Electrician (general)

What they do

Electricians install, test, repair, maintain and modify electrical equipment, wiring and control systems. They use wires and cables to connect electrical equipment, such as heaters or lighting, to electrical power sources. They use electronic test instruments to trace and diagnose faults, as well as test and maintain electrical connections to ensure they are not faulty. As electrical work is required all over the State, electricians can work anywhere from the Perth metro area, to small rural towns.

Working conditions

Electricians may work in workshops or on location at construction sites, private dwellings, industrial plants, power stations, offices and anywhere requiring electrical maintenance. They may work in cramped conditions or at heights, and sometimes their work can be dangerous. They usually work normal business hours but may be required to be on call day or night to conduct emergency repairs.

Tools and technologies

Electricians use tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, drills and wire strippers. They also use ohmmeters or voltmeters for testing electrical equipment. Since the work can sometimes be dangerous, they may be required to wear and use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as bright and reflective safety clothing, hard hats, earmuffs, gloves, goggles and enclosed steel-capped boots.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become an Electrician (General), you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in electrical mechanics. The apprenticeship usually takes 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 electrician in Western Australia you will need to obtain an Electrical Licence issued from the EnergySafety Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

To work as an electrician within the construction industry you will need to obtain a Construction Induction Card (also known as a “white card”) from a registered training organisation authorised by the WorkSafe Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

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