How to become an Electrician

Electrician

Electricians install, maintain, repair, test and commission electrical and electronic equipment and systems for industrial, commercial and domestic purposes. Electricians may also work on electrical transmission and distribution equipment.

Personal requirements for an Electrician

  • Enjoy mathematical and technical activities
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Good eyesight (may be corrected) and normal colour vision
  • Logical thinking and diagnostic ability
  • Aptitude for mechanics and electronics
  • Able to do precise and detailed work
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Good communication skills

Education & Training for an Electrician

To become an electrician you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10 and some may prefer Year 12.


Additional information

After completing your apprenticeship or traineeship, you will need to apply for a licence to perform electrical work from the relevant government department or authority in your state or territory.

Duties & Tasks of an Electrician

Electricians:

  • Read electrical, architectural and mechanical diagrams, drawings or specifications to determine job requirements
  • Plan the layout of wiring systems
  • Test for, locate and repair electrical malfunctions
  • Install electrical and electronic control systems and insulated cables
  • Install electrical equipment such as storage heaters, water heaters, electrical signs, switchboards and motors
  • Assemble electrical and electronic components and appliances
  • Connect electrical equipment to power supplies
  • Connect switches, outlets and other fittings
  • Connect circuit breakers
  • Maintain automated production processes.

Tasks

  • Selecting, cutting and connecting wire and cable to terminals and connectors.
  • Using electrical and electronic test instruments to trace and diagnose faults.
  • Installing, testing and adjusting electric and mechanical parts of lifts.
  • Testing continuity of circuit.
  • Examining blueprints, wiring diagrams and specifications to determine sequences and methods of operation.
  • Positioning and installing electrical switchboards.
  • Measuring and laying out installation reference points.
  • Repairing and replacing faulty wiring and defective parts.
  • Connecting electrical systems to power supply.

Working conditions for an Electrician

Electricians may work in workshops, in private homes or in manufacturers' factories. They may have a considerable amount of contact with the public, work in confined spaces and have to stand for long periods. They may also be required to work at heights on masts, towers and roofs. Electricians must be aware of safety regulations and must wear and use supplied protective equipment to minimise risks.


Employment Opportunities for an Electrician

Electricians are employed in a range of industries, including manufacturing, mining, minerals, construction, energy and water supply, storage and transport, domestic and commercial electronics service and retail. Some work for government organisations, while others work as contractors on their own behalf or are employed by contractors. The data communications and IT aspects of the industry are becoming increasingly important as new technologies alter the way businesses operate. Recent developments, such as home automation and the integration of systems such as data communications, suggest the current rapid rate of technological change in the industry will continue to accelerate. There are growing opportunities to work as a renewable energy electrician and to design and install photovoltaic (solar power) systems. Additional training is available. Promotion to supervisory, technician, engineering and management positions is possible with experience and further training. With experience, and some business training, electricians may apply to gain an additional electrical contractor licence to run a business.


Specializations

Electrical Motor Winding Tradesperson

An electrical motor winding tradesperson applies electrical knowledge to make, fit or repair electrical machines or appliances.

Electrician

Electricians install, maintain, repair, test and commission electrical and electronic equipment and systems for industrial, commercial and domestic purposes. Electricians may also work on electrical transmission and distribution equipment.

  • Average age
    Average age
    34 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    2% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    45 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,823
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    90% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    156,400 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.3%
    NSW: 29.3%
    NT: 1.7%
    QLD: 22.7%
    SA: 6.7%
    TAS: 2.0%
    VIC: 22.1%
    WA: 14.2%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 5.1%
    20-24: 15%
    25-34: 30.6%
    35-44: 19.5%
    45-54: 16.6%
    55-59: 6.6%
    60-64: 4.5%
    65 and Over: 2.3%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 5.6%
    Bachelor degree: 2.2%
    Below Year 10: 0%
    Certificate III/IV: 77.3%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.4%
    Year 10 and below: 2.4%
    Year 11: 2%
    Year 12: 10.1%
    Years 11 & 10: 5.7%
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