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4 Key Steps to become an Electrician

So you’re thinking about becoming an electrician - GREAT!  To help you understand the industry and the steps you need to take, we’ve put together an overview, plus the 4 key steps to become an electrician.

Let’s start with the basics, to become a licensed electrician, you must successfully complete an electrical apprenticeship.  Once completed and licensed, electricians undertake a range of tasks and duties with electrical systems and networks in domestic, commercial and industrial settings.  Qualified electrical workers are in high demand, with some reports suggesting there will be over 50,000 job openings in the next five years.  In addition to this, recent reports have also indicated that an electrotechnology or telecommunications trade can have the best income return outcomes. 

The industry is very diverse and you may even want to specialise into certain sectors such as building and construction, energy and solar, resources and mining or even manufacturing. 

Our electrical apprentices tell us they love working on difference projects, and the daily changes in their work environment keep the job super interesting. 

The electrical trade is one of the most sought after apprenticeships.  Below we have outlined a number of steps below to increase your chances of securing an electrical apprenticeship. 

STEP #1:      Get to know the industry

Understanding the industry is key to knowing whether an electrical apprenticeship is for you.

Once you become an electrician there are opportunities for you to move from your trade into middle management, engineering roles and even owning your own business.  Completing an electrical apprenticeship gives you a nationally recognition qualification, meaning your trade is recognised across Australia and in some overseas countries. 

The industry is extremely diverse, but can also present unique challenges.  We recommend, where possible, that you undertake work experience in the industry so that you can get a good hands on understanding of the day to day work required of an apprentice electrician. 

STEP #2:      Take a proven pathway to increase your chances of becoming an                        electrician

  1. School subjects

Electrical work requires a strong understanding of Maths.  Many of our host employers look for students who have good results in both Maths and English subjects, as well as students who may have shown an interest in scientific subjects such as physics or computer science. 

  1. Prevocational programs

An electrical prevocational program allows you to complete study, generally a Certificate II in Electrotechnology.  This entry level course allows you to build the skills and confidence within the electrical industry.  TAFE Queensland offers a Certificate II in Electrotchnolody (Career Start).  In this course you will learn the skills needed to safely undertake basic electrotechnology work.  You will also learn to solve problems in extra-low voltage single-path and multiple-path DC circuits.  When you complete this course, you also receive a General Safety Induction course (also known in the construction industry as a White Card). 

  1. School-based apprenticeships

As you may already know, a school-based apprenticeship is an apprenticeship that you commence and undertake while still at school.  To commence as a school-based apprentice electrician (in Queensland) you must have completed the industry recognised minimum education requirement, which is the equivalent of year 10 with passes in a recognised course in English, Maths and Science. 

As a school-based apprentice electrician, ideally you will commence at the start of grade 11 (but that is not essential, you can also start in grade 12 if you wish).  You will be required to complete at a minimum 80 days of paid employment for each year of the school-based apprenticeships.  Upon completion of grade 12, your apprenticeships will transfer to either a part-time or full-time apprenticeship. 

STEP #3:      Know what skills employers are looking for in an apprentice electrician

As an apprentice, businesses know they will need to provide you with on the job training, however your attitude and motivation towards the job is critical.  Employers want a motivated and reliable worker that they can trust.  We’ve provided an outline of the general requirements employers look for when considering an apprentice electrician.

  • Car licence
  • Construction White Card
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Low Voltage Rescue (LVR)
  • Good attitude
  • Self-motivation
  • Normal colour vision
  • Good English, Maths and Science skills
  • Good physical fitness

STEP #4:      Complete an apprenticeship

Now that you have decided to become an electrician, it’s time to start applying for apprenticeships.  You can find an apprenticeships by reaching out to your network of family and friends to find out if anyone knows of a business looking for an apprentice, searching online job websites, applying with group training organisations such as Golden West Apprenticeships. 

Take the initiative to research local electricians in your area and pick up the phone and give them a call to see if they need an apprentice. 

Once you’ve started your apprenticeship, remember it’s a four year commitment but there is plenty of support along the way. 

You also be interested in other apprenticeships and traineeships that are similar to the electrical apprenticeship:

  • Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Mechanic Apprenticeship
  • Data and Voice Communications Apprenticeship
  • Electrical Machine Repair Apprenticeship
  • Electronics and Communications Tradesperson Apprenticeship
  • Fire Protection Control Tradesperson Apprenticeship
  • Electronic Instrument Tradesperson Apprenticeship
  • Security Systems Tradesperson Apprenticeships
  • Appliance Servicing Apprenticeship
  • Electrical Fitter Apprenticeship

Ready to take the next step towards your career?

Register with Golden West Apprenticeships today at: http://apply.goldenwest.org.au/VacancyApplicationForm.aspx

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