How to Become an Electrician – Salary, Certificate and Training

How to Become an Electrician – Salary, Certificate and Training

Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical systems and electronic equipment in domestic, commercial, and industrial settings. Being an electrician is a highly-skilled, highly technical and very hands-on role. It can be a very rewarding career choice offering plenty of flexibility and growth. You can choose to work in a small team servicing your local area or in a large company that takes on big projects. As a licensed electrician, you can also start your own business and be your own boss.

Personal requirements

Being an electrician is a physically demanding, hands-on job. 

You should have an aptitude for electronics and mechanics because you will be required to read, understand and follow electrical diagrams closely. Logical thinking and problem-solving skills are a must. You also need to have an eye for detail.

An electrician must be able to work independently as well as a part of a team. Hence, communicating well with others is very necessary as it is a potentially hazardous job. 

You also must be safety-minded, methodical and cautious. Even a small slip-up can have serious repercussions. Say, a customer suffers an injury when using electrical equipment that you installed. They may be able to sue you and claim damages like medical expenses or loss of pay. For such circumstances, businesses may opt for public liability insurance. This insurance comes handy when a customer files a lawsuit against the business claiming injury as a result of their negligence. Small businesses can potentially be wiped out under the financial strain of all the legal fees involved in such lawsuits. With public liability insurance, they can battle the lawsuit without worrying about the financials. Check here to know more about the cost of this insurance cover.

Training requirements

To become an electrician you must complete a 4-year Australian apprenticeship program. You will not only be studying at an electrical trade school but also learn on the job. 

Here are the steps:

Step 1: You have to enrol in a Certificate II in Electrotechnology.

Step 2: You need to apply for an electrical apprenticeship. This apprenticeship program is of 4 years, where you may be hired by an independent tradesperson or a company. Employers have different preferences. Some may want you to have completed Year 10 while others would prefer Year 12. Your supervisor will help you learn the necessary skills that you must have on the job. They will give you practical training which will prove vital once you are ready to start on your own. At electrical trade school, you will not just be sitting in class jotting down notes. You will mostly be engaged in practical tasks in their facilities.

Step 3: You will receive a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician after completing your 4-year program.

Step 4: You must now apply for your Electrician’s License to work as a licensed electrician in Australia. License requirements vary between different states in Australia. Consult with the licensing body in your state to know the requirements.

Certification

Upon completion of your 4-year electrical apprenticeship program, you will get your Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician. You will also need to clear the licensing requirements to obtain an Electrician’s License from your state.

One of the biggest benefits of the apprenticeship program is that you not only walk out with a certification but also with enough practical experience to start working full-time.

Another benefit of the apprenticeship program is that you have a steady income while you are learning. As an apprentice electrician, you earn a weekly wage which increases with the amount of experience you gain.

Salary

Electricians on average earn about $42.33 per hour or about $82,544 annually. If you are just starting out, you may earn anywhere between $54,800 and $61,000 per year. 

Your earning potential increases with your experience. Electricians with several years of work experience may earn up to $138,499 per year.

Of course, your salary would also depend on the state that you are working in. According to SEEK data, electricians working in Western Australia earn the highest among all states. Queensland and New South Wales are other states where electricians can potentially earn pretty high salaries.

Why should you become an electrician?

Electricians are some of the most in-demand professionals not just in Australia, but throughout the world. According to data released by the Australian Govrenment jobs for electricians have grown by 40% in the last decade. The incredible growth is likely to continue in the future too.

Electricians provide a range of services including installing cables and wires, electrical switchboards to repairing electrical malfunctions. They also work on computer networks, circuits, and important areas that use or deliver electricity. Some of them also work on electrical transmission and distribution equipment. As such, they are employed in a wide variety of sectors including homes, offices, retail outlets, warehouses, commercial buildings, apartments, construction and civil works.

Electricians with specialized skills are extremely high in demand in all major cities of Australia. With the growth in the construction industry, there is an increasing demand for High Voltage/ Commissioning Electricians. 

Electricians specializing in Data/AV are in-demand in Facility Management. There is also a very high demand for licensed electricians in the service industry and facility maintenance.

Becoming an electrician can be a great career if you are a student or someone thinking of a career change. It is an in-demand job, which means that there is no dearth of job opportunities. Plus, it pays handsomely.

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