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Automotive Electrical


This page provides information and data on the Automotive Electrical sector, which is one component of the Automotive industry.

The Automotive Electrical sector covers the service, repair and overhaul of electrical systems and components within vehicles and machinery. Activities include air-conditioning services, battery sales and the sales of new and overhauled parts.

Nationally recognised training for the Automotive Electrical Services industry sector is delivered under the AUR Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

For information on other automotive related industry sectors, visit the Automotive cluster page.

Information sourced from the Automotive Industry Skills Forecast

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The industry class associated with the Automotive Electrical sector is Automotive Electrical Services. The census data indicates that in 2016 there were approximately 5,800 people employed in this sector, down slightly from just over 6,000 in 2006. By far the largest occupation within this industry class is Automotive Electricians (about 63% of employment in this industry class in 2016).

The number of those employed as Automotive Electricians has varied quite considerably over the period between 2000 and 2017. In 2017, there were approximately 6,100 Automotive Electricians, considerable less than the approximately 10,300 in 2014. There is not projected to be a great change in employment numbers to 2022.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were almost 5,000 program enrolments in Automotive Electrical sector and just under 2,900 completions. Enrolment and completion numbers have remained fairly stable over the period between 2014 and 2016. Virtually all the qualifications were at the certificate II or certificate III levels in 2016. Most of the enrolments at certificate II level were in automotive air conditioning technology, with all the certificate III qualifications and small numbers of certificate II and IV qualifications being in automotive electrical technology.

In 2016, the majority of courses were delivered by TAFE institutes (57%), and about a third was delivered by private providers. About half of the subjects were government funded (51%) with most of the rest being funded through domestic fee-for-service (45%). Thirty-two percent of students were from Queensland, with 22% coming from New South Wales, 17% from Western Australia and 15% from New South Wales. 

There were 673 apprentice and trainee commencements in 2016 and 535 completions. This is the highest number of completions for the period between 2010 and 2016. For the October to December quarter 2016, the apprenticeships were virtually all enrolled in the Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology with an intended occupation of Automotive Electricians.

About 35% of the apprenticeships and traineeships were in Queensland and a further 23% were in New South Wales. Victoria and Western Australia also has significant proportions (17% and 14% respectively).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

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Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Automotive Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017 indicates that technological change is impacting on the skill needs of this sector. The evolution of hybrid and battery electric vehicles has led for an increased need for specialised automotive electrical services.

The main priority skills for this sector identified by the industry skills forecast are:

  • Foundation skills – Language, literacy and numeracy (LLN), employability and in particular digital  literacy skills.
  • Higher level skills – Skills relevant to dual trade mechanical/electrical technicians.
  • Technical skills – For example using advanced diagnostic equipment.
  • Diagnostic skills - Troubleshooting and fault finding and then undertaking the necessary repairs.
  • Deeper skills – Related to job specialisation towards vehicle brands and technology.

The top five generic skills for the sector according to the skills forecast are:

  • Design mindset/Thinking critically/Systems thinking/Solving problems
  • Language, literacy and numeracy (LLN)
  • Communication/Virtual collaboration/Social intelligence
  • Learning agility/Information literacy/Intellectual autonomy and self-management
  • Customer service/Marketing.

The Directions in Australia’s automotive industry 2017 lists projected skill shortage numbers to 2018-2019 for the following occupation relevant to the Automotive Electrical sector:

Automotive Electrician 1,749

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Australian Refrigeration Council

Automotive Air Conditioning, Electrical and Cooling Technicians of Australasia


Employee associations

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union


Relevant research

Directions in Australia’s automotive industry: an industry report 2017 -Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2022
    • 3211 Automotive Electricians
    • 8994 Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters
    • 8999 Other Miscellaneous Labourers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), sex, state and territory, August 1986 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 2nd January 2018 <>

  • Employed total by ANZSCO, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter
    • 3211 Automotive Electricians
    • 8994 Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters
    • 8999 Other Miscellaneous Labourers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work2006 Census –labour force TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 4 digit ANZSIC,
    • 9411 Automotive Electrical Services.                                                                                                                        

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • AUR Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Training Package
    • AUR20212 - Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning Technology
    • AUR20216 - Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning Technology
    • AUR20408 - Certificate II in Automotive Electrical Technology
    • AUR20412 - Certificate II in Automotive Electrical Technology
    • AUR20416 - Certificate II in Automotive Electrical Technology
    • AUR30308 - Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology
    • AUR30312 - Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology
    • AUR30316 - Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology
    • AUR40612 - Certificate IV in Automotive Electrical Technology.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

AUR Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2016 commencements
  • 2010 to 2016 completions 
  • 2016 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2016 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Automotive Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017.

Updated: 17 Sep 2018
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