Automotive Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical wiring and electronic components in motor vehicles.

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

Tasks

  • using test equipment to locate electrical and electronic malfunctions
  • dismantling and removing electrical and electronic assemblies and components
  • installing electrical equipment and electronic components in motor vehicles
  • connecting power-operated vehicle equipment and accessories to power supply
  • adjusting engine control systems and timing
  • testing and replacing defective alternators, generators, voltage regulators and starter motors
  • repairing and replacing faulty ignition and electrical wiring
  • replacing defective parts such as fuses, lamps and switches

Job Titles

  • Automotive Electrician, or Automotive Electrical Fitter

    Fast Facts

    • Avg. Weekly Pay

      $1,044 Before Tax
    • Future Growth

      stable
    • Skill Level

      Certificate III or IV
    • Employment Size

      6500
    • Unemployment

      below average
    • Male Share

      98.3%
    • Female Share

      1.7%
    • Full-Time Share

      92.6%

    Find Vacancies

    This is a very small occupation employing 6,500 workers. The number of workers has fallen over the past 5 years.
    Over the next 5 years (to May 2022) the number of workers is expected to stay about the same at 6,400. Around 2,000 job openings are likely over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

    • Automotive Electricians work in most parts of Australia.
    • They mainly work in: Other Services; Mining; and Manufacturing.
    • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 43.2 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
    • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,044 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • The average age is 38 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 below average.

    There have been shortages of Automotive Electricians for a number of years. In 2016, employers in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia found it hard to fill vacancies for Automotive Electricians. To find out more, view the Department of Jobs and Small Business latest skill shortage research opens in a new window.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
    YearNumber of Workers
    20076500
    20088100
    20098700
    20108000
    201110300
    20127500
    20138500
    201410400
    20159200
    20169000
    20176500
    20226400

    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.
    EarningsAutomotive ElectriciansAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings10441230

    Hours

    Full-Time and Part-Time Status (% Share) and Average Weekly Hours (Full-Time)

    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.
    CategoryAutomotive ElectriciansAll Jobs Average
    Full-time92.668.4
    Part-time7.431.6
    Average Weekly Hours (full-time)43.240

    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)
    Other Services70.4
    Mining11.9
    Manufacturing4.6
    Transport, Postal and Warehousing3.2
    Other Industries9.9

    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.
    StateAutomotive ElectriciansAll Jobs Average
    NSW27.631.8
    VIC17.425.5
    QLD24.319.8
    SA14.26.8
    WA11.311.2
    TAS2.92
    NT1.41.1
    ACT0.91.8

    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 BracketAutomotive ElectriciansAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-197.4-5.45.4
    20-2413-9.99.9
    25-3422.9-23.423.4
    35-4427.5-21.721.7
    45-549.4-21.121.1
    55-5912.2-8.78.7
    60-643.3-5.95.9
    65 and Over4.2-3.83.8

    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.
    CategoryAutomotive ElectriciansCategoryAll Jobs Average
    Males98.3Males53.6
    Females1.7Females46.4

    Education Level

    Top Education Levels

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    A Certificate III/IV is usually needed to work in this job and most Automotive Electricians have this qualification. Training is most commonly through an apprenticeship which combines on-the-job training with the qualification. Registration or licensing may 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 Automotive Electricians who are reliable, work well in a team and who work hard.

    Knowledge

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

    1. Mechanical

      82% Important

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

    2. Computers and Electronics

      81% Important

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

    3. Customer and Personal Service

      71% Important

      Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    4. Mathematics

      71% Important

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    5. English Language

      66% Important

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

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 49-2096.00 - Electronic Equipment Installers and Repairers, Motor Vehicles.

    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. Getting Information

      95% Important

      Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

    2. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

      91% Important

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

    3. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

      91% Important

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

    4. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

      90% Important

      Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

    5. Handling and Moving Objects

      88% Important

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

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 49-2096.00 - Electronic Equipment Installers and Repairers, Motor Vehicles.

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