Have you ever considered pursuing a career in the electrical industry? It’s a hugely rewarding profession, with strong job security and exciting opportunities for career growth. You just have to get past four years on an electrician apprenticeship salary (two-minute noodles, anyone?). There's massive demand for skilled electricians in Australia—and with that demand comes competitive pay.
For mature-age workers, a first-year electrician apprenticeship salary pays $828.56 per week. Naturally, as you gain experience, certifications and skills, you'll grow that number significantly. There's no ceiling either, if you go the business owner route, you’ll be able to control your own hours and build something larger than yourself.
The first step is landing an apprenticeship. Luckily our guide has everything you need to know about electrician apprenticeship salary, career opportunities, and tips on how to succeed in this field. Keep reading to kickstart your exciting future career in the electrical industry!
How to Become an Apprentice Electrician
First, it’s important to understand the agreement you and your employer are getting into when completing an apprenticeship. You're entering into a formal training contract with your employer. It’s an opportunity for you to gain new skills and get paid for it (usually over a four-year period). You’ll gain practical experience on the job as well as more structured training delivered from a registered training authority like a TAFE. During this time, your employer is able to pay you at apprentice electrician salary rates.
There’s no formal requirements to become an apprentice electrician. Below you’ll find the most common avenues people use to find electrical apprenticeships.
Leverage Your Personal Network
If you're looking to get into the electrical trade, look towards your personal network. Friends, family, and even your local sporting clubs may have connections to the industry. Having someone vouch for you can go a long way in an industry built on handshake agreements. It also takes the guesswork out of whether you and the prospective employer are a good fit for each other.
Many industry bodies and support networks advertise apprenticeship positions online. These same organisations usually also have forums and newsletters that you can subscribe to. Don't rule out scanning more general job sites either—they'll have plenty of opportunities to sort through.
Completing a Pre-apprenticeship
Some prospective employers will require you to have completed a pre-apprenticeship. But it isn’t a very common requirement. Though, having completed one could set you apart from other candidates. It may also help you justify earning more than the typical electrician apprenticeship salary. Sometimes they can contribute credit towards your full apprenticeship too.
Future Prospects for Australian Electricians
Over the next decade, Australia is embarking on many large-scale renewable energy projects to meet its emissions targets. Electricians are going to play a crucial role in this transition to more renewable energy sources. They will help install, maintain, and repair the renewable infrastructure of the future.
The Australian Government’s 2022 Skills Priority List (SPL) report showed there was a shortage of electricians in the country. There is also expected to be strong demand for more in the future. A recent ETU survey showed low apprentice electrician salaries being one of the most cited reasons for people quitting. The huge demand and lack of workers coming through seems likely to lead to higher wages and more incentives for apprentices. The future is bright for anyone considering a career as an electrician.
Australian Electrician Apprenticeship Salary
Remember, you’re being paid to learn. While an electrician apprenticeship salary isn’t the most lucrative, you’re setting yourself up for a fruitful future career. The skills you learn on the job, from training, and your colleagues should be your priority at this stage.
The minimum wage for Australian electrician apprenticeships is set by the ‘Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award’ (MA000025). Most electrician apprenticeship salaries will pay at these rates. You can use the government Fair Work calculator to check these rates.
As always, your experience and competency may lead to getting paid above-award wages. Other variables that factor in include your state, whether you're a member of an industry body, and if you belong to a union. These can all affect how much your electrician apprenticeship salary pays.
Below you’ll find electrician apprenticeship salary rates as set out in the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award,
Under 21 & Completed Year 12
Adult Apprentice (Over 21)
5 Tips for Succeeding as an Electrician Apprentice
You want to make the most of your electrical apprenticeship. It could be the beginning of a decades-long, enjoyable career. There’s a good chance you could turn your apprenticeship into a permanent and regular job too. Set yourself up for long-term success by taking on board the following advice,
1. Be punctual and reliable.
You don’t want to be the undependable apprentice—showing up late or not at all. Build up the practice of respecting your employer and the customer’s time. Showing up on time, every time, is crucial for making a good impression and proving you can handle additional responsibility.
2. Positivity is key.
As the apprentice on site, you may get stuck with some of the less fun jobs (fetching tools, cleaning up the site, and moving materials). Familiarising yourself with the tools, practices, and jargon .There’s a lot to take in. You’re going to make the occasional mistake and feel a bit lost. It’s inevitable. It's all made harder by the fact you’re trying to make it all work on an apprentice electrician salary. A positive outlook will go a long way in your career—particularly when navigating the customer-facing aspects of the job.
3. Ask questions.
There's zero expectation for you to know everything. Ask the stupid question instead of making the stupid mistake—ESPECIALLY if it’s related to safety. Over their time in the trade, your colleagues would have picked up all sorts of useful tricks to help get the job done efficiently and to a high standard. Leverage all that experience and fast-track your own learning. An apprenticeship would be a great time to ask about the operational side of how the business works too. This can help you envision an owner-operator blueprint for your future self.
4. Take initiative.
Look for opportunities to take on new tasks and responsibilities. Be proactive about learning new skills. The aim isn’t to take on as much work as possible and burn yourself out. Learn useful skills that benefit you and your employer, and show your employer that you’re motivated and willing to work hard.
You may find yourself one of the more digitally savvy members of the work site—consider upskilling yourself on the features of your job management system. If you saved your boss hours of admin time by getting your compliance forms onto the job management system, it’d reflect pretty well on you, right?
Initiative is crucial If you’re the type of person who wants to own their own business in the future. Level up your business nous, and you’ll transform your electrician apprentice salary into that of a successful trade business owner in due time.
5. Be open to feedback.
Take on board constructive criticism from your employer and colleagues, and use it as an opportunity to improve your knowledge and skills. Don’t assume that because you’ve been shown one way of completing a task, it’s the best or fastest method. Learn and relearn. Your coworkers may have different approaches, and you can pick and choose the best of them. People love sharing their expertise, be receptive to feedback and a keen student of your trade. Don't ever think you have it all mastered.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about electrician apprenticeship salary, future prospects of the industry, and key tips for success.