Electricians install and maintain wiring for electrical flow in addition to the control equipment for these installations. Although many are qualified to do both, often an electrician will specialise in either maintenance or construction. Electricians may work for a wide variety of clients including large businesses and factories or private residences.
For an early advantage, aspiring electricians should undertake studies in mathematics or science while in high school. The next step is formal qualifications in the form of an apprenticeship with sponsors such as National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) or Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC). Apprenticeships generally take four years to complete and involve theory classes and workshops paired with practical on-the-job training.
The final step in becoming an electrician is licensing; achieved through the successful completion of a theory based test proving knowledge of the National Electrical Code.
Electricians complete extensive safety training in the process of obtaining their work licence, this helps to ensure a safe workplace. Unfortunately, despite this education accidents do happen and electrical work presents many hazards that may result in minor, serious or even long term injury.
Electricians score a 3/5 risk rating
Job prospects for electricians are fantastic in the current Australian economy. The number of jobs in the industry grew very strongly in the past ten years and the projected outlook for employment continues to be extremely high.
An electrician is required to wear rubber soled shoes or boots to prevent serious injury in the case of electrocution. Rubber safety gloves are also utilised for this purpose. Electrician's generally high visibility coveralls made with a fire retardant material plus a fluorescent vest for further visibility when on the job.
The salary of an electrician varies depending on skill level but generally falls between $42,411 - $97,806 per annum. The median annual salary in Australia sits at $68,863.
The electrical sector presents many opportunities for professional growth in a variety of different ways. After becoming qualified an electrician can focus on a specialisation such as servicing the real estate industry or factory installations. Additional skills may be studied in order to add a complementary trade; such as air conditioning technology or electrical work with a focus on renewable energy sources.
Trades, such as electrical, offer excellent opportunities for starting your own business and becoming your own boss. This offers more flexibility and great balance in career and lifestyle.
It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.