hand tools to fit equipment and machinery. Since you spend most of your time working with your hands and using tools, having manual dexterity and practical skills can minimise the chances of accidents.
  • communication skills: you rely on communication skills to explain technical diagrams and relay important instructions to other professionals. You must communicate effectively and have good writing skills to document the process and explain maintenance tasks.
  • attention to detail: as a fitter, you assemble fabricated parts. Paying attention to details is important to ensure precise dimensions on the diagrams and the proper shaping of metals before putting the parts together. Your attentiveness to details also helps you avoid accidents and maintain work safety.

FAQs about working as a fitter

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a fitter.

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