How to Become an Electrician

If you’re looking for a career that is rewarding, diverse and offers plenty of scope for flexibility and growth this could be it! As a qualified electrician, you’ll enjoy plenty of variety in your day-to-day work and have the opportunity to expand your skills and specialise in many different fields. You can choose to work on domestic jobs, for commercial businesses or in the industrial sector. You might work in a small independent team servicing your local area, or for a large company with big contracts. And once you’ve completed your training and are fully qualified, you can even choose to start your own business and be your own boss.

A day in the life of an electrician

A typical day for an electrician may involve installing and testing new systems, diagnosing and repairing faults or performing maintenance on electrical networks to keep things running smoothly. You may find yourself working with data cables, circuits, wiring or appliances. You could be working in an existing home, office, retail outlet or warehouse, or working on-site installing wiring on a brand-new house, apartment, commercial building or civil works project.

Electrician at Work

How do I become an electrician?

In Australia, to become an electrician you must complete an Australian apprenticeship which takes four years to complete. To gain your qualification you’ll learn both on the job and at an electrical trade school. You’ll be employed by a sole trader or company and will work closely with your boss or supervisor to learn the skills you need on the job. They’ll teach you as you go, which gives you valuable real-life job experience, so you are ready to hit the ground running once you’re qualified.

At trade school, you’ll back this up with the extra knowledge and technical know-how you need to excel and succeed. Don’t expect to just sit in a classroom and take notes – you’ll spend much of your time at school doing practical tasks in the purpose-built facilities. And best of all you’ll earn a real wage while you learn.

What qualifications will I gain on completion?

To gain your qualification as an A-grade electrician you’ll need to complete all the requirements of the four-year apprenticeship. This includes Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, as well as certain licensing assessments.

One of the biggest benefits of completing an apprenticeship, is that you even when you start with very little or no prior work experience or electrical knowledge, once you’ve completed your training, you walk out as an experienced professional, ready for full-time employment.

How much do electrical apprentices earn?

The amount you are paid as an apprentice depends on a number of factors, including your age, location and the relevant award. Most electrical apprenticeships in Australia are covered by the federal award and will increase yearly with your experience. You can get an accurate estimate of what you may earn on the Pay Calculator on the Fair Work website, or read our article How Much Does an Electrical Apprentice Earn in Australia to find out more.

What are potential employers looking for?

The first step in completing your apprenticeship is to find a job with a suitable employer. As a school leaver, you generally do not need to have any previous work experience in the field, but you will need to meet the language, literacy and numeracy requirements. And while it is not mandatory, employers are attracted to candidates who have completed an electrical pre-apprenticeship. If you’re serious about becoming an electrician and can take this step, it will certainly boost your chances and help you stand out from the crowd.

For non-school leavers, work experience in a like or allied trade is highly desirable. Relevant trades include plumbing, general building construction, bricklaying, carpentry, horticulture, electronic security, telecommunications, data and communication, AV technicians, engineering or a mechanical trade.

What are the benefits of completing an electrical apprenticeship?

We’ve mentioned some of the many benefits above, but here’s a recap:

  • You learn and earn at the same time – you’ll be paid a weekly wage that increases along with your level of experience
  • Once you complete all the requirements of the apprenticeship, you’ll walk away with a nationally recognised qualification
  • When you combine work and study at NECA Education & Careers, you’ll learn from experienced teachers and be fully supported all the way
  • An electrical apprenticeship provides you with all you need to kickstart your career as an electrician.

The training pathway

Whether you’re a school leaver, looking for a career change or have just finished a gap year and are ready to launch your career, there is a clear path you can follow to become an electrician.

To find out more about becoming an electrician or starting your apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship, contact our team by email anytime or speak to us direct by calling 03 5834 3115.

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How to Become an Electrician