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By Sam Hopwood*
If you’ve ever thought about moving to Australia, you might be interested to know that the land Down Under is desperate for South African engineers. Certain types of engineers are more in demand than others, but with excellent starting salaries and great job security, making the move to Australia as an engineer has never been more appealing.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has two visa streams in which engineers can apply. Since the government is so desperate for engineers, it is willing to give some seriously good benefits to experienced and inexperienced engineering graduates.
Stream 1: New engineering graduates
The Skilled Recognised Graduate Visa is available to an engineering graduate from either a technikon or university who is under the age of 31. You must have graduated within 24 months prior to your visa application. Applicants do not need any formal employment experience.
You will also need to complete an English language test, but once successful you will be granted a visa for 18 months.
This visa is one of the best that a young professional can be awarded in Australia. Over the course of your 18 months you will be able to work anywhere in Australia with no restrictions.
If you have a partner or dependent children, they will be able to come to Australia with you on your visa. This is a major win as it can be tricky applying for visas for your partner and/or children.
Stream 2: Experienced engineers
Engineers who have been working for a few years in the industry, or those who are over the age of 31, can apply for a Skilled Independent visa. This is one of the most powerful visas available to immigrants to Australia.
Being a qualified engineer with work experience makes you an almost certainty for a successful application. Before we explain why that’s the case, lets quickly recap how the Skilled Independent visa works.
Various criteria need to be satisfied before you can apply for the Skilled Independent visa. First, you will have to submit an expression of interest to DIBP. Once you receive an invitation to proceed, you can begin the next phase of the application process.
To get through the second stage of your application you will need to:
- Nominate an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
- Obtain a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
- Be under 45 years old
- Achieve the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test
- Show you are at least competent in English
Why being an engineer helps you get a Skilled Independent visa
As an engineer, you will automatically be on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) which has replaced the “Skilled Occupation List” (SOL). This means you will earn extra points because you are an engineer.
Effectively, being an engineer makes it much easier for you to successfully apply for a Skilled Independent visa. What’s more is that you don’t even need to work as an engineer if you wish to change career paths when you get to Australia. This visa allows successful applicants to work in any field they want once they’re in Australia.
You are also allowed to bring your legal partner and/or dependent children with you to Australia on this visa.
How much engineers earn in Australia
Civil engineers are in particularly high demand in Australia. Applicants in either visa stream can expect competitive salaries, usually determined by level of education and experience.
Typically, civil engineers are in demand for the following roles:
- Site Engineer – AUD 75-95,000
- Project Engineer – AUD 90-125,000
- Senior Project Engineer – AUD 125 -150,000
- Project Manager AUD 150 – 220,000
Quantity surveyors, engineering/land surveyors, estimators, planners and programmers as well as civil engineers specialising in infrastructure projects are in demand.
Get a free visa assessment
I’ll be in Johannesburg and Cape Town this month giving one-on-one immigration consultations to South Africans interested in immigrating to Australia. The consultations are free to attend but you must book your spot.
To book your spot all you need to do is click the button below and fill in the form on the page.
If you have any other immigration-related enquiries you can drop us an email at [email protected].