19 Aug, 2022
Posted by Nick
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What Can You Expect From a Job as an Electrician?

Thinking about becoming an electrician? There are plenty of reasons you may be considering a career as a licensed electrician in Melbourne, from the technical aspect of it to the varied schedules, from knowing how to wire up a cooker to knowing switchboard functions like the back of your hand. No matter what your reasons or what you want to know, you’re in the right place. We’re going to go through everything you should expect from a job as an electrician.

Responsibility

The first thing to bear in mind when you’re considering becoming an electrician in Melbourne is the responsibility you have to the people and the larger world. Being an electrician is a vital role within society, especially considering how hooked up to electronics the modern world is! From WiFi to mobile phones and TVs, games consoles, work offices, choosing the right lighting, as we’re more reliant on the internet than ever before. And the internet doesn’t work without electricity.

You bear the responsibility of the customers you serve as well as the larger world, with a shift in focus around the globe to more energy-efficient solutions and eco-friendly tools and materials – not to mention the number one responsibility when dealing with electrics: safety!

Work Environment

Your work environment is of utmost importance as a licensed electrician. Not only do you need to keep it clean and tidy – respecting those around you and where you’re conducting your work – but it’s paramount that your workspace is safe and free from any hazards.

Complying with the code of Energy Safe Victoria is an excellent starting point to go from when it comes to looking after your work environment, as well as following best practices across the board.

It’s key to note that your work environment could be anywhere within the community you serve in your role as an electrician. You could work in someone’s home, an industrial building, commercial properties such as shops and businesses, or even a hospital or school. It might not be a glamorous environment every day, but you will certainly get a varied place of work every day!

You need to take great care and attention, whatever your work environment is, as those little things make such a difference to continue being a respected electrician – and if you don’t do it, someone else will!

Schedule

Another key thing to note when considering a new career as an electrician in Melbourne is the responsibility of your schedule. You must stay on top of your workload for yourself and your customers.

Knowing where you’re going to be, how long each job and project will take, and ensuring you stick to your schedule is vital to being a licensed electrician. Maintaining your schedule means:

  1. Not rushing through any of your jobs so you can deliver an assured, professional service every time
  2. Customer satisfaction remains high as they know where you are, when you are – when you’re going to be there to complete the necessary work and how long it will take
  3. You control your schedule, don’t let your schedule control you – don’t get overrun by your commitments and ensure you’ve prepared properly for the work you need to undertake.

What qualifications do I need to be an electrician in Australia?

So, you know you want to head into a career as an electrician in Australia – but how do you get there? The way to become an electrician in Australia is by completing an Australian apprenticeship. This way, you study while gaining on-the-job experience and can hone your skills over the years it takes to become qualified.

An Australian electrician apprenticeship to become an electrician will take four years, and you will work for a real electrical services company while completing your studies.

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Education

You must complete every four-year course requirement to qualify as an electrician in Australia fully. You will qualify as an A-grade electrician and includes your Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, as well as completing several licensing assessments.

The best part of this kind of education to become an electrician is that you can head into your course with little to no experience and come out the other side of your qualification fully certified and prepared for full-time employment.

While you’ll learn just as much experience while on the job and practically, you’ll enrol in electrical school where you’ll learn all the theory and technical aspects of your future job – and this multi-faceted approach is designed for success, so you know you’ll be in good hands.

Experience

One of the top things about an apprenticeship is that you’ll gain practical experience in the real world, not just in a classroom. You’ll be employed by a real company and gain experience through the electricians working there in addition to your studies.

Being taught on the job gives you valuable experience that cannot be recreated in the classroom, so when the unexpected happens, you’ll know how to handle it.

Gaining the experience both in and outside the classroom will leave you fully equipped to take on your new career, and you’ll earn a real wage while doing it.

Electrician Skills

Being an electrician is a highly technical job that requires a high level of skill – and a high number of skills for you to know inside and out if you’re going to be successful.

Hard skills

While soft skills are more personal – to do with your personality, what kind of person you are and how you approach certain situations – hard skills are much more specific. As an electrician, you’ll learn a high number of hard skills that will be necessary for you to be a success.

We’ll take a look through some specific electrical skills you’ll need to learn when you delve into the world of electricians.

Knowledge of electrical systems

This one might seem a little bit ‘stating the obvious,’ but gaining a sound understanding of electrical systems is the top priority when you’re learning to become a master electrician in Melbourne.

Understanding the different types of electrical systems, from single phase to universal voltage input, is among the core things you’ll need to learn. While there are different types of electricians you could evolve into, this basic knowledge is critical to success.

Safety Knowledge

Another key component when learning the core skills of becoming an electrician is your safety knowledge. As we’ve already discussed above, the responsibility of an electrician to be safe is imperative to your job role, especially when you consider that electrical mistakes can result in fatalities.

You’ll need to carefully manage your workplace and adhere to all your safety training in your role to make it as an electrician.

Physical stamina

You might not think it at first glance, but it’s essential to be physically fit to be a successfully licensed electrician. The job involves long hours and is a very physically demanding task, day after day. Some jobs require heavy lifting, some require intense concentration and hours of manual labour – so it’s key to ensure you’re in ship shape to take on the challenge.

Maths skills

There’s no telling how essential maths will be in your day-to-day life as an Australian electrician. Whether you’re completing basic equations, calculating voltages and what power output you’re going to need, maths is always involved in some way. An advanced understanding of maths, equations, algebra and physics are all critical components of an electrician’s skill set.

Accuracy

When it comes to electricity, you can’t half-bake it. If even one aspect of a job you’re trying to complete isn’t quite right or is off-kilter, you could be in serious trouble, and the potential hazards could be seriously damaging.

Conducting your work accurately, both in a mathematical and a physical sense, is imperative to ensure safety, professionalism and a job well done regarding electrical work.

Soft skills

Now we’ve looked at some of the specifics of the job with hard skills, we’re going to explore some of the soft skills that are needed for you to succeed as an electrician in Melbourne – because having all the maths, fitness and accuracy of work can only take you so far.

It takes a special kind of person to make it a success in electrical services.

Analytical

While having maths and science in your skillset is a necessity, you have to apply that knowledge in terms of problem-solving when completing your work. Being analytical is quite possibly one of the most important skills you’re going to need to be successful, because no two jobs are ever going to be exactly the same – no matter what your training and education prepare you for.

Teamwork

You may indeed spend quite a lot of time on your own when you’re a fully licensed electrician in Australia, it’s also key to being a good team player. Whether it’s on a single job or when you consider that you’re part of a wider team in your company, you have to contribute and be able to represent your team in the best way possible.

There also will be electrical problems that necessitate more than one electrician, especially if you’re working on industrial-sized projects, so the ability to offer your services as part of a team is truly important.

Flexibility

Electrical problems don’t only happen between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the same way that any other problems don’t happen within set hours. It might be important for your company that you’re flexible with your working hours and your working day. Whether that’s being on-call as part of a 24-hour electrical services team for emergency jobs or changing your schedule that day due to your company’s priorities, you’re going to have to adapt.

Technical skills

While this may be a broad term, the ability to pick up and understand technical skills is another key skill for a successful electrician. Being a quick learner and understanding how you can learn high-level technical skills could majorly benefit your education and career as an electrician.

Communication skills

Some say that communication skills are essential for any job in the world – and that might not be wrong – but you certainly need to be able to communicate effectively as a professional electrician. Whether with your team and your boss at your company or with the customers you’re serving, the ability to communicate can never be dismissed.

Sometimes, you have to explain something to your customers or your team that could affect the outcome of a job, so you’ll need to get your point across accurately to make that happen.

Time management

It goes without saying that time management is key when heading into a career as a professional electrician. Sticking to your schedule, offering quotes to customers for how long a job is going to take, letting your boss know how much work you can get done each day – it all comes back to time management.

Knowing how long it takes you to complete even the smallest task can be a great help when you head into your full-time career.

Customer service

Customer service is at the top of every list for customers when they’re picking and choosing which company they want to do their work with. While lots of people can complete the work, and price wars are always going on, one thing is 100% down to you – and that’s your customer service.

If you’re helpful, friendly and professional, you’re not going to go wrong in your Australian electrician career.

The average salary of an electrician

The average salary of a fully qualified electrician in Australia is estimated at around $75-$95,000 per year, with the middle of that bracket falling at around $85,000. When you’re an apprentice and still learning, you can expect a salary of around $50,000 per year – so you’re starting in the right place and only going up from there.

Job outlook for electricians

Another good news if you’re thinking of becoming an electrician in Australia – as one report stated, electricians were a strong contender for the most in-demand trades in 2021 – and the industry is growing – so there will be plenty of job opportunities for electricians in the coming years.

With a growing reliance on all digital systems, from residential homes to the workplace – especially with more and more businesses operating in the online space – there’s no great surprise that electricians are in high demand.

So you could be heading into the field at just the right time.

Projected Growth

The growth of the electrical services industry can be seen in numbers. The industry grew by 0.6% per year between 2017 and 2022, and that trend is set to continue. It is reported that the industry will grow by almost another 5% by 2024, so the demand will only continue.

There is even a feeling that Australians may have to invite workers from overseas to fill the employment shortage when it comes to Australians, so if you’re thinking of getting into a career as an electrician in Australia, the time is now.

Career Trajectory

Getting into a career as an electrician doesn’t mean you stay as an electrician for life. There are multiple career paths that you could follow when you start out as an electrician.

Electrical engineering

There’s potential to progress into electrical engineering if you continue to hone your craft and continually learn the technical aspects of your electrical work. Electrical engineering involves designing, planning and developing various machinery and equipment, including anything from aircraft to communications systems.

Site/project management

A potential avenue for you to follow in your electrician career is to become a site or project manager – this could be a progression within your existing company or a switch to a new one. Still, you can take your experience and skills to the next level by operating in management.

Set up your own business

Of course, you don’t have to stay where you are to progress through the ranks if you can do it on your own. Many electricians work for themselves, managing their schedules and customers. They may even specialise in certain areas of electrical services, such as only working with coffee shops or only doing residential electrical work.

It’s important to find your niche and what interests you – and the beauty of it is that you’re never going to know until you’ve tried everything!

It truly is an exciting time to head into the world of electrical services, with a growing industry crying out for top-class professionals to meet the demands of the Australian public.

If you’re looking for a new local electrician or simply have some questions to ask an expert, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0401 757 325 or email us at nick@propointelectrical.com.au, and we’ll respond as soon as possible.

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