What Is a MEM Boilermaker And How Do You Become One?

What Is a MEM Boilermaker And How Do You Become One?

Western Australia’s thriving mining industry means there’s a high demand for skilled Heavy Fabrication tradespeople. In particular, a Boilermaker’s job prospects are very healthy right now, especially in the mining industry where large pay packets and exciting projects lure some of the best craftsmen and women in their field. 

At Schlam, our Fabrication crews in the Pilbara region are currently performing all aspects of maintenance and repairs on our Tier 1 client’s heavy earthmoving plant fleets. If it moves dirt and is broken, we fix it! 

This can include anything from haul truck tray relining, crack repairs, hard facing, GET replacements, chassis repairs, and everything in between. Our teams work on some of the biggest and complex equipment in the world. The job opportunities for MEM Boilermakers can’t get any more exciting than this! 

If you are starting out your career, or even considering a career shift, perhaps a career in heavy fabrication is something you can consider? 

What does a MEM Boilermaker do?

Mobile Equipment Maintenance (MEM) Boilermakers generally work with heavy gauge steel: cutting, shaping, assembling and welding metal to produce or repair heavy mobile and fixed plant equipment. This can include buckets and scrapers on earthmoving equipment, mining vehicles and other gear that have to withstand pressure. 

Metal fabrication, forging, founding, structural steel erection, electroplating, metal spinning, metal polishing, sheet metal work, welding are all part and parcel of the job. 

Other duties include;

  • Read and interpret detailed engineering drawings and specifications
  • Use specialist measuring equipment and hand tools
  • Manipulate metal products by way of cutting, bending, moulding, heating and hammering to fabricate or sub-assemble.

 What skills do I need to become a FIFO MEM Boilermaker with Schlam?

Besides from the obvious Fabrication Trade Qualification, you will also need:

  • Flux core and stick welding experience
  • Valid Australian Driver’s License 
  •  High Risk License – LF & EWP desirable
  • Working at Heights & Confined Space
  • National Police Check
  • HR License is highly regarded to move up into a Field Service role
  • Unrestricted Australian working rights

There are also a few critical soft skills to refine too. Boilermakers need to have excellent attention to detail and be excellent at working with their hands. You’ll have to be able to work as part of a team but also complete tasks independently when required. Boilermakers should be very safety-focused and able to use their skills in a range of situations. 

How much do MEM Boilermakers make?

An experienced MEM Boilermakers with 5+ years of experience could be earning between $160,000-$220,000 per year. At Schlam, MEM Boilermakers can make up to $75 an hour + Super based on their experience. 

What does the career progression look like?

The progression of a Boilermaker can be varied, and they can take many pathways to develop their skills. With the right attitude, Boilermakers at Schlam can secure leading hand and supervisor level positions within the 2-year mark of their career. You may also wish to consider a dual trade, such as mechanical or engineering. 

Further training pathways include MEM40105 CERTIFICATE IV IN ENGINEERING and MEM50105 DIPLOMA OF ENGINEERING – ADVANCED TRADE. 

How do you become an MEM Boilermaker?

You will need to complete a MEM30305 CERTIFICATE III IN ENGINEERING – FABRICATION TRADE (HEAVY/WELDING YH) as part of a 4 year apprenticeship. This will provide you with structured learning at a registered training organisation and workplace experience. 

Consider gaining other relevant licences that may be preferred by hirers. Schlam advises securing a White Card, which will allow you to work on mining sites, and other high risk work licences, such as a forklift licence.

If you want to learn more about our MEM Boilermaker roles, speak to our recruitment team today RECRUITMENT@SCHLAM.COM 

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