Knowing Your Electrician

In a nutshell, electricians are generally professional tradesmen that work on electrical equipment and in electrical systems at homes, factories, business offices, and buildings both existing and those under construction. 

The line of work consists mainly of installing, repairing, maintaining, and modifying electrical equipment power, lighting, communications, and control systems in their work areas. 

These professionals would need an electrical degree from a technical college. They would also need ample experience in the field working on simple to complex electrical systems.

Job Responsibilities

The first on the list is knowledge of installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical controls, wiring, and lighting systems, all of which run on electricity. This is their mainline and specific specialty.

The other job descriptions that they are all qualified to do is reading technical diagrams and blueprints and performing general electrical maintenance. There will also be the task of troubleshooting electrical issues using their trade-specific testing devices.

They are also in charge of the repair and replacement of equipment, electrical wiring, and fixtures, all within the purview of the state and local building regulations of the National Electrical Code.

From time to time, they perform the necessary circuit breaker corrective maintenance. They also maintain a good knowledge of heating and air conditioning systems including the various testing equipment. 

The profession

As per NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association), electricians count among those most in-demand tradespeople in Australia, making it easier to find electrician Brisbane jobs around. Electricians are listed in the top 5 jobs that employers need to fill up.

The profession also lists as one with many opportunities, with job security for electricians being much higher than in other employment areas.

NECA is the biggest electrical contractor in Australia and is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.

Compensations

Currently, most electricians charge between $50 up to $100 per hour (according to HomeAdvisor) and there are other possible charges on top of this basic rate (travel fees, overhead costs, cost of materials, etc.) needed to complete the job.

Today’s apprentice electricians (those new to the job and working on their license) can expect to earn more than $40,000 a year. Journeymen electricians (those who are fully licensed and more experienced) take home around $55,000 a year.

At present, the average annual salary for electrician jobs in Australia ranges from $75,000 to $95,000. Master and specialty electricians have the potential to earn the highest salary among all the other electricians.

Typically, these include wind turbine technicians, electrical technicians, maintenance electricians, electrical foremen, solar installers, industrial electricians, substation technicians,s and automation technicians.

Training / Qualifications 

Usually, it can take around three years to complete a regular apprenticeship program. The program involves four days working in a related role and one day a week at college.

There are many colleges that also provide fast-track options for more experienced students, cutting it down sometimes to only two years.

By a short stretch, the requirements for electricians consist of completion of the electrical apprenticeship, experience working as an electrician, a high school diploma, a valid driver’s license, plus an electrician degree from a technical college.

Electrical knowhow

They are also expected to have a deep knowledge of electrical systems. Power generation, blueprints, maintenance, and repair know-how. A working experience in the renewable energy field is most welcome.

To become a licensed electrician, a candidate will need to complete a Certificate III in Electrotechnology. (There is a range of electrician courses on offer with TAFE NSW but with no formal entry requirements). The Cert III is the most suitable for someone just starting out.

Electrician skills

It takes much time to work towards becoming a professional registered electrician. Likewise, it is a complex undertaking, although it leads to an incredibly rewarding profession that is always in high demand. Through training and immersion with people in the industry, the candidate is expected to imbibe some personal and professional skills that are deemed valuable to the work. Whether you’re a seasoned electrician who’s been in the business for years or if you’re a newly trained electrician who has recently just registered, these skills come in handy to outperform your competitors and do your job to the best of your ability. 

Problem-solving

Among all the other important skills, problem-solving tops the criteria of the promise of making it big in the profession. It is no secret that in their day-to-day working interaction with people and situations, electricians meet various problems their clients have that need to be solved in order to complete the task.

There are various challenges that present themselves to electricians every day. They run from simple tasks of choosing the right cable size to more complex ones like planning the layout and installation of the wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Other big-time situations like diagnosing problems, troubleshooting, and conducting tests require strong problem-solving skills. Learning to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions is a vital skill for successful electricians to master.

Communication skills

Customer service and people skills are crucial for any electrician as the job requires a lot of communication. Here, the electrician needs to handle the interaction in a way that makes them seem informed and trustworthy and puts the other party at ease.

Electricians are often called during times of crisis when a homeowner or tenant has an urgent electrical situation where emotions are running wild. 

it is imperative for the electrician to make the other party feel reassured and take them through the process in a way that makes them feel comfortable and reassured.

An electrician that works as a private contractor for themselves or through a company has much more interactions with customers, builders, architects, homeowners, and tenants, all of them with their needs and concerns that he needs to explain and soothe over.

Business skills

Electricians with an entrepreneurial mindset have a lot of options to hone their business skills and create opportunities for themselves that can lead to a great career trajectory. 

For the average electrician-contractor, possessing basic business skills like invoicing, managing finances, keeping track of inventory and many others goes a long way to a successful career.

Basic math skills

Having basic math skills for an electrician goes a long way in ensuring that routine calculations for things like measuring currents and volts are read and interpreted correctly. 

The level of math required is fairly basic – handling addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with confidence should be sufficient. Generally, this required level can be had with a primary school and high school education up to grade 9. 

Detail-oriented

An electrician needs to always maintain a detail-orientated approach to ensure the smaller items are not overlooked. Attention to detail also comes in handy when the following work is according to strict technical standards. 

Electricity is highly dangerous, and the strictest attention to detail has to be followed in order to ensure safety and away from harm. Following procedures and electrical safety rules are always non-negotiable.

These skills are both inherent and can also be taught. With determination, any would-be electrician can learn these skills and master them as they move on to do their jobs.

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