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Frigate image: © 2022 BAE Systems Australia. All rights reserved

Defence industries: the workforce behind the defence force

As the number of major Australian defence projects increase over the next decade, the demand for highly skilled and industry ready employees is on the rise.

Careers in the defence industry are varied with long-term, rewarding and promotional opportunities available. Job roles include engineering, cyber security, virtual/augmented reality developers, human resources, design, electronics, and project management.

TAFE SA is committed to help grow the workforce behind the defence force by delivering courses that provide the in-demand skills for people to work in this remarkable industry.

Whether you are at school, looking for a career change, or job seeking, TAFE SA offers a range of relevant qualifications to help you achieve your career goal.

Design, plan and build ships in Adelaide

Over the next three decades, Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry will be building and sustaining (maintenance, service and upgrades) a range of vessels for the Australian Defence Force at the Osborne Naval Shipyard, including the Hunter Class submarine-hunting warships, Collins Class and AUKUS submarines.

Plans are already underway for the construction of a new shipyard at Osborne to build Australia’s next-generation AUKUS conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines. The AUKUS submarines will be the most complex ships that have ever been built and will feature the best of US, UK and Australian technologies.

Through the Hunter Class Frigate Program, BAE Systems Australia’s maritime division will build 9 world-class anti-submarine warfare frigates for the Royal Australian Navy.

These major naval shipbuilding projects will provide thousands of job opportunities for South Australians.  In South Australia, you could find yourself working in larger companies such as ASC Pty Ltd, BAE Systems Australia, Lockheed Martin Australia, and Saab, or a small-to-medium one who supply goods and services to the programs.

You don’t need to join the Navy or wear a uniform to work in the naval shipbuilding industry, the industry is broad and covers a huge range of in-demand jobs and skills, from design to engineering and production.

Introduction to Naval Shipbuilding short course

The Introduction to Naval Shipbuilding short course aims to familiarise you with multiple aspects of the naval shipbuilding industry in Australia.  This 4 week (3 – 5 hours per week) self-paced online course introduces a range of key concepts, terminology, vessels and ship systems useful for new employees working in the industry.


Defending Australia Panel Discussion

Watch the leaders of some of Australia’s biggest defence companies, along with the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Premier Peter Malinauskas in a round table discussion about the opportunities on offer in the Defence Industry.  TAFE SA’s Executive Director of Academic Development, Penny Johnston also joins the roundtable and outlines TAFE SA’s role in producing skilled graduates for the industry.  You can view the video on Facebook.

Explore your studies in 3D!

The virtual environment of a ship’s engine room provides invaluable context and builds your understanding of the complex systems and constraints that need to considered when designing naval vessel interiors. TAFE SA and Odyssee Aus Engineers developed this new digital learning opportunity for our students and those interested in the naval shipbuilding industry.


Interested in a career in the Naval shipbuilding industry?  

Use our three-dimensional exploration of an Oberon Submarine to find out how your skills and knowledge from the Diploma of Engineering - Technical (MEM50212) qualification may be used in the Naval Shipbuilding Industry. 

We would like to acknowledge our partnership with the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney and thank them for providing access to their submarine to create this three-dimensional environment for TAFE SA and our students.  

Aust National Maritime Museum

To navigate around the environment, hold down your left mouse button to move and click to view details on a PC, or tap the symbols on a mobile device. 

blue-markerInteresting facts about how this qualification relates to job roles

grey-markerMove around the submarine

Careers of the future

Please click on the image below to view full details for Naval shipbuilding career opportunities in trades, engineering, electronics and cyber.


80 Defence Courses


Arts and Design


Building and Construction


Business and Marketing


Information Technology


Mining, Engineering and Automotive

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