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Engineering career options in Australia

Engineers are highly sought after throughout Australia, with many engineering roles currently listed on the Australian national short-term skilled occupation list (STSOL) as well as the medium and long-term strategic skills list (MLTSSL).

For people with excellent problem solving and mathematical skills, engineering provides an attractive pathway to permanent residency in Australia. Engineering occupations currently on the MLTSSL are:

  • Materials Engineer

  • Geotechnical Engineer

  • Structural Engineer

  • Transport Engineer

  • Electrical Engineer

  • Electronics Engineer

  • Industrial Engineer

  • Mechanical Engineer

  • Production or Plant Engineer

  • Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum)

  • Petroleum Engineer

  • Agricultural Engineer

  • Engineering Technologist

  • Environmental Engineer

  • Naval Architect / Marine Designer

  • Telecommunications Network Engineer

  • Telecommunications Field Engineer

  • Engineering Manager

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Available visa options for engineers

There are a number of permanent residency visa options available to skilled engineers migrating to Australia. These include:

Subclass 190 visa: A skilled nominated visa.

  • Allows you to live and work permanently in Australia

  • You must have at least 65 points to qualify for this visa

Subclass 189 visa: A skilled independent visa.

  • Allows you to live and work permanently in Australia

  • You must have at least 65 points to qualify for this visa

Subclass 186 visa: A skilled, employer nominated visa.

  • Allows you to live and work in Australia permanently

  • You must be nominated by your future employer

  • You must have at least three years of work experience in your nominated occupation 

  • You must be aged under 45 years of age

If you are not successful in gaining an independent or state nominated skilled permanent visa, you may still be eligible for a temporary visa. Some temporary visas provide pathways to permanent residency, such as:

Subclass 491 visa: A skilled regional visa. 

  • Allows you to live and work in a specified regional area of Australia for up to five years 

  • If eligible, you may apply for permanent residency three years from the date your 491 visa is granted

Subclass 494 visa: A skilled, employer nominated temporary visa. 

  • Allows you to live and work in a specified regional area of Australia for up to five years

  • You must be nominated by an employer in a regional area 

  • If eligible, you may apply for permanent residency three years from the date your 494 visa is granted

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IELTS requirements for engineering

To pass your Engineers Australia skills assessment, you will need to demonstrate that you hold competent English language skills. 

If you do not fit the criteria for one of their specified exemptions, Engineers Australia will accept a valid IELTS test result. The test result must have been achieved within the two years prior to your application. 

Your IELTS test result must show that you have achieved a minimum band score of 6.0 in each of the four following IELTS components:

  • Listening

  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Speaking

If you are planning to apply for a visa within the next two years, book your IELTS today to ensure your application is not delayed. IELTS offers you FREE access to resources such as study materials and practice assessments to help you prepare. 

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Engineering skills assessment

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Before applying for a skilled visa, all engineers must receive a positive skills assessment from Engineers Australia. Engineers Australia is the national authority approved by the Australian Government to assess skills and competencies for migrating engineers. 

Engineers Australia perform five main types of assessment:

Australian qualification assessment

Choose this option if you hold an accredited Australian engineering qualification.

Dublin Accord assessment

Choose this option if you hold an accredited qualification issued by a country under the Dublin Accord

Sydney Accord assessment

Choose this option if you hold an accredited qualification issued by a country under the Sydney Accord

Washington Accord assessment

Choose this option if one of the following applies:

  • You hold an accredited qualification issued by a country under the Washington Accord

  • You hold a French engineering degree which is covered by the CTI agreement 

Competency Demonstration Report assessment

Choose this option if one of the following applies:

  • Your nominated occupation is an Engineering Manager

  • You have non-accredited qualifications

  • You have accredited qualifications but you would like to be assessed in a different occupation than the one specified in your qualifications

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Study requirements to become an engineer in Australia

To become an engineer in Australia you must typically complete an accredited four year (or equivalent) Bachelor degree in engineering. 

Top recommended universities for engineering degrees

The top recommended Australian universities for engineering are:

RMIT University

RMIT University is ranked in the top 100 global institutions for civil and structural engineering. They offer engineering degrees in many disciplines including:

  • Aerospace engineering and aviation

  • Biomedical engineering

  • Civil engineering

  • Chemical engineering

The University of Sydney

The University of Sydney offers engineering degrees in disciplines including:

  • Biomedical engineering

  • Civil engineering

  • Electrical engineering

They also offer a unique flexible first year engineering degree which allows you to sample different disciplines before committing to one for your bachelor degree. 

Monash University

For students wanting more options, Monash University offers a range of double degrees, including a Bachelor of Engineering. You can combine your studies and receive a bachelor's degree in engineering as well as a degree in areas such as:

  • Computer science

  • Biomedical science

  • Information technology

  • Pharmaceutical science

IELTS English language requirements

Most universities and academic institutions have different requirements when it comes to IELTS scores. The best way to find out about the requirements for the course you’re interested in is to contact the course provider directly.

You can also get in touch with an education counsellor. They have access to information from multiple education providers. 

For enrollment, generally, engineering students must achieve a minimum overall IELTS band score of 6.5, and a minimum score of 6 in each of the four components (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

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Professional engineering registration requirements by state

Professional registration requirements for engineers vary between states and territories in Australia and can change at any time. It’s important to check with the relevant authorities to find out whether you need to register prior to applying for any engineering roles. 

Victoria

Engineers from the following five disciplines must be registered before providing services:

  • Fire safety engineering

  • Civil engineering

  • Structural engineering

  • Electrical engineering

  • Mechanical engineering 

You may be exempt from registration if you work under the direct supervision of a registered professional engineer. 

New South Wales

NSW Fair Trading accepts the registration of professional engineers working on class 2 buildings or buildings with a class 2 part. Other engineers do not need to be registered.

Australian Capital Territory

There are currently no state requirements for engineer registration. 

Queensland

Engineers must be registered with the Board of Professional Engineers Queensland (BPEQ)

You may be exempt from registration requirements if you work directly under the supervision of a registered engineer. 

Northern Territory

Engineers in the building industry must register with the NT Building Practitioners Board

Western Australia

There are currently no state requirements for engineer registration. 

South Australia

There are currently no state requirements for engineer registration. 

Tasmania

Engineers in the building industry must register with the Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS) authority. 

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How to prepare for IELTS?

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Achieving a great IELTS score takes time and planning. You can’t just book and take your test in a matter of days – no matter how strong your English skills are. Successful test takers create a schedule to help them study everything they need to know before they sit an IELTS test. They make time to practise all four English skills – ListeningReadingWriting and Speaking – as they know that each one is different.

If they have trouble with a topic, they attend a FREE Masterclass with an IELTS expert who can teach them how to improve. And, when they’re almost ready to take IELTS, they will complete as many practice tests as they can find. 

So, when there are hundreds of resources to help you study, where do you begin? Click here to access your go-to guide to IELTS preparation. All of our most important materials – both free and paid – are listed here, divided by category.

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Immigration and the law

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for changes that may apply to you. If you are interested in Australian student visas, work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Australian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent.