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Electrical Services

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Electrical Services (Electricians) sector, which is a component of the Electrotechnology industry.

The Electrical Services sector includes the installation, servicing, repair and maintenance of electrical and electronic equipment for industrial, commercial and domestic purposes. Electrical Services workers are employed across a wide variety of industries including Construction, Mining and Civil Infrastructure, ICT and Communication, and Utilities.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required for Electrical Services related occupations such as:

  • Electricians
  • Electronics Trades Workers
  • Telecommunications Trades Workers.

Nationally recognised training for the Electrical Services sector is delivered under the UEE – Electrotechnology Training Package.

For information on Electrical Engineering, Industrial Control, Electronics and Computers, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning, Renewable and Sustainable Energy, ESI Generation, and ESI Transmission Distribution and Rail sectors please visit the respective pages.

Information sourced from the Electrotechnology IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

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

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The employment level for the occupation of Electricians increased overall between 2000 and 2018 before declining to around 140,000 in 2019, levels are however projected to increase slightly again between 2019 and 2024. According to the 2016 census, over half of Electricians are employed in the Construction Services industry with the rest being distributed throughout a range of other industries.

For the occupations of Electronics Trades Workers and Telecommunications Trades Workers employment levels have remained relatively stable since 2000, with small variations recorded over time. Employment levels for Electronics Trades Workers are projected to decline over the next five years, while slight increases are expected for Telecommunications Trades Workers.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were more than 46,380 program enrolments in Electrical Services related qualifications during 2018, representing a slight decrease on the previous year (47,940), however, figures are still above those recorded in 2015 and 2016. There were around 10,330 program completions during 2018, representing a slight increase from 2017 (10,060), but still below the completion levels of 2015 and 2016. Most enrolments during 2018 were in the qualifications of Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician and Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start), making up approximately 72% and 22% of total enrolments respectively. The main intended occupation for those who enrolled in the Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) was Electrical or Telecommunications Trades Assistant. For those who enrolled in the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, the main intended occupation was Electrician (General).

For enrolments during 2018, TAFE institutes provided 72% of training in Electrical Services related qualifications, with a further 20% delivered by private training providers. There was some variation to this depending on qualification, with a Certificate III in Security Equipment almost exclusively delivered by TAFE institutes (99%) and Certificate IV in Hazardous Areas – Electrical mainly delivered by private training providers (96%). Around 94% of subjects delivered by TAFE institutes were Commonwealth and state funded, this dropped to 66% for private training providers, with domestic fee for service making up most of the remainder. More than one quarter of students were from New South Wales (28%), followed by Victoria (23%), Queensland (23%) and Western Australia (12%).

More than a quarter of all training was delivered in New South Wales (29%), followed by Victoria (24%), Queensland (23%) and Western Australia (13%)

During 2018, there were approximately 10,590 apprenticeship commencements in Electrical Services related qualifications, representing the highest level recorded since 2010.  Approximately 5,650 apprentices completed their qualification during 2018, a slight increase from 2017 but still below the peak of 6,720 in 2015.  

As at December 2018, most apprentices were undertaking the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician and training towards the intended occupation of Electrician (General). Close to one third of apprenticeship training was reported in New South Wales (32%), with 25% in Victoria and 21% in Queensland.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET Students by Industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

The Electrotechnology IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast reported the following Electrical Services sector related job roles as being in shortage over the last 12 months:

  • Educators, Trainers, Assessors
  • Electricians.

The most commonly identified reasons for the above skills shortages, as named by employers, were:

  • Ageing workforce/current staff retiring
  • Cost/time to achieve the required qualification
  • Competition from other organisations
  • Wages/salaries considered too low
  • Geographic location of the vacancy.

The Electrotechnology IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast highlights training challenges associated with rapidly advancing technology. The Electrotechnology industry reported the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician qualification, which accounted for almost three quarters of Electrical Services sector enrolments during 2018, is struggling to maintain currency with industry advancements. This is of significant concern to industry, as it may leave apprentices unable to perform the future work demanded of the job.

In addition, strong growth within the solar and renewable energy sector, and high rate of solar uptake, has led to a reported shortage of qualified electricians who have the necessary skills for installation and maintenance of solar systems. As the current 1.8 million rooftop Solar Photovoltaic systems are expected to double by 2020, the Electrotechnology IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast identifies a need for the related skills in the Electrotechnology industry to change accordingly to meet industry demands.

Clean energy and renewable technologies are also significant and growing employers, with the Energy Efficiency Employment in Australia study suggesting that there are more full-time equivalent workers in energy efficiency than any other part of the energy sector. In addition, an article by Sophie Vorrath for Renew Economy indicates there has been a 33% increase in full-time equivalent employment from 2015/16 to 2016/17 within the renewable energy industry.

According to the Electrotechnology IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast, hazard awareness also forms an important part of the industry, particularly with regards to the harmful effects of silica and associated lung disease silicosis. A fine dust containing the chemical compound silica can be produced by drilling and riveting into materials such as concrete, and electricians may be at risk of hazardous exposure through routine tasks. The industry has made significant efforts to raise awareness of silica hazards through training workshops, and Safe Work Australia is currently evaluating the ‘Workplace Exposure Standards for Airborne Contaminants’ to ensure they are based on the highest quality evidence and supported by a rigorous scientific approach. The IRC recognises that current electrician qualifications need reviewing and updating, to ensure the safety and competency of workers with new technologies.

For an analysis of Electrotechnology IRC priority skills and job vacancy data, see the Electrotechnology industry cluster page.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

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

  • by ANZSCO 4 digit selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 3411 Electricians
    • 3423 Electronics Trades Workers
    • 3424 Telecommunications Trades Workers.

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 1November 2018 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupations, 2000 to 2018, May quarter
    • 3411 Electricians
    • 3423 Electronics Trades Workers
    • 3424 Telecommunications Trades Workers.

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

  • Employment level by 4 digit VET-related occupations, and 2 digit level industries to identify the distribution of VET-related occupation workforce across industry sectors.                                                                                

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

UEE/UEE11 Electrotechnology, UTE Electrotechnology and UTL Lifts Industry Training Packages

  • Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)
    • UEE22007 - Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)
    • UEE22010 - Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)
    • UEE22011 - Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)
  • Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
    • UEE30806 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
    • UEE30807 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
    • UEE30811 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
  • Certificate III in Security Equipment
    • UEE31407 - Certificate III in Security Equipment
    • UEE31410 - Certificate III in Security Equipment
    • UEE31411 - Certificate III in Security Equipment
  • Certificate IV in Hazardous areas – Electrical
    • UEE42610 - Certificate IV in Hazardous areas - Electrical
    • UEE42611 - Certificate IV in Hazardous areas - Electrical
  • Certificates II & III in Data and Voice Communications
    • UEE20706 - Certificate II in Data and Voice Communications
    • UEE20707 - Certificate II in Data and Voice Communications
    • UEE20711 - Certificate II in Data and Voice Communications
    • UEE30407 - Certificate III in Data and Voice Communications
    • UEE30411 - Certificate III in Data and Voice Communications
  • Other electrical qualifications
    • UEE10106 - Certificate I in ElectroComms Skills
    • UEE10107 - Certificate I in ElectroComms Skills
    • UEE10110 - Certificate I in ElectroComms Skills
    • UEE10111 - Certificate I in ElectroComms Skills
    • UEE21306 - Certificate II in Remote Area Essential Service
    • UEE21310 - Certificate II in Remote Area Essential Service
    • UEE21311 - Certificate II in Remote Area Essential Service
    • UEE21607 - Certificate II in Security Assembly and Setup
    • UEE21610 - Certificate II in Security Assembly and Setup
    • UEE21611 - Certificate II in Security Assembly and Set-up
    • UEE21706 - Certificate II in Technical Support
    • UEE21711 - Certificate II in Technical Support
    • UEE30106 - Certificate III in Business Equipment
    • UEE30107 - Certificate III in Business Equipment
    • UEE30111 - Certificate III in Business Equipment
    • UEE30206 - Certificate III in Computer Equipment
    • UEE30507 - Certificate III in Appliance Servicing
    • UEE30607 - Certificate III in Electrical Machine Repair
    • UEE30611 - Certificate III in Electrical Machine Repair
    • UEE31011 - Certificate III in Fire Protection Control
    • UEE31710 - Certificate III in Hazardous areas - Electrician
    • UEE32111 - Certificate III in Appliance Service
    • UEE33011 - Certificate III in Electrical Fitting
    • UEE40307 - Certificate IV in Electrical Installation Inspection and Audits
    • UEE40607 - Certificate IV in Electrotechnology - Systems Electrician
    • UEE40611 - Certificate IV in Electrotechnology - Systems Electrician
    • UEE41006 - Certificate IV in Energy Management and Control
    • UEE41007 - Certificate IV in Energy Management and Control
    • UEE41010 - Certificate IV in Energy Management and Control
    • UEE41011 - Certificate IV in Energy Management and Control
    • UEE41211 - Certificate IV in Electrical - Rail Signalling
    • UEE41511 - Certificate IV in Video and Audio Systems
    • UEE41711 - Certificate IV in Rail - Communications and Network Systems
    • UEE42111 - Certificate IV in Electrotechnology - Electrical Contracting
    • UEE43011 - Certificate IV in Electrical Equipment and Systems
    • UTE10102 - Certificate I in Electrotechnology
    • UEP20218 - Certificate II in Remote Area Essential Service
    • UTE30699 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Data Communications
    • UTE31199 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Systems Electrician.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

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

  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 subject enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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%.

UEE/UEE11 – Electrotechnology, UTE Electrotechnology and UTL Lifts Industry Training Packages apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2018 commencements
  • 2010 to 2018 completions 
  • 2018 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2018 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 31 Mar 2020
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