How to get a job as an electrician

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Do you have an interest in installing and testing electrical systems. What about repairing electrical appliances and wiring and repairing electrical malfunctions? If you have said yes, then maybe you should get a job as an electrician!

What does an electrician do?

So, what exactly does an electrician do?

An electrician tests, designs, diagnoses and repairs electrical networks, circuits and appliances. A career as an electrician is diverse, rewarding, and flexible. It is a great career option for growth and you’ll have the opportunity to expand your skillset. As an electrician you can choose to work:

  • on domestic jobs
  • for commercial businesses
  • in the industrial sector

Once you are qualified, you can even become your own boss or start your own business!

Here are some of common tasks and duties of an electrician:

  • connecting electrical systems to power supply
  • examining blueprints
  • wiring diagrams and specifications to determine sequences and methods of operation
  • measuring and laying out installation reference points
  • removing potential electrical hazards
Two people are on the top of a building. A man is seen in front of a large air conditioner fixing the wiring.

What type of electricians are there?

There are many different electrician specialisations.

Industrial electrician

An industrial electrician often work for large employers. They install, test, troubleshoot and repair electrical equipment. As a result, they are employed by maintenance departments and electrical contractors. They often work in factories, mines, plants and other industrial establishments.

Maintenance electrician

A maintenance electrician makes sure electrical equipment are always running correct. They fix problems with machinery within factories and maintain the power grid.

Domestic electrical installers

This is one of the most common type of electrician. They work on domestic properties, so this can include small and large jobs around homes. They can perform simple socket fixes to installing wiring throughout a property.

Instrumentation electrician

As an instrumentation electrician you’ll commission, test and repair environmental control systems. This can include air conditioning units, refrigeration and heating.

Someone is shown fixing and maintaining the wiring in a port.

What kind of skills and qualifications do you need?

You need training and a qualification to be an electrician. Doing a course is a good way to see if you’d like to do this kind of work. Dip your toe into the industry by doing a course in electrotechnology / electronics or automotive electrical technology.

To be a licenced electrician, you need to do an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is a great way to get an in-demand qualification and get paid while you learn. You don’t need to have prior skills and anyone of working age can become an apprentice.

An apprenticeship usually lasts four years and you will gain first-hand experience. You will also have a recognised qualification at the end.

Essential skills for an electrician include:

  • communication skills
  • team work
  • self-motivation
  • strong attention to detail
  • ability to problem solve
  • a passion for repairing and fixing
  • resourcefulness
A hand is seen placing a puzzle piece into the matching puzzle.

You can check out Skills Match if you are unsure about the skills that you have. Just put the jobs or careers you’ve had before (this can include unpaid work). Then you can see the skills that you may have from your jobs.

Then, just compare your skills with those of an electrician!

Screenshot of the Skills Match page.

Got a job interview to be an electrician?

Before you go for a job interview, it is important to know some of the questions you might be asked.

It is normal to feel nervous and unprepared before a job interview. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

This video takes you through some questions you may be asked in an interview for a job as an electrician. It will help you get fully prepared to nail your job interview.

What will you get paid?

In Australia the average electrician gets paid $1823.00 per week. However, this can vary depending on your location, age and specialisation.

Quick facts about electrician work

  • 90% of electricians work full-time
  • the number of people working as electricians has grown very strongly over the past 5 years
  • the demand for electricians will continue to grow over the next 5 years
  • most electricians work in Construction, Manufacturing and Mining
  • it is a very large occupation
  • most full-time workers spend around 45 hours per week at work
  • the highest education level of most electricians is a certificate III/IV

Now you know all there is to know about how to become an electrician!

Electrician work not for you? Maybe retail is more your vibe. Check out our blog about how to get a job as a retail assistant for more information.

Best of luck with your job search!

Images: Job Outlook, iStock, YouTube

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