Most people who decide they want to pursue a career as an electrician understand that they'll need to complete an apprenticeship, but not everyone understands exactly why this step is so important. On top of that, the process involved in preparing for and securing an electrical apprenticeship can seem a bit confusing if you're new to the industry.
Luckily, there's no need for the apprenticeship process to be too complicated. Here at NECA Education & Careers, we specialise in guiding applicants down the path from newbie to experienced electrician, with a particular focus on the all-important first phase of the journey.
The value of apprenticeships is that they combine a variety of different learning types, including classroom education and on the job training.
How to become an electrician in Australia
An electrical apprenticeship is the single most important aspect of becoming an electrician in Australia, and will provide you with all of the skills and experience necessary to continue progressing through the electrical industry.
The value of apprenticeship programs on the path to becoming an electrician is that they combine a variety of different learning types, including classroom education and on the job training. Focus areas include everything from basic electrical wiring to testing and repairing more complex electrical systems. At the end of an apprenticeship, an electrician may choose to specialise even further in niche areas such as solar or optical fibre.
Perhaps most importantly, an apprenticeship provides the chance to work alongside an experienced, licensed electrician, who will be able to both supervise and support you on the job. This ensures that apprentice electricians graduate from the training program with a thorough understanding not only of the technical aspects of their work, but how best to apply their skills in a practical environment.
How to get an electrical apprenticeship
So, now that we know why electrical apprenticeships are so important, the next question is: How can you secure one?
There are a couple of ways that an applicant can ensure they meet the relevant electrical apprenticeship requirements, but the best option is to complete an electrical pre-apprenticeship. This type of program focuses on the basics of electrical work, including how to:
- Read electrical plans
- Mark out electrical installations
- Identify and order specific products for a job
- Install or terminate electrical equipment
- Install cable tray and run catenary wire
- Wire and fit power points and light switches
- Test the quality of an installation
Pre-apprenticeships programs focus on the basics of electrical work.
These core skills give pre-apprenticeship graduates the very best chance of securing an apprenticeship with an experienced electrician, and ensure that they are ready for their first day on the job. The course runs for 12 weeks, and is available all throughout the year. That means that whatever stage you're at in life – be it recent school leaver or someone looking for a new career – you'll be able to start at a time that suits you.
Of course, a pre-apprenticeship isn't the only way to secure an apprenticeship. Some applicants will already have a good grounding in electrical work through their previous employment experience – for example, in a related trade such as construction. If you fall into this category, it's worth completing a pre-selection assessment. This is an aptitude test that will show prospective employers you have the core language, literacy and numeracy skills to successfully complete an electrical apprenticeship.
Regardless of the journey you take to reach an electrical apprenticeship, NECA Education & Careers is here to help. If you have any questions about the process or what pathway would be best for you, get in touch with our team today.