Automotive electrician

What they do

Automotive electricians install, maintain and repair electrical wiring and electronic components in motor vehicles ranging from passenger and commercial vehicles to marine, as well as in mining equipment. They dismantle and remove electrical components, adjust engine control systems, and repair and replace faulty ignitions and wiring. Automotive electricians often interact directly with a customer; asking for clarification of the problem with their vehicle, and then explaining what needs to be done.

Working conditions

An automotive electrician would normally work regular hours, Monday to Friday. Some work on weekends, and travel to customers' homes or workplaces. If they work in the mining industry, it may be on a Fly In/Fly Out basis.

Automotive electricians typically work in a workshop for a self-employed automotive electrician, vehicle dealership, service station or at a mine site. Work may be completed from within the vehicle itself, or else, at a workbench. They usually wear protective clothing.

Tools and technologies

Automotive electricians need to have a good understanding of electrical and electronic systems so that they can repair and install electrical and electronic equipment. They also need to be skilled in using hand and power tools, for example a soldering iron, drill or lathe. 

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an automotive electrician, you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in automotive electrician. The automotive electrician apprenticeship usually takes 42 to 48 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

To work as an automotive electrician in Western Australia, you will need to obtain a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate (or work under the supervision of someone who holds a current certificate) from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. A

National Police Certificate from the Australian Federal Police is required to gain a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate.