Everyone deals with electricians at one point; whether it be for major jobs like rewiring an entire house, or for simple jobs like rewiring an outlet, you will eventually have to deal with an electrician. So, it may be of interest to some to see what it takes to become a licenced electrician in Australia.
People seeking to be an electrician usually gravitate towards the sciences, like physics or computer science. They also need to have a good grasp of math, and will have to have taken a certain amount of math in high school.
Electricians require a diverse skill set. They need to be able to handle a physically demanding work load. They need to have great hand and eye coordination. They need to have good problem solving skills, and be able to work through issues that pop up while working. They need to be able to identify a wide array of issues and be ready to solve each one. They need to have a good eye for details. Finally, electricians often need decent people skills; especially self-employed electricians, who are often responsible for dealing with customers directly. As you can see, being an electrician is a demanding job that requires a great amount of skills.
Electricians need those diverse skill sets because they are expected to do a lot of different tasks as part of their daily duties. Electricians need to be able to read complex blueprints, layouts, technical diagrams, etc. They need to be able to use a large variety of power tools with skill and precision. Electricians will often need to install complex wiring systems, control systems, lighting systems, and fixtures. But they do not just install these systems, they also need to be able to identify problems with those systems and repair them.
The duties of an electrician will vary depending on the type of electrician. There are construction electricians, who work specifically on buildings that are still being built. There are auto electricians who specifically work on the electrical systems in cars. Electricians who maintain the electrical systems in buildings and factories are specifically known as maintenance electricians. The kind most people encounter are residential electricians, who work specifically on electrical systems found in people’s houses.
Electricians are a vital part of modern society, given how much we rely on functioning electrical appliances, it should be no surprise that demand for quality electricians is always high. In fact, recent statistics from the government show that the amount of electrician jobs has increased by close to fifty percent; and that number is likely to get higher.
The states are pretty strict when it comes to DIY (do-it-yourself) electrical work. In Queensland, a person can face up to $40,000 in fines just for doing electrical work, and over $100,000 if their electrical work results in any injuries. In New South Wales, the fines for unlicensed electrical work range from $22,000 for people, to over $100,000 for businesses. In all the states, the most electrical work you can do on your own consists of screwing in a light bulb. DIY electrical work is dangerous and the possible penalties make it too dangerous to attempt at DIY electrical work. So, because basically all electrical work has to be done by a licensed electrician, there is never any shortage of work. So, you should be able to see why becoming an electrician is an appealing decision; especially for people who enjoy troubleshooting and working with their hands.
The path to becoming a licensed electrician is somewhat long, and very hands on. The first thing you need to do is become an apprentice with an employer, this will allow you to see firsthand what being an electrician is like, as well as allowing you to train and develop the skills necessary to be a licensed electrician. In addition to hands on training, prospective electricians will also go through formal training classes, which either occur in big blocks or on a weekly basis. A prospective electrician will also need a “Certificate III in Electro-Technology Electrician.” The certificate verifies that the person is qualified to be a licenced electrician. Finding an apprenticeship is not difficult, most would be electricians will simply go through their own network of friends or colleagues to see if anyone knows of possible apprenticeship opportunities; if not, then the person can always contact local electrical companies, which usually offer apprenticeships.
Once the training and apprenticeship are completed and the necessary skills and training are done, then a person can apply for their electrician’s licence. The requirements for a licence vary somewhat depending on the state. The process in New South Wales requires that a person has gotten their Certificate III. It then requires that the person gets a certificate of proficiency in electrical work from the vocational training tribunal. Finally, the person has to have at least 12 months of relevant working experience in either a commercial or residential area. Only after all that has been completed, can a person be licenced to do electrical work in New South Wales. The requirements in Victoria are generally the same, except that a person has to complete Licenced Electrician’s Assessment (LEA) which is conducted by Melbourne Polytechnic; a person can also show that they have been licenced in another state, and skip most of the process.
So, now you know what each and every electrician has to go through before they get their uniforms on and get to work. The process may seem very rigorous, but that is a good thing. Australians do not have to worry about their state’s regulations being laxer than their neighbour’s. Because of the rigorous training regimen, every Australian knows that their local electrician is trained and tested at a high standard; they know that when the electrician shows up at their door, he will know exactly what he or she is doing.
If you have done all this and are looking for a job. Talk to us today about our electrician employment opportunities.