You should never choose a career based on wages, hours and workplace conditions. You need to be passionate about what you’re going to do with your career. But let’s be honest we all want to know what we’re going to earn.

Wages, hours and working conditions

Working conditions can vary significantly from one job to another. You may find yourself working indoors, in buildings under construction or in need of repair, or outdoors, working on projects such as the installation of mains cables and street lighting.

Occupational health and safety is a most important consideration for electrical tradespeople. Electricians may be required to lift equipment and supplies such as cable drums weighing up to 16 kilograms and can be a risk for manual handling injuries. There is also some risk of injury, or in severe cases death, from accidental electric shock in this occupation.

Being on the lookout for hazards and being safety conscious are as much part of the job as installing the systems themselves!

Hours of work

Electricians usually work a 38 hour, five-day week, plus overtime when required. Those ‘on-call’ are required to perform some after-hours and weekend work.

What does an apprentice electrical earn per week?

Wages may vary considerably depending on where you’re working and whether it’s covered by an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) or an Award. To give you an idea, a 1st year apprentice can start on approx. $25,000, a 4th year apprentice about $44,000 and once you have your A grade, average salary is $60,000 and upwards (salary based on minimum award wage and Payscale.com).

Contact NECA Education & Careers for more information or visit Fair Work Australia.