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Careers in defence

The WA defence boom is here, with exciting, long-term, stable careers on offer. There has been significant investment in the industry to build a pipeline of skilled workers for current and future work. To find out more about the defence workforce initiatives visit the Jobs and Skills WA(opens in a new tab)  website. 

School leavers

We are now offering a new Defence Industry Pathways Program. This 12 month traineeship, an Australian Government initiative, will give you experience across a range of career options - from cyber security to logistics - to help you decide which path you want to take before entering the workplace. You will get paid while gaining practical industry experience with world-leading employers and you will receive a uniform, laptop and safety kit.


We also have skill sets for current tradespeople to get up to code for working in the defence industry or for those already working in the defence industry and would like to skill up for a new project or upgrade your certifications.

Skill sets are in:

  • Fluid Power Skill Set
  • Coded Welding Flux Cored Arc Skill Set
  • Coded Welding Gas Tungsten Arc Skill Set
  • Coded Welding Manual Metal Arc Welding (Pipe) Skill Set
  • Welding Supervisor Skill Set

Thousands of defence jobs are set to be created and workers with skills in trade, technical/cyber, science, engineering and technology will be in demand.

For more info contact the Defence Team at the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre:

T: 08 9599 8655
Building G — South Metropolitan TAFE Rockingham
Simpson Avenue Rockingham

Facilities at our campuses are world class, providing students with hands-on experience in a real-life industry setting. Our facilities include:

  • Heavy fabrication workshops
  • Mechanical fitter and fitter machinist workshops
  • State-of-the-art welding equipment and facilities
  • World leading hydraulic and pneumatic equipment (fluid power)
  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) equipment
  • Composites trade and marine craft construction workshop

Naval Base and Rockingham campuses are centrally located to Perth’s defence shipbuilding industry and have specialist facilities, with a strong focus on engineering, fabrication and shipbuilding courses.

The Naval Shipbuilding College endorses the Certificate III Engineering - Fabrication Trade qualification and enjoys being co-located within our Naval Base campus.

Some defence related courses are also offered at Mandurah, Thornlie and Carlisle campuses.

A career in defence is most definitely a job of the future. Roles will be challenging, in-demand, well compensated and offer long term prospects. Most employment opportunities will be with companies winning defence contracts – and their supply chain. 

Some jobs include:

  • Fitter Machinist
  • High end CNC programmer / operator
  • Composites shipbuilder
  • Mechanical fitter/Pipe fitter
  • Refrigeration/Air conditioning engineer
  • Boilermaker/Welder
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Marine fabricator
  • Refrigeration/air conditioning technician
  • Industrial electrician
For more information about where a career in defence can take you, see our links below.

SM TAFE offers qualifications from entry level Certificate II, to Certificate III level apprenticeships, to post-trade specialisations in welding. These are suited for all abilities and ages, from school leavers to those with industry experience. 

For school leavers and mature age entrants 

MEM20105-AA50 Certificate II in Engineering (Heavy Fabrication Pre-Apprenticeship)

MEM20105-AA49 Certificate II in Engineering (Mechanical Fitter and Machinist Pre-Apprenticeship)

For apprentices

MEM31119 Certificate III in Engineering - Composites Trade

MEM30319-AD63 Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade (Surface Finishing)

MEM30319-AD62 Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade (Sheetmetal)

MEM30219 Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade (Machinist)

MEM30219 Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade (Fitting)

MEM30719 Certificate III in Marine Craft Construction

For tradespeople 

AE368 Coded Welding Flux Cored Arc Skill Set

AE369 Coded Welding Gas Tungsten Arc Skill Set

AE370 Coded Welding Manual Metal Arc Welding (Pipe) Skill Set

AE371 Fluid Power Skill Set

AE372 Welding Supervisor Skill Set

Have you considered studying in courses that support the defence industry?

Defence in Western Australia also includes logistics and warehousing, maritime, information technology and engineering. Navigate to those industry areas using their links to explore courses with strong employment growth.

A dedicated defence industry team is available at the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre to undertake careers promotion across all schools, and with veterans, and provide advice to jobseekers and potential defence industry workers about options for training and career planning. All services are free, and available to anyone in WA. 

To contact the team, call or email the Rockingham JSC or drop in for a chat.

Phone: 08 9599 8655
Email: in a new tab)
South Metropolitan TAFE Rockingham campus
Building G, Simpson Avenue Rockingham

Visit the Defence Jobs and Skills page(opens in a new tab) for more information on the latest defence industry incentives. 

You can view our defence courses and watch our careers videos(opens in a new tab) .

Industry: View our defence capability statement. (2 MB) (PDF document)