How to Get an Electrician Apprenticeship: With Step Guide

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 19 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Apprenticeships are a good option for candidates seeking practical experience to better prepare them for future employment. If you have a special interest in the installation, maintenance and repair of electrical systems, then you may enjoy an electrician apprenticeship. Understanding how to get an electrician apprenticeship can improve your chances of securing a program by encouraging you to pursue the necessary education and practical experience. In this article, we discuss what an electrician apprenticeship is, outline how to get one, explore the necessary skills required and list potential career paths.

What is an electrician apprenticeship?

An electrician apprenticeship is a program that provides candidates wishing to become electricians with practical experience in the trade. There are many different types of electrician apprenticeships that focus on different areas of installation, maintenance and repair of electrical systems. Candidates work with a fully qualified electrician and learn the trade by observing their techniques and problem-solving style. Apprentices learn how to interact with customers by completing jobs such as booking appointments, answering queries and completing minor jobs for their superior.

Related: What is an Apprenticeship?

How to get an electrician apprenticeship

Here's a step-by-step guide how to get an electrician apprenticeship:

1. Complete your high school education

Gaining a high school certificate is an important part of your apprenticeship career, as it suggests you possess a good level of written and verbal communication skills. This can also help to prepare you for further study for the necessary certifications to pursue an apprenticeship. Some employers may also expect a high school certificate as a minimum educational requirement before accepting candidates into an apprenticeship program.

Related: How To Get Into An Apprenticeship (With Steps and Benefits)

2. Do pre-apprenticeship study

Although it's not required to start an electrician apprenticeship, candidates are more likely to succeed by doing pre-apprenticeship study such as the Certificate II in Electrotechnology.

3. Prepare your apprentice resume

Once you have completed your pre-apprenticeship, you can now prepare your apprenticeship resume. A resume is a professional document that summarises your relevant skills and experience, offering the hiring manager a more comprehensive understanding of why you're choosing to pursue an electrician apprenticeship. A resume has dedicated sections to your educational experience, employment information, references and professional skills. Ensuring that you include all the relevant information is important to increase your chances of success.

When constructing your resume, consider highlighting the skills specific to the role, as this can help the hiring manager match you to the description. It's also important to choose the correct format as this shifts focus to your most impressive qualities. You can choose from a chronological resume that highlights your experience or a functional resume that foregrounds your professional skills. It's also important to thoroughly proofread your resume and ensure there are no grammatical or spelling errors, as this is typically an employer's first indication of your written communication skills.

4. Apply for an electrician apprenticeship

When you have completed your professional resume, you may now apply for your apprenticeship role. When applying, ensure that you consider the logistics of the role, including how long it may take you to commute to the job and the expected working hours. The Australian Government has an online tool that can help you find the apprenticeship program that's most relevant to your career goals. Consider researching prominent electrical and energy retailers as some companies may offer standard apprenticeship programs to Australian citizens.

You can also consider asking any contacts you have about shadowing opportunities. Shadowing an electrician for a few hours can help you gain a better understanding of what type of electrician apprenticeship you may like to undertake.

An electrical apprenticeship takes four years of work and includes completing the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician and obtaining the licensing assessments required in your state.

Related: How To Become an Electrician in 4 Steps

Apprentice electrician skills

Electrician apprentices gain and develop skills throughout their program by taking on practical tasks and observing their superiors. By developing these skills, candidates become more confident and can eventually work independently with customers to maintain and install equipment. Candidates may spend more time developing the industry-specific hard skills necessary to complete tasks based on technical drawings of reducing fire and electrocution hazards. Here's a list of key skills electrician apprentices may benefit from:

  • Problem-solving: Electrician apprentices can work with their supervisor to repair electrical systems and install components that minimise the risk of further fault. To do this, candidates require comprehensive problem-solving skills to resolve the fault for their customers.

  • Mathematical skills: During their apprenticeship, candidates may help electricians install electrical systems based on technical drawings. Strong mathematical skills help candidates ensure that all measurements are exact and closely resemble the technical drawing.

  • Attention to detail: Electrical apprentices may assist their supervisor with troubleshooting faults in an electrical system. Attention to detail ensures that candidates can look closely at a system and identify minute discrepancies that have a large impact on the overall system performance.

  • Safety skills: Working with electrical components can pose safety hazards such as fire and electrocution risks. Candidates require good safety skills and an understanding of how to handle equipment to minimise the risk of harm.

  • Knowledge of electrical systems: Candidates typically require a basic understanding of electrical systems such as materials that conduct electricity and the basic principles of wiring.

  • Customer service skills: Electricians spend a large portion of their career working with customers to provide an installation, maintenance or repair service. Good customer service skills help candidates form a rapport with clients, which can help build a positive reputation.

  • Collaborative working: Apprentices primarily work in partnership with fully qualified electricians to absorb their techniques and vital teachings. Good collaborative working skills can help the apprentice work effectively by gaining the most understanding of the trade whilst expanding their professional network.

Career paths for electrician apprentices

Once apprentices have completed their program, there are several types of industries they can enter. For example, the construction industry has many employment opportunities for electricians where they can assist architects and planning companies to plan out structures with electrical systems such as underfloor heating and fibre-optic internet. Electricians can also specialise in different appliances to ensure they're safe to run in people's homes. Here's a list of jobs that apprentices can consider for future career progression opportunities:

1. Refrigeration technicians

National average salary: $80,075 per year

Primary duties: Refrigeration technicians install, maintain and repair household or large-scale industry refrigerators used in hospitality settings. They ensure appliances are safe to use and conduct regular maintenance to ensure there's no risk of fire or fault. Technicians work closely with customers to troubleshoot any issues with their refrigeration systems and may install new appliances if the technician can't complete repairs. Apprentice electricians may find this a good career option as it requires extensive knowledge of electrical systems like wiring and installing, including how to ensure appliances are safe from electrical hazards.

2. Air conditioning service technician

National average salary: $78,027 per year

Primary duties: Air conditioning technicians work to ensure that air conditioning appliances can work through periods of high heat and can maintain optimum performance with little intervention. They do this by conducting regular service and maintenance visits, which include a full quality check that identifies any faults or safety hazards. These professionals also ensure that air conditioning systems operate under environmental standards highlighted by local governments. They can do this by ensuring that the air conditioning unit doesn't require more energy than is typically necessary.

3. Journeyman electrician

National average salary: $82,065 per year

Primary duties: Becoming a journeyman electrician is a typical career stop during an electrician's progression. This role refers to a versatile trades position that covers all-around electrician duties such as installing light fittings in schools, businesses and homes while helping other professionals set up internet and other electrical systems. These professionals can work under the guidance of master electricians to ensure they fulfil tasks to a high standard. Journeyman electricians can be in charge of ensuring that all electrical work carried out complies with state regulations and follows a strict safety testing regime.

4. Master electrician

National average salary: $76,519 per year

Primary duties: Master electricians are the highest-ranking electricians in most settings and enforce stringent regulations surrounding their work. This comprises of applying for permits to conduct specific work and ensuring that their colleagues fulfil all safety regulations depending on their state. Master electricians typically delegate tasks across their team, taking on more managerial roles due to their seniority. As these professionals complete more training hours and typically have the most experience, they can complete almost all electrician tasks, while training new apprenticeships and overseeing their colleagues' performance.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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