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

  • $2,175 Weekly Pay
  • 18,800 workers Employment Size
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 92.0% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 39.2 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 4.9% female Gender Share

The number of Electrical Engineers fell over the past 5 years and is expected to stay about the same over the next 5 years:
from 18,800 in 2018 to 18,300 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 6,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 1,200 a year).

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Electrical Engineers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services; and Construction.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (92%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 39.2 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 4.9% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200814400
200922300
201018600
201117400
201221700
201323000
201421700
201519200
201620200
201717100
201818800
202318300

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Services28.9
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services28.0
Construction13.4
Manufacturing12.7
Other Industries17.0

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 2017, 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
NSW32.731.6
VIC22.826.2
QLD19.319.7
SA4.06.7
WA16.210.8
TAS1.62.0
NT1.71.1
ACT1.61.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.8-5.25.2
20-244.4-9.99.9
25-3429.9-23.623.6
35-4435.0-21.721.7
45-5414.9-20.820.8
55-598.5-8.88.8
60-642.8-6.06.0
65 and Over3.7-4.04.0

Education Level

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/Diploma11-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV8-18.918.9
Year 120-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Electrotechnology, Transmission & Distribution and Electricity Supply Industry - Generation Sector VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Electrical Engineers who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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
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, 17-2071.00 - Electrical Engineers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
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, 17-2071.00 - Electrical Engineers.

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