Student Guides: How To Become An Electrical Apprentice

Looking for a bright career in the Electrical Industry? But you don’t really know what’s involved? We've pulled together a guide of what's in an apprenticeship, how to get one and what the best part of getting involved in the industry!

What’s involved in this industry?

The electrical industry is rapidly developing and is increasingly technology-based. It spans occupations across electro-technology, communications, computer systems, refrigeration and air conditioning, and security. It involves anything relating to, producing or operated by elecricity.

What is an apprenticeship?
Australian Apprenticeships is the title that covers both apprenticeships and traineeships. Australian Apprenticeships are jobs that combine paid work and structured training.

With an Australian Apprenticeship you spend time in paid employment, learning practical skills on-the-job and putting them into practice.

Structured training can be done either on-the-job or off-the-job training at a TAFE or another Registered Training Organisation (RTO), depending on the industry you are in. At the end of it, you can get a nationally recognised qualification.

How long does it go for?
Apprenticeships generally last between thirty six to forty eight months. Traineeships generally take between twelve to twenty four months to complete.However, electricians must remain in the trade for 4 years until they are eligible for an A Grade Licence. Apprentices who complete early recieve a B Grade Licence, until they've complete 4 years in the trade. More infomration about this process, for this in Victoria, can be obtained from the Office of The Chief Electrical Inspector .

How much do I get paid as an apprentice?Employers are governed by the National Training Wage Award System. To see how much you are entitled to earn as a trainee, call the Australian Workplace Authority . How much you can earn can depend on things including how much education or training you already have, or a competency-based wage.
Wages could also depend on your age.

How much do I get paid when I’m qualified?
Electricians usually earn around $950 per week. However, if you’re working in the powerlines trade, can earn around $1075. Electrical and telecommunications workers can expect to earn around $1200 per week.

The best part of the job?
"My job is a real combination of manual skills and brain work. You need to be competent in both. And that's why it suits me, because I enjoy both working with my hands and using my brain." Ian Corless is an Integrator in the electrotechnology sector. “It is always a challenge to arrive at the right answer, because it is not fixed on one product or group. And I love the constant challenge, and coming up with the right answer for the customer.”

Anything else cool to know about?

Looking for inspiration? Check out some Podcasts chatting to apprentices about how they felt entering their apprenticeship.

SkillsOne has loads of short clips about apprentices in the electrical industry. One video shows a snapshot of one set of sparkies on the job – an apprentice and his boss. It gives us a hint of the brighter side of life!

Trying to narrow down exactly what you want to do?
Several sites have Career Profiles and statistics about the jobs within the automotive industry that you might want to enter.

Check out:

My Future, which lists loads of Electrical Career Profiles and an industry snapshot.

Job Guide lists loads of jobs in the Automotive, Electrical and Metals Industries .

Job Search has a listing of statistics about the industry - including job prospects and pay.

And SkillsOne, of course, has loads of Career Profiles about electricans.

Links to people who know all about electricity!
Energy Supply Association Of Australia -
Careers in the ElectroComms and EnergyUtilities Industry -
National Electical And Communications Association -

[Sourced from: Skills Tasmania, Job Juice, Job Guide, Job Search, SkillsOne, My Career, Australian Apprenticeships, My Career.]