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.

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

A bachelor degree in engineering majoring in electrical or a related field is needed to work as an Electrical Engineer. Some Electrical Engineers complete postgraduate studies.

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

All Electrical Engineers

  • $2,160 Weekly Pay
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 18,800 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 91% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 44 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 7% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Electrical Engineers (in their main job) 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 below average in 2018.
  • Location: Electrical Engineers work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services; and Manufacturing.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $2,160 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (91%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 7% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business talks with employers who have tried to fill vacancies. Find out more in the latest report on Electrical Engineers.

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 Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings21601460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services28.8
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services22.4
Manufacturing13.3
Construction8.7
Other Industries26.8

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateElectrical EngineersAll Jobs Average
NSW36.231.6
VIC20.825.6
QLD19.320.0
SA5.37.0
WA14.010.8
TAS1.62.0
NT1.11.0
ACT1.71.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketElectrical EngineersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.1-5.05.0
20-244.6-9.39.3
25-3432.0-22.922.9
35-4426.2-22.022.0
45-5420.6-21.621.6
55-598.5-9.09.0
60-645.0-6.06.0
65 and Over3.1-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate20.1-10.110.1
Bachelor degree58.1-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma11.7-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV6.6-21.121.1
Year 123.2-18.118.1
Year 110.1-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.3-12.512.5

A bachelor degree in engineering majoring in electrical or a related field is needed to work as an Electrical Engineer. Some Electrical Engineers complete postgraduate studies.

Registration may be compulsory in some states and territories. In addition, Engineers Australia has a non-compulsory National Engineering Register.

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Engineering and Technology

    84% Skill level

    The use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  2. Computers and Electronics

    76% Skill level

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

  3. Design

    74% Skill level

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

  4. Mathematics

    71% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. Physics

    58% Skill level

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Electronic Mail

    99% Important

    How often do you use electronic mail?

  2. Indoors, Heat Controlled

    95% Important

    How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

  3. Face-to-Face Discussions

    93% Important

    How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

  4. Telephone

    91% Important

    How often do you talk on the telephone?

  5. Work With Work Group or Team

    91% Important

    How important is it to work with others in a group or team?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-2071.00 - Electrical Engineers.

go to top