Engineer Migration to Australia. Your Occupation, Qualifications and Work Experience

Work experience is not compulsory for engineers applying to Engineers Australia for assessment of qualifications obtained outside Australia.

There are many steps in applying for a general skilled migrant visa to Australia. the two areas related to engineering work experience are qualifications assessment (accreditation) and the points allocation for the points test for a general skilled migrant visa application. Assessment of qualifications for engineers is carried out by Engineers Australia and visa applications are assessed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). These are two totally separate functions carried out by separate organisations – so we will look at them separately.

Qualifications assessment

Work experience is not compulsory for engineers applying to Engineers Australia for assessment of qualifications obtained outside Australia for an engineering occupation. Everything you need to know is given in The Migration Skills Assessment Handbook.  Read this from cover to cover. Download the handbook from the Engineers Australia website :

You will notice there are three pathways to accreditation of level 1 qualification for migration (the basic education requirement) :

Australian qualifications

Washington and Sydney Accords

Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) for non-recognised qualifications

There is no work experience requirement for this level of qualifications recognition.

If you don’t have a recognised qualification (either Australian or by the Accords) you need to write a CDR. You have to demonstrate you have engineering competencies for the level of occupation you are applying for. You need to demonstrate you have the appropriate knowledge and skills and can apply them at the level of your nominated occupation.

You need to write three career episode reports (CERs) as part of your CDR. This is where work experience should help you. Your work experience can provide projects and activities to demonstrate your understanding and application of engineering principles and practice. So work experience is desirable to give you a base to provide something to write about. But you are assessed by your personal actions, not time spent anywhere or in any particular job.

General Skilled Visa Application

Work experience can help you gain additional points in the points test. You need to read Booklet 6: General Skilled Migration, which is available online from the booklets section of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

There are two very important factors to be aware of with work experience in the points test:

It must be relevant. It must relate to the occupation you are applying for. This could be different from you degree or other qualification. For example: A person with a mechanical engineering degree may be applying as a software engineer  Any mechanical engineering experience may not be considered relevant to the software engineer occupation.

It must be recent experience. Any periods without work, such as while studying for a higher degree could reduce your points.

So What?

When developing your plan for migration, your Project Australia, make informed decisions to provide the best and most economical result. It is recommended that you seek advice from a registered migration agent for Australia. This is a complex area with the rules changing regularly in the current economic climate. For engineers migrating to Australia, qualifications assessment and visa applications are handled separately. Understand the difference to ensure success in applying to migrate to Australia.