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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 installation, 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 IRC's 2018 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 2018. In 2018, there were approximately 6,200 Automotive Electricians, considerably less than in 2014 when there was approximately 10,300. Employment numbers are not projected to change greatly up until 2023.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were close to 5,700 program enrolments in Automotive Electrical qualifications in 2017 and over 2,400 completions. Virtually all the qualification enrolments were at the certificate II or certificate III levels in 2017. The qualifications were split between Automotive Air Conditioning Technology, and Automotive Electrical Technology. The main destination occupations were Automotive Electrician for the Automotive Electrical Technology qualifications and Mechanic’s Assistant for the Automotive Air Conditioning Technology qualifications.

In 2017, the majority of courses were delivered by TAFE institutes (57%), with 36% being delivered by private providers. Over half of the funding was from government (60%) with most of the rest being funded through domestic fee-for-service (33%). Twenty-nine percent of students were from Queensland, with 21% coming from New South Wales, 18% from Victoria and 17% from Western Australia. 

There were 874 apprentice and trainee commencements in 2017 and 529 completions. The apprenticeships were mostly aimed at the intended occupation of Automotive Electrician.

In December 2017, about 28% of the apprenticeships were reported in Queensland and a further 25% were in Victoria, with 22% being in New South Wales.

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 IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast 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. There has also been increased computerised software in vehicles such as wireless and Bluetooth technology.

The top five generic skills relevant to this sector according to the Skills Forecast are:

  • technology use and application
  • language, literacy and numeracy
  • design mindset/thinking critically/system thinking/solving problems
  • communication/collaboration including virtual collaboration/social intelligence
  • learning agility/information literacy/intellectual autonomy and self-management.

The Skills Forecast notes a shortage of Automotive Electrical Technicians. In addition, the Directions in Australia’s automotive industry 2017 lists projected skills shortage numbers for the following occupation relevant to the Automotive Electrical Services sector projected to 2018–19:

Automotive Electrician 1,749

The report Future job openings for new entrants by industry and occupation, forecasts that for Automotive Electricians and Mechanics, 61.1% of job openings between 2017–24 will be due to replacement demand. Much of this is due to people leaving the job. This in turn could have implications for training as there will be fewer experienced workers to supervise apprentices.

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 (ARC)

Automotive Air Conditioning, Electrical and Cooling Technicians of Australasia (VASA)


Employee associations

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union


Relevant research

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

Future job openings for new entrants by industry and occupation – Shah C 2018

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 3211 Automotive Electricians.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1st November 2018 Employed total by ANZSCO, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter

  • 3211 Automotive Electricians.

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
  • Automotive Air-conditioning Technology
    • AUR20212 - Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning Technology
    • AUR20216 - Certificate II in Automotive Air Conditioning Technology
  • Automotive Electrical 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
    • AUR40616 - 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, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 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 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions 
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Generic skills data have been extracted from the Automotive IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Updated: 10 Sep 2019
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