What does an electrician do?

05 December 2016

So you want to be an electrician? Well, not all electrical trades are made equal. In fact there’s a world of specialisations out there from automotive to air-conditioning, from refrigeration, to instrumentation. Same, same…but very different. We know it can be confusing, so we’re answering the big question: what does an electrician actually do?

In very general terms an Electrician is an individual qualified in installing, servicing, assembling and/or repairing an electrical system.

An apprenticeship in the Electrical Trade generally takes 4 years of practical experience as well as theory work completed as a vocational qualification at a Certificate level.

Some examples of the types of Certificates you might complete with an Electrical outcome include:

  • Certificate III in Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrician)
  • Certificate III in Data and Voice Communications
  • Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Electrical Fitter)
  • Certificate III in Electrotechnology Instrumentation

These are just a few. There are many more specialised electrical certificates that you can undertake as an Apprentice dependant on the industry you work within and the electrical systems you focus on.

Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Apprenticeships

Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics may assemble, install, service and repair industrial, commercial and domestic refrigeration and air-conditioning systems in homes, shops, factories, office buildings and hospitals.

With a qualification in the Air-conditioning and Refrigeration trade you will become part of the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning Industry (HVAC). Within the Electrical trade sector this apprenticeship pathway offers you the most diversity in practical skills exposure. An Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration apprenticeship is perfect if you have an investigative mind and would like to do a variety of practical work including (but not limited to) plumbing, sheet metalwork and electrical diagnostics.

Electrical Apprenticeships

Electricians install, maintain, repair, test and commission electrical equipment and systems for industrial, commercial and domestic purposes.

Electrical trade qualifications offer many career opportunities. Depending on your chosen certificate and practical specialisation you could find yourself working in factories which make and/or repair electrical equipment, devices and machinery; repairing and maintaining electronic devices like televisions and radios; or even running your own small business as an Electrical Contractor.

Electrical Fitting Apprenticeships

An Electrical Fitter typically works on the development and maintenance of major electrical infrastructure including the wiring between electrical components in power plants or in major machinery.

The career pathway for an Electrical Fitter can allow you to specialise as switchboard builders, armature winders who wind or rewind coils on electrical motors and generators, or electrical instrument fitters who test, repair and maintain electrical measuring equipment used in industry. There are also further career development opportunities to upgrade to a full electrical licence allowing you to also carry-out the same works as Electricians. This would set you apart as also being equipped to carry out installation work.

Electrical Instrumentation Apprenticeships

An Electrical Instrumentation tradesperson focuses on the measurement, automation and control of systems used to monitor and maintain temperature, pressure and flow in processes for industries such as mining, oil and gas, food and manufacturing.

Electrical Instrumentation takes a curious mind. Throughout your apprenticeship you will develop the skills essential for investigating systems, installing equipment, servicing them and ensuring everything is operating at peak performance. This qualification offers opportunities across a broad spectrum of industries. You could find yourself working for large multi-national organisations, such as Honeywell, BHP Billiton or even Arnott's Biscuits.

To view all our current apprenticeship openings in the Electrical Trade click here.

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