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Study Automotive technology & explore a permanent residency pathway

A motor mechanic is a person who can repair, maintain and test a range of vehicles. It’s a career in demand in Australia. While it encompasses a variety of different terms, the automotive mechanic occupation (number ANZSCO 321211) has a broad set of skills that allow you to diagnose and repair problems with a range of lightweight vehicles.

What do you need to apply for an Australian visa for a motor mechanic role?

1) Enrol in the right course to gain the correct qualification

  • AQF Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology and at minimum, two years of training in the job
  • AQF Certificate IV
  • Diploma of Automotive Management 
  • Three years, minimum of relevant job experience

While other qualifications may have skills that apply to the field, these qualifications are the only ones required and accepted for the roles within Australia.

2) Apply for a temporary work visa

In the interim, while you search for a role in Australia, apply for a temporary work visa called the 485 graduate visa. This temporary visa is designed to allow recent graduates to live, study and work in Australia while you search for a job relevant to your CRICOS-registered completed course and qualification. This is usually for a maximum of 18 months, and you must be under 50 years old.

3) Skills assessment with Trade recognition Australia

There is a four step Job Ready Program that international students will need to complete. To qualify, you must:

  • Have studied a trade in Australia
  • The occupation is on the medium to long term strategic skills list
  • Have, or be eligible for, the 485 temporary graduate visa
  • Have completed 360 hours of relevant vocational placement or work in Australia

You will be required to undergo a provisional skills assessment and confirm an IELTS score of six or more.

Once that is signed off, you can seek employment in that role. You will then be required to complete 12 months/ 1725 hours of employment in that role.

Halfway through this, you can apply for a workplace assessment. Your skills will be evaluated to ensure they are at the skill level needed.

Once the full twelve months has been completed, a final assessment is required. Once this is signed off, you can apply for an independent skilled migration visa.

There are fees associated with this:

  • Provisional Skills Assessment – $300
  • Employment Verification – $500
  • Workplace Assessment – $2000
  • Final Assessment – $150
  • DIBP Visa Application Charge for 485 Temporary Graduate Visa – $1650

4) Apply for a relevant role

If you are planning to apply for employer sponsored roles, then you need to obtain employment before applying for a visa.

5) Apply for your visa

In any permanent residency application, it’s important to try and maximise points from the below criteria:

  • Age
    • 18-24 years old, 25 points
    • 25-32 years old, 30 points
    • 33-39 years old, 25 points
    • 40-44 years old, 15 points
    • 45-49 years old, 0 points
  • English language proficiency
    • Superior (IELTS score of 8 or more), 20 points
    • Proficient (IELTS score of 7 or more), 10 points
    • Competent (IELTS score of 6 or more), 0 points
  • Employment skilled experience overseas
    • 3 years, 5 points
    • 5 years, 10 points
    • 8 years, 15 points
  • Employment skilled experience within Australia
    • 1 year, 5 points
    • 3 years, 10 points
    • 5 years, 15 points
    • 8 years, 20 points
  • If you have a partner, their English and skill level of employment will gain points
  • An existing job offer or were invited to apply for a role
  • Australian qualifications also gain points.

You will require a minimum of 60 points to apply for a visa. Each visa is different, check out what your points requirements are using the Australian Government visa points calculator.

Career prospects are strong and continuing to increase

Employment rates for motor mechanics have risen in the last five years and are expected to remain high.

More widely, automotive mechanics have great opportunities as technology revolutionises the trade. The addition of more computer-based electronics adds an extra dimension to the role, which can be attractive to the right person.

As the industry starts to adopt electric vehicles more, the demand for electric mechanics skilled in repairs increases. Those quick to adopt new technologies will have good job security in the future and enable specialization in certain areas.

Where can I study to become a mechanic?

To get your Australian qualifications, you will need to attend a TAFE institute. The following TAFEs offer AQF Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology as part of their curriculum:

The course is one to two years with work placement. International students are not eligible for apprenticeships within Australia. In order to be able to apply for this course, you must be proficient in English, requiring an IELTS score of no less than 5.5. While eligibility criteria differs across schools, prospective students are also required to have completed secondary school to an equivalent year 12 level.

Explore Automotive technology courses here

Working Visas for a motor mechanic

Once you have qualified and completed on the job training, you can apply for a range of visas:

  • 494 Provisional Visa, Regional skilled employer sponsored
  • This visa allows regions to hire people to fill labour shortages. This visa allows you to live and work in a specific part of Australia for up to five years. You can apply for PR after three years on this visa. You must be under 45 years of age, and be skilled in the relevant occupation for that region.

  • 189 Permanent Visa, Skilled independent
  • This points-tested permanent visa requires an invitation from the Australian Government to apply. Your occupation must be on the skilled occupation list, and you will need to complete a skills assessment. You can then submit an expression of interest in SkillSelect, and wait for the invitation before applying.

  • 190 Permanent Visa, State sponsored
    • QLD, NSW, VIC, SA, NT, TAS and ACT
  • This visa lets you live and work in a specific region of Australia permanently. You must identify a region that has this visa on their skills shortage list. You can then submit to a skills assessment, and then express your interest in the career via SkillSelect. The local government will advise if you’ve been successful, and you can then apply.

  • 491 Provisional Visa, Regional skilled work
    • QLD, NSW, VIC, SA, NT, TAS and ACT
  • This temporary visa allows you to live and work in a specific region of Australia for up to five years. You must have a relevant qualification, pass a skills assessment, and then submit an expression of interest through SkillSelect. A local body government will advise if you’ve been accepted, and you can apply for the visa after that.

  • 482 Temporary Visa, TSS-MLTSSL
  • This temporary visa allows you to live and work in Australia for up to four years. You must be nominated by a sponsor after completing relevant training and a skills assessment. You must apply and be successful in gaining a job, and your future employer must register as your sponsor. Then you can apply for the visa.

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Salary expectations for an automotive mechanic in Australia

A qualified mechanic can earn around $1,450 a week, on average. With experience in the role, wages would increase too. It’s possible also to specialise, focusing on a type of vehicle or repair. Specialisation would have increased salary.

Relevant occupations for automotive mechanics

If you intend to apply for PR, the following roles may be suitable:

  • Motor mechanic (general) automotive light mechanic
  • Roadside mechanic
  • Brake mechanic
  • Automatic transmission mechanic
  • Automatic air-conditioning mechanic
  • Diesel motor mechanic
  • Small engine mechanic
  • Motorcycle mechanic

IDP Education can help you secure your dream course

If you want to pursue a career in Australia as an auto mechanic, contact IDP today. We can help you find the learning institution and assist you with visa applications. With years helping international students, we want to help you too.

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