Mackay tradie turned manager sees big demand for asset maintenance and management skillset in Australian mining and manufacturing.
From electrician to executive, industry leader Dave Richards knows that finding the right course is an important part of building a big career.
The former Mackay tradie was working with Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal when he took on an Associate Diploma in Electrical Engineering with CQUniversity.
Then a promotion at work prompted a change in study focus, too.
“I’d chosen the Electrical Engineering stream because it built on my trade experience, but going into a coordinator role at Dalrymple Bay meant I needed to understand management principles, not just the technical side,” Richards explained.
Switching into a postgraduate Asset and Maintenance Management course, Mr Richards realised he’d found his passion – and an important skillset in Australia’s industry sector.
“When you do your trade, no one teaches you how to maintain assets, and they don’t teach it to engineers either – it really is a discipline of its own,” he explained.
“And because there’s so much big industry in Australia, across mining and manufacturing and our ports, there’s lots of assets to maintain, and lots of job opportunities too.”
Studying entirely online, Richards was able to structure the flexible course around work and home life, making the most of evenings and weekends to complete assignments.
The flexible study loads don’t require previous university experience, and put the students’ schedule and priorities first.
Richards graduated in 2009 and progressed to be Operations Manager then Executive Manager for Asset Management with Dalrymple Bay, responsible for more than $5 billion of assets at Hay Point, one of the biggest coal terminals in the world.
Just a decade on, Richards is now the general manager at Port Kembla Coal Terminal at the busy New South Wales harbour, and says finding the right course was definitely a boost for his career.
“The content was so practical, it really helped me at the time – I’d learn something and immediately apply it to my job,” Richards said.
“Even some of the assignments I did were completed based on real-world situations at work – and because it was all online, I didn’t have to wait to get out of the classroom to apply it.”
As a manager, Richards has supported his own staff to take on Asset and Maintenance Management courses with CQUniversity, too.
“If you’ve already got a trade, it’s really useful to expand your career options, and just makes you so much more valuable to an organisation as well,” he said.
CQUniversity’s Graduate Certificate in Asset and Maintenance Management can be completed over one year full-time or two years part-time, and available to start in July 2021, and March 2022.
Graduates from the courses have gone on to jobs across Australia’s biggest industry players, including Queensland Gas Company, Rio Tinto, Thiess, NRG Gladstone, Boral Australia, and within local and state government.
Visit cqu.edu.au/courses/graduate-certificate-in-asset-and-maintenance-management to find out more about the course.