Electricians design, assemble, install, test, commission, diagnose, maintain and repair electrical networks, systems, circuits, equipment, components, appliances and facilities for industrial, commercial and domestic purposes, and service and repair lifts, escalators and related equipment.

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and the majority of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification. Registration or licensing is required.

Tasks

  • examining blueprints, wiring diagrams and specifications to determine sequences and methods of operation
  • measuring and laying out installation reference points
  • selecting, cutting and connecting wire and cable to terminals and connectors
  • using electrical and electronic test instruments to trace and diagnose faults
  • repairing and replacing faulty wiring and defective parts
  • positioning and installing electrical switchboards
  • connecting electrical systems to power supply
  • testing continuity of circuit
  • installing, testing and adjusting electric and mechanical parts of lifts

Job Titles

  • Electrician, or Electrical Fitter
  • Electrician (Special Class)
  • Lift Mechanic, or Lift Electrician
  • Electrician, or Electrical Fitter

    Installs, tests, connects, commissions, maintains and modifies electrical equipment, wiring and control systems. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Armature Winder, Electrical Contractor, Heavy Coil Winder, Railway Signal Electrician

  • Electrician (Special Class)

    Services and repairs intricate and complex electrical and electronic circuitry. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Lift Mechanic, or Lift Electrician

    Designs, installs, maintains, services and repairs electric and hydraulic passenger and freight lifts, escalators, moving walkways and other lift equipment. Registration or licensing is required.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,400 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    165,500
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    98.8%
  • Female Share

    1.2%
  • Full-Time Share

    94.1%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 165,500 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Electricians work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Construction; Manufacturing; and Mining.
  • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 40.8 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,400 per week (higher than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly young. The average age is 34 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 2 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • More than 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
2005102300
2006111700
2007108900
2008131500
2009125200
2010140100
2011136800
2012133300
2013138100
2014142000
2015165500
2020191600

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsElectriciansAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings14001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryElectriciansAll Jobs Average
Full-time94.168.4
Part-time5.931.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)40.840.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Construction65.1
Manufacturing7.7
Mining6.6
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services5.3
Other Industries15.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateElectriciansAll Jobs Average
NSW26.331.8
VIC23.125.5
QLD22.919.8
SA6.46.8
WA16.111.2
TAS2.32.0
NT1.91.1
ACT1.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketElectriciansAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-195.9-5.45.4
20-2416.5-9.99.9
25-3429.3-23.423.4
35-4421.2-21.721.7
45-5415.4-21.121.1
55-596.6-8.78.7
60-643.5-5.95.9
65 and Over1.7-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryElectriciansCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males98.8Males53.6
Females1.2Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationElectriciansAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree1.2-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma8.3-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV67.6-18.918.9
Year 1217.3-18.718.7
Years 11 & 105.7-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and the majority of workers have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification. Registration or licensing is required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Electricians who have good people skills, are reliable and have a strong work ethic.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Building and Construction

    87% Important

    Materials, methods, and the tools used to construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

  2. Mechanical

    85% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  3. Mathematics

    78% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  4. English Language

    75% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  5. Design

    75% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Occupational Information Network Electricians Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    82% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  2. Getting Information

    82% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    80% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  4. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    79% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  5. Handling and Moving Objects

    79% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Occupational Information Network Electricians Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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