Electrical Engineers design, develop and supervise the manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance of equipment, machines and systems for the generation, distribution, utilisation and control of electric power.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually required. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration or licensing may also be required.

Tasks

  • planning and designing power stations and power generation equipment
  • determining the type and arrangement of circuits, transformers, circuit-breakers, transmission lines and other equipment
  • developing products such as electric motors, components, equipment and appliances
  • interpreting specifications, drawings, standards and regulations relating to electric power equipment and use
  • organising and managing resources used in the supply of electrical components, machines, appliances and equipment
  • establishing delivery and installation schedules for machines, switchgear, cables and fittings
  • supervising the operation and maintenance of power stations, transmission and distribution systems and industrial plants
  • designing and installing control and signalling equipment for road, rail and air traffic
  • may specialise in research in areas such as power generation and transmission systems, transformers, switchgear and electric motors, telemetry and control systems

Job Titles

  • Electrical Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer

    Specialisations: Electrical Design Engineer, Railway Signalling Engineer, Signalling and Communications Engineer

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $2,175 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    moderate
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    20,800
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    94.5%
  • Female Share

    5.5%
  • Full-Time Share

    94.9%

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This is a medium sized occupation employing 20,800 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Moderate growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 5,001 and 10,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Electrical Engineers work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services; and Manufacturing.
  • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 39.6 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $2,175 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • More than 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below 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
200513900
200614000
200715300
200818300
200918900
201019100
201118600
201224100
201322100
201419100
201520800
202021900

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.
EarningsElectrical EngineersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings21751230

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.
CategoryElectrical EngineersAll Jobs Average
Full-time94.968.4
Part-time5.131.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)39.640.0

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)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services26.0
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services22.4
Manufacturing18.0
Construction12.8
Other Industries20.8

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.
StateElectrical EngineersAll Jobs Average
NSW39.231.8
VIC29.125.5
QLD10.319.8
SA4.16.8
WA13.311.2
TAS1.72.0
NT1.01.1
ACT1.41.8

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 BracketElectrical EngineersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.45.4
20-244.9-9.99.9
25-3430.1-23.423.4
35-4427.1-21.721.7
45-5418.7-21.121.1
55-5911.1-8.78.7
60-644.9-5.95.9
65 and Over3.2-3.83.8

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.
CategoryElectrical EngineersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males94.5Males53.6
Females5.5Females46.4

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 QualificationElectrical EngineersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate30.7-8.68.6
Bachelor degree50.3-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma11.0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV8.0-18.918.9
Year 120.0-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100.0-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually required. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration or licensing may also be 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 Electrical Engineers who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Knowledge

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

  1. Engineering and Technology

    93% Important

    Use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  2. Computers and Electronics

    86% Important

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  3. Design

    80% Important

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

  4. Mathematics

    80% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. English Language

    73% Important

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

Occupational Information Network Electrical Engineers 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. Interacting With Computers

    91% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  2. Getting Information

    89% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    88% Important

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

  4. Analyzing Data or Information

    83% Important

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  5. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    82% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Occupational Information Network Electrical Engineers 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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