Trade assistant

A trade assistant supports tradespeople in workshops and on construction sites. They use tools, prepare work areas, clean equipment, and provide general labour.
Also known as: Leading hand, Trade trainee, Tradesperson, Offsider, Labourer, Ganger, Track worker, Civil construction worker

Is this role right for you?

As a trade assistant, you’ll be reliable and hard-working. You’ll work under the direction of senior team members and tradespeople, but you will need to be self-motivated and take initiative on a work site. You’ll learn new skills by completing diverse tasks as you support electrical technicians, fitters, maintainers, carpenters, and others.

What are some example projects or experiences?

Trade assistants work on a huge variety of rail projects. They support tradespeople to construct and maintain rail infrastructure and are involved in activities such as laying track, concreting, excavation, track inspection, landscaping, operating heavy machinery, painting, cable hauling, and vehicle maintenance. You could work on some of the nation building projects happening in Australia which revolutionise passenger transport in cities and towns, or add capacity to cross-country freight networks. Trade assistants also learn many manual skills as their experience grows.

What is the work environment like?

You’ll be part of a team that builds and maintains infrastructure along the rail network. You’ll work within the rail corridor alongside trains or on construction sites. In most roles you’ll wear protective and safety equipment such as a hardhat, gloves, and hi-visibility clothing. Sometimes you’ll be exposed to heat, cold, wind and rain.

Eligibility & pathways

Trade assistants usually don’t need formal qualifications. But a Certificate II in Construction, or a Certificate II in Engineering, will give you useful skills for the role. You may need extra training and qualifications to work in tunnels, at heights, or in confined spaces. Experienced trade assistants or qualified tradespersons may be accepted into senior positions, such as a trade supervisor or trade superintendent. You will need a general construction induction card (White Card) to access most work locations. It may be useful if you have a heavy vehicle licence, forklift licence, elevated work platform ticket, and first aid training. Your employer will generally provide rail-specific safety and induction training. Our industry values diverse personal and work experience. Many employers can provide you with opportunities to gain new qualifications and industry experience to help you succeed.

Current job vacancies

Skilled Track Workers 

Martinus Rail
Frenchville
 

Track Worker 

Gamuda
Karratha Industrial Estate
 

Rail Labourer 

Workfast Marketplace Pty Ltd
Toowoomba Region
 

EOI - Rail & Civil Workers 

Now Careers QLD Pty Ltd
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Mechanical Machinist Apprentice 

Liberty Onesteel Corporate Services Pty Ltd
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Fixed Plant Operator - FIFO 

Rio Tinto PLC
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Fixed Plant Operator - FIFO 

Rio Tinto PLC
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Electrician 

Liberty Onesteel Corporate Services Pty Ltd
Newcastle Area
 

Auto Electricians - FIFO 

Rio Tinto PLC
Perth CBD
 

Pit Patroller / AHS Field Builder 

Rio Tinto PLC
Perth CBD
 

Industrial Electrician 

Liberty Onesteel Corporate Services Pty Ltd
Rooty Hill
 

Boilermaker 

Liberty Onesteel Corporate Services Pty Ltd
Bell Bay
 

Superintendent Production 

Rio Tinto PLC
Perth CBD
 

Advisor Heritage 

Rio Tinto PLC
Perth CBD
 

Electrician 

Liberty Onesteel Corporate Services Pty Ltd
Geelong
 

Mechanical Fitter - Leading Hand 

Liberty Onesteel Corporate Services Pty Ltd
Newcastle Area
 

Mechanical Installers 

Martinus Rail
Granville
 

Electrician 

Martinus Rail
Granville
 

Sandblasters 

Alstom
Frankston East
 
Avenues of Entry
Entry-level
Qualified
Trainee
Pay Range
$54K
$112K
Entry level
$54,500 - $106,000
Mid-level
$91,000 - $112,000

Salaries may vary outside of these ranges, based on company size and location, level of experience, competence and time in role.