Becoming an electrician is an attractive career path for many, not least because of the consistent demand, relatively high wages, and the opportunity for career advancement. Electricians are essential in keeping our modern world wired and working.
But what if you're looking to break into the field without undergoing the traditional apprenticeship? Is it even possible? This article explores the avenues available for becoming an electrician, especially in the context of Australia.
Why Become an Electrician?
Being an electrician offers a wealth of benefits, from job security to a rewarding work environment. The trade is in constant demand, offering you a level of job security that many other professions can't match. Moreover, the skill set you acquire is transferable, opening up opportunities both nationally and internationally. Electricians also enjoy relatively high earning potentials, with opportunities for self-employment and even business ownership down the line.
So, How Can You Become an Electrician Without an Apprenticeship?
The short answer is – you can't, not unless you have prior experience and are licensed overseas. In that specific case, you can apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). However, if you're a school leaver or are transitioning from an unrelated career, you'll need to undertake a four-year apprenticeship.
Steps to Becoming a Licensed Electrician
To become an electrician anywhere in Australia, you'll generally need to complete a four-year apprenticeship. In Western Australia, for instance, apprenticeships are competency-based and flexible. Your training will be divided between workplace experience and off-the-job learning, with assessments to gauge your skill acquisition throughout the apprenticeship.
Off-the-job training typically occurs one day per week or in blocks of one to three weeks at a training provider such as the College of Electrical Training. The remainder of your time will be spent gaining practical experience on the job.
What Are the Minimum Requirements to Start an Electrical Apprenticeship?
Before you can get your foot in the door, you'll need to meet the following criteria:
- Ability to undertake manual tasks
- Self-starter with a positive attitude
- Strong communication skills
- Capability to liaise with customers, clients, and management
- Evidence of colour vision testing
- Able to pass ongoing drug and alcohol screenings
- Good maths skills and a willingness to learn
You'll also need to submit various documents such as a birth certificate or proof of residency, drivers licence, pre-apprenticeship or National Readiness Assessment, a recent National Police Certificate, and more.
How to Find an Electrical Apprenticeship
While you can try to land an apprenticeship through personal connections or direct applications, there's a simpler route: Electrical Group Training (EGT). They can find you a suitable apprenticeship and offer a comprehensive training journey, so you acquire a rich and varied set of skills.
Becoming an electrician without an apprenticeship isn't generally feasible unless you have prior experience and overseas qualifications. In Australia, apprenticeships remain the most comprehensive and widely-accepted pathway into the electrical trade. And if you're looking for a seamless entry into this rewarding profession, partnering with an experienced organisation like EGT can make all the difference.
EGT has over 30 years of experience and is the largest employer of electrical apprentices in Western Australia. We offer not just apprenticeships but a complete training pathway that includes diverse work placements and rigorous monitoring by dedicated EGT Field Officers. We handle everything—from tools and uniforms to payroll and other entitlements—to ensure a smooth start to your career.