I am a student
In demand skills
Further guidance is available in the Defence Industry Skilling and STEM Strategy.
Study pathways to Defence Industry
Given the range of in-demand roles within Defence Industry, there are many pathways to a successful career. In particular, people with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills and training are highly sought-after, as are qualified tradespeople.
Australian Apprenticeships offer you the opportunity to study and earn an income while undertaking a qualification. You can use your qualification to work anywhere in Australia.
A university or TAFE qualification may be required for some more technical STEM roles such as engineers, scientists and designers. There are also many professional services roles in Defence Industry that may require a degree qualification. You can explore relevant courses at MySkills.gov.au
The Defence Industry Pathway Program
The Defence Industry Pathway Program, developed in partnership with WA’s South Metropolitan TAFE and the State’s maritime defence industry, aims to give school-leavers and others an initial experience in Defence Industry through placements with relevant employers.
The Defence Industry Internship Program
The Defence Industry Internship program (DIIP) provides engineering students with direct connections to Defence Industry by facilitating 12-week paid internships with Small to Medium Defence Industry businesses.
Many Defence Industry organisations run graduate programs for those who have recently completed a university degree, particularly for those with a STEM degree. Talk to your campus careers advisor to learn more about these programs and relevant application dates.
The Naval Shipbuilding College
Shipbuilding is a major part of Defence Industry. Thousands of people are required across the country, for decades to come, to design, build and maintain the future fleet.
The opportunities are across the entire shipbuilding ecosystem: from the major shipbuilding contractors and systems integrators to the local businesses contributing some of the millions of parts within the supply chain; to research, education and training organisations delivering the next generation of knowledge and skills.
The Naval Shipbuilding College (NSC) offers support to students with FREE one-on-one careers guidance and advice to set you on the right course for a career in naval shipbuilding – from choosing your high school subject choices to university courses or apprenticeship pathways.
Register today for your free chat with our team
Virtual Work Experience
The Defence Industry Virtual Work Experience Program is designed to provide an opportunity for students in Years 10 or 11 who may face geographic or other barriers to participating in traditional work experience to undertake collaborative, group Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) projects, including projects linked to real-world research and industry challenges.
Instead of students attending a work site, experienced STEM Defence Industry professionals will supervise groups of students remotely, using a secure online platform. The groups will comprise up to five students - who may be remote from each other - working together to complete tasks, which can be used as part of portfolios and to help inform their study and career plans.
The Defence Industry Virtual Work Experience Program will continue in 2023.
To be eligible to participate in Virtual Work Experience, students must be:
- in Years 10 or 11, and aged 15-17 years for the duration of the work experience
- enrolled in a school in Australia
- able to commit to the designated days as specified by the supervisor (with students seeking approval from their school) and be supported by a teacher, parent or other approved adult in their physical location throughout their work experience project
- Virtual work experience will be run by the Department of Defence in conjunction with Australia’s National Science Agency, CSIRO.
What can I expect from a career in Defence Industry?
A career in Defence Industry often means you are working on the cutting edge of Australia’s national security: developing and using new technologies, manufacturing on the large scales, and pushing the frontiers of our capabilities.
A diverse, collaborative culture
A career in Defence Industry rewards collaboration, curiosity and ingenuity. Defence Industry sits at the crossroads of research, manufacturing and tech which means our people come from many backgrounds, bringing a rich and diverse culture.
Opportunities to build new skills
The ever-changing nature of Defence means Defence Industry encourages and promotes life-long learning. Government-funded training opportunities are available across a wide range of professions in Defence Industry.
Where to next?
Find out more information on courses, study pathways and training to set you up for a successful career in Defence Industry.