How to become an electrician

If you understand technical topics, and electricity interests you. Then, why not consider life as an electrician. Electricians are always in demand, and they can find work across many industries. You can find them working in commercial, industrial and domestic settings. The work is practical but also uses your brain. This makes the job a great choice for people who want an intellectual challenge, but dread becoming desk-bound. Also, working with electricity has an element of danger. This means you need to take care when working. Making sure you always follow health and safety regulations. You may find yourself installing switchboards, cables, wiring, diagnosing and then repairing faults. Demand for electricians is always high in a world reliant on electricity!

As a careful person, you don’t take risks, and you take pride in your work. You have a level head and enjoy practical tasks. No desks for this cookie. If this sounds like you, why not consider training to become an electrician?

Step one: Apply for an apprenticeship 

In Australia, the pathway to becoming an electrician begins with an apprenticeship. This is the best way to learn what you need to know. When looking for an apprenticeship, make sure to tailor your application each time. Highlight your strengths, and any relevant experience you may have. You can also consider taking a general course first as preparation. This will demonstrate your commitment to the industry.

Step two: Apply for an Electrician’s Licence

After completing your apprenticeship you will need to apply to your local authority for a licence. Once you have this licence you can work without supervision. Before you start your training make sure you check what you should do to get a licence. Then, you can make sure you best prepare yourself for success.

Step three: Gain experience

Once you complete your training and receive your licence it is important to build on your experience. Focus on perfecting your skills as you work. This is important to do because then, you will find more opportunities open for you.

 Step four: Consider a specialisation

You can find electricians working across all industries. You can think about a specialisation as you gain experience and get a better feel for your strengths.

Electrical Motor Winding Trade-person

In this specialisation, you work with appliances and machinery. You may spend your time installing or repairing them. This job is in high demand and you will find job opportunities across many industries. You can find work on construction sites. Or in factories, commercial settings and domestic residences.

Electronics and Communications Technician

As an electronics and communications technician, you work in telecommunication. This could mean working on the vast wiring networks we all use for our electricity needs. Alternatively, it could mean working in broadcasts, on audiovisual or even medical equipment. An interesting specialisation with plenty of job opportunities. 

Electronics Technician in the Army

A focused role working for the Australian Army. You specialise in military equipment. In this case, the Army provides your training. Then, you work as a technician with a wide range of military equipment. You can also focus further within the army and become more specialised. For example, you could become a fitter armament.

Electrician Job Description

Daily duties can vary considerably for electricians working in different fields. Yet, most tasks relate to installing, testing, repairing, and maintaining electrical systems. You can focus your work on private clients. Or on business clients working in factories and other industrial environments. You may work in commercial office buildings, or simply with electrical tools and appliances. Maybe you spend your time fitting new wiring into a private home. Or you could be diagnosing and repairing electrical faults.  You may repair, and maintain power tools. To carry out your work, you will use a range of power tools.

Tasks

  • Maintaining and repairing appliances
  • Working from blueprints
  • Fitting new wiring circuits
  • Replacing an old circuit
  • Installing switchboards
  • Removing potential electrical hazards
  • Assembling electronic equipment

Skills for Success

Working as an electrician gives you an excellent skill balance at work. The work involves a combination of technical knowledge, logical thinking, and practical tasks. You need to have the knowledge of electricity, circuits and how everything works to stay safe. To diagnose faults you need a sharp logical mind. The work is potentially dangerous, especially if the electrician is careless or sloppy. You need to have respect for the health and safety procedures and the techniques you learn. Once you have completed your training you will need to work independently without supervision. Besides, you will need to read electrical diagrams carefully and to communicate well with colleagues or clients. 

Skills and attributes

  • Good eyesight
  • Strong hand-eye coordination
  • A thorough technical understanding
  • Cautious and methodical
  • Detail orientated
  • Use reasoning and logic to troubleshoot 
  • In good physical shape

How much do electricians earn in Australia?

In Australia, electricians earn a median wage of $69,098 per year. This varies according to a number of factors and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 05/’18.

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