Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects
Openings 5 years to November 2019: > 50,000
Median weekly earnings: $1301 to $1700
Australian Government Department of Employment 2015

You've overslept because your alarm didn't go off. In your panic, spare a thought for the electrician who's been hard at work trying to fix the cause of your electrical failure.

There are currently around 9,100 electricians employed in South Australia. Employment is largely full-time and most work in the construction industry. Most persons in this occupation are male and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. This occupation has a younger age profile with less than a third of electricians aged 45 years or older.

TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Electrician

Accredited (Award)

  • Whether its a blown fuse or a more complicated problem such as a faulty wiring system in your house, electricians are the people to call. Using a wide range of tools from screwdrivers and power drills through to computers, they deal with electrical and electronic installations and repairs. Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical wiring systems that are designed to provide creature comforts such as heat, light, power and telecommunications systems or safety features, such as fire and security alarms.

    Practical and Manual

  • Of those currently employed, 74% have Certificate III or IV while 4% have Advanced Diplomas or Diplomas. Around 19% of electricians have no post-school qualifications. It is recommended that you gain the available qualifications to get the best possible chance of employment. Entry to this occupation is generally through a recognised Certificate III or higher. In some cases relevant experience is required as well.

    TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma of Electrical Engineering. Pathways include Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) or Sustainable Energy (Career Start), Certificate IV in Electrical - Instrumentation or Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control.

    SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at http://www.skills.sa.gov.au/apprenticeships-traineeships or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.

  • With experience and possibly some business training, electricians may specialise as electrical contractors, who order materials, organise staff to meet customer needs and carry out other tasks associated with running a business

    Employment opportunities are dependent on the level of activity in the housing, commercial, industrial and mining sectors. Over the past few years, these sectors have seen a decrease in activity but industry representatives suggest that the level of activity is looking to pick up, particularly in the building and residential markets. Employment prospects are also dependent on the level of business investment in new technology and sales of manufactured electrical appliances and equipment.

  • If you're considering becoming an electrician you'll need good eyesight and colour vision so that you can distinguish between the colour coded wires that you work with. And if you've ever seen how intricate some wiring systems can be, you'll understand that good hand-eye coordination, technical ability and being methodical and accurate are also important. The duties and responsibilities for electricians vary between positions. Generally speaking, electricians read and interpret electrical or electronic drawings to determine wiring layouts. They install cables and connect switches (like the ones you use to turn your light on). In undertaking these tasks, electricians operate a number of hand and power tools including electric screwdrivers or wire cutters. These tools are also used when electricians assemble and install equipment such as electrical conductor enclosures and fittings.

  • Electricians may work in workshops, in private homes or in manufacturers' factories. They may have a considerable amount of contact with the public. They may work in confined spaces and have to stand for long periods. They may also be required to work at heights on masts, towers and roofs. Electricians must be aware of safety regulations and must often wear and use supplied protective equipment to minimise risks.

    Generally, they must enjoy mathematical and technical activities. They also must have good hand-eye coordination and good eyesight and normal colour vision. They need to show good diagnostic ability and a practical aptitude for mechanics and electronics. Electricians must also be able to do precise and detailed work. They need to work under minimal supervision as well as be able to work as part of a team.

  • Electricians also test various appliances and circuits, ensuring their integrity and safety. If needed, they'll repair and replace any faulty electrical apparatus. Working conditions can change dramatically from one job to another. You may find yourself working indoors, in buildings under construction or in need of repair, or outdoors, working on projects such as the installation of supply cables and street lighting.

    Occupational health and safety are important considerations for electrical tradespeople. Electricians may be required to lift equipment and supplies weighing up to 16 kilograms and there is also some risk of injury from electric shock in this occupation. Being on the lookout for hazards and being safety conscious are as much a part of the job as installing the systems themselves! Electricians usually work a five-day week, plus overtime when required. Those on-call are required to perform some after hours and weekend work.

    For further information, contact:

    E-Oz Energy Skills Australia
    Phone: (02) 6262 7055
    Email: office@e-oz.com.au
    Website: www.ee-oz.com.au

    Communications, Electrical & Plumbing Union
    Electrical Trades Division
    Phone: (02) 9663 3699
    Email: admin@etuaustralia.org.au
    Website: www.etunational.asn.au