What they do
Electrical engineering technicians support electrical engineers in the research, design, development, manufacture, repair and maintenance of electrical systems. They may work in the design, development and manufacture of electrical equipment and products, or in the operation of electrical distribution facilities. Electrical engineering technicians test and maintain electrical equipment, construct and refine prototypes, and undertake complex electrical functions as part of the development and manufacturing processes. They also assemble and install electrical components for installation into buildings and equipment, as well as testing and calibrating these installations.
Specialisations include: Aircraft electronics technical officer, Communications engineering technical officer, Communications engineering technician, Digital controls technical officer, Flight surveyor, Printed circuit board designer, Process control technician, Telemetry technician
Electrical engineering technicians work throughout Western Australia in workshops, laboratories, factories or offices of electrical equipment manufacturers, power stations and substations and electricity suppliers such as Western Power or Horizon Power. They may also be required to work in the field, assisting with the testing, maintenance or repair of electrical equipment, facilities or distribution systems. They may be required to work in teams with engineers or other tradespeople. They may be required to work at heights or in confined spaces. Conditions may be dangerous as they may be exposed to an electrical current, or electrically-charged equipment and materials. They usually work regular business hours, but may be expected to work longer hours at times.
Tools and technologies
Electrical engineering technicians work with a wide range of tools and technologies depending on the specific type of work that they do. They work mostly with computers, especially computer-aided design (CAD) software. They also consult electrical plans and match the plans to circuits and cabling systems, and they often use high-voltage electrical testing equipment. They may also use measuring and calculating equipment to ensure that plans are carried out to exact specifications. Electrical engineering technicians are often required to wear personal protective clothing such as glasses, boots, hard hats and anti-static clothing.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become an electrical engineering draftsperson, you usually need to gain a qualification in electrical engineering.
Central Queensland University offers an Associate Degree of Engineering majoring in electrical engineering via distance education. This in the only undergraduate degree specialising in electrical engineering in Western Australia. Contact the university for more information.
The Advanced Diploma of Electrical – Engineering and the Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology – Electrical are offered at TAFE Colleges throughout Western Australia. The Advanced Diploma of Applied Electrical Engineering is available at Western Australia training organisations. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and My Skills to find a registered provider near you.
You can undertake a traineeship in electrical engineer (level 6). The traineeship usually takes 36 months to complete.
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.