by Warren Heggarty
Electricians install, maintain, repair, test and commission electrical and electronic equipment. They work in factories, businesses and homes. They may also work on electricity transmission and distribution (‘poles and wires’ and so forth). (Jobguide, 2014)
To become an electrician you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship in a field such as Electrotechnology Electrician. Entry requirements vary but personal qualities include:
• Enjoy mathematical and technical activities
• Good hand-eye coordination
• Good eyesight (with glasses) and normal colour vision
• Logical thinking and the ability to figure out problems.
• Able to do precise and detailed work safely
• Able to work independently, for example working alone for a householder.
• Able to work as part of a team for example working with other electricians or tradespeople on a building site.
• Able to cope with the physical demands of the job which may include
o Working at heights (including on roofs, towers and masts)
o Working in enclosed, confined spaces
o Standing for long periods
• Good communication skills. Some electricians have a great deal of contact with members of the public
You can watch videos about this and other trades and occupations on the SKILLS ONE site.
Figuring it all out
You can find a number of videos on the skills one site that will give you an introduction to electrical or electronics work. Luke who is doing a Certificate III says that ‘you have to have an inquisitive sense of what makes this work and if it doesn’t work how do I make it work.’ (TAFE)
Nick says, ‘When I came to TAFE I slowly got the knowledge then realised this is something I could do…it’s never the same thing. It’s always different. Something might break… and you have to look at the drawings and try to figure out how it works and how you’re going to fix it. (TAFE)
Alongside other trades
Electricians don’t always work in isolation. To illustrate how they mesh with other trades, take fire protection in a theatre. There are two basic sides to fire protection, Wet (eg. sprinklers) and Dry (eg. alarms). There are also inspectors whose job it is to conduct evacuation drills and be on stand by in the case of shows that have pyrotechnics. (Electricals (Property Services at the Capitol Theatre))
In addition there are engineers and others who design the sprinkler systems, the alarm systems and the evacuation plans. Electricians with a Certificate III work amongst all these people as well as the people who do air conditioning, lighting and so forth. (Fire Services/Fire Warden (Property services at the Capitol Theatre))
A lot of people might be daunted by this requirement, but remember, the mathematics has a practical application to your trade. The fundamentals of maths for electricians can be found here https://www.mikeholt.com/instructor2/img/product/pdf/1302643872-sample.pdf
It includes both mathematical and electrical formulas (like Ohm’s Law). Don’t be surprised if it looks a bit difficult. That’s because you haven’t learnt it yet!
Electricals (Property Services at the Capitol Theatre) (n.d.). [Motion Picture]. constructmycareer.com.au. Retrieved from:
Fire Services/Fire Warden (Property services at the Capitol Theatre) (n.d.). [Motion Picture]. constructmycareer.com.au. Retrieved December 4, 2018, from:
Jobguide. (2014). Job Guide NSW and ACT . Australian Government Dept Education .
TAFE, S. N. (Director). (n.d.). Electronics [Motion Picture]. Retrieved December 4, 2018, from: