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

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

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The employment level for the occupation of Electricians has increased by 84% since 2002 to reach a peak of 174,900 in 2022, however levels are projected to decrease to 157,700 by 2026. For the occupation of Electronics Trades Workers employment levels have fluctuated since 2002 falling to their lowest level in 2022 at 25,400, with a further decline predicted over the next four years to 2026. Employment levels for Telecommunications Trades Workers also fluctuated between 2002 and 2020, falling sharply in 2021, before increasing slightly in 2022 to 18,300. Employment levels are projected to decline over the next four years to 2026, back to levels previously seen in 2009 and 2021.

Training trends

Training snapshot

After a slight decrease in 2018, program enrolments in Electrical Services related qualifications have increased each year to reach a peak of 57,060 in 2021. Program completions have also increased each year since 2017, to reach a peak of 13,710 in 2021. Most enrolments during 2021 were in the Certificate III level (73%) followed by Certificate II (25%), with enrolments in Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician and Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start), making up approximately 70% and 24% of 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 sole intended occupation was Electrician (General).

For enrolments during 2021, TAFE institutes provided 69% of training in Electrical Services related qualifications overall, with a further 22% delivered by private training providers. There was some variation to this depending on qualification, with a Certificate III in Security Equipment exclusively delivered by TAFE institutes (100%) and Certificate IV in Hazardous Areas – Electrical mainly delivered by private training providers (92%). Around 93% of subjects delivered by TAFE institutes were Commonwealth and state funded; compared to 70% for private training providers, with domestic fee for service making up most of the remainder (28%).

More than one quarter of students in Electrical Services related qualifications were from New South Wales (28%), followed by Victoria (24%), Queensland (22%) and Western Australia (12%). Similarly, training was mostly delivered in New South Wales (28%), Victoria (24%), Queensland (23%) and Western Australia (13%)

During 2021, there were approximately 13,330 apprenticeship commencements in Electrical Services related qualifications, an increase of almost two thirds since the low of 8,080 recorded in 2013. Approximately 6,700 apprentices completed their qualification during 2021, an increase of almost a quarter from the previous year and close to the peak in 2015 of approximately 6,730.

Most apprentices in 2021 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 by New South Wales (30%), followed by 26% in Victoria and 21% in Queensland.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

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 2020-21 Australian Government Pre-Budget Submission report states that a key ongoing challenge for the Electrical Services sector is the shortage of skilled electrical and communications workers. This is evidenced through a reduction in the completion of electrical apprenticeships across Australia and the retirement of long-term and highly skilled workers.

The Electrotechnology IRC’s reported 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 ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in businesses being unable to retain and/or attract apprentices, and whilst this is the current trend, the medium and longer term projections suggest if this does not change the industry and broader sector will be significantly impacted.

The Pre-Budget Submission report also asserts that this presents an excellent opportunity to encourage young people into the industry as well as reskilling prospective apprentices from other affected vocations. With a forecasted strong emergence of new technologies including batteries, solar infrastructure and electric vehicles, the Electrical services trade will become ever more essential to daily life.

The Electrotechnology IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast highlights the continued implications of these advancing technologies on skills related to the industry. This includes the need for licensed electricians to develop greater awareness and understanding of digital technology, advanced computer skills, data cabling, renewable technology and problem solving. This is in line with the Electrotechnology IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast which identified training challenges associated with rapidly advancing technology. It was reported the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician qualification, which accounted for almost three quarters of Electrical Services sector enrolments during 2019, 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.

Clean energy and renewable technologies are also significant and are growing strongly, with the Clean Energy Australia Report 2022 identifying that in 2021 more than 32 per cent of Australia’s electricity came from clean energy sources, with wind and rooftop solar leading the way. A further 68 large-scale wind and solar projects were under construction or financially committed to at the end of 2021, representing over 35,000 jobs and over $18 billion of investment.

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

National Skills Commission 2022, Occupation Employment Projections viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nationalskillscommission.gov.au/topics/employment-projections

  • by ANZSCO 4 digit selected occupations, employment projections to May 2026
    • 3411 Electricians
    • 3423 Electronics Trades Workers
    • 3424 Telecommunications Trades Workers.

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2022, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ08 - Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, viewed 1 August 2022, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2022

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupations, 2002 to 2022, May quarter
    • 3411 Electricians
    • 3423 Electronics Trades Workers
    • 3424 Telecommunications Trades Workers.

 

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

  • Advanced Diploma of Electrical Systems Engineering
    • UEE63020 – Advanced Diploma of Electrical Systems Engineering
  • 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)
    • UEE22020 - 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
    • UEE30820 - 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
    • UEE31420 - 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
    • UEE42620 - 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
    • UEE20720 - Certificate II in Data and Voice Communications
    • UEE30407 - Certificate III in Data and Voice Communications
    • UEE30411 - Certificate III in Data and Voice Communications
    • UEE30420 - Certificate III in Data and Voice Communications
  • Diploma of Electrical and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
    • UEE50320 - Diploma of Electrical and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
  • 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
    • UEE10120 - 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
    • UEE21620 - Certificate II in Security Assembly and Set-up
    • UEE21706 - Certificate II in Technical Support
    • UEE21711 - Certificate II in Technical Support
    • UEE21720 - Certificate II in Technical Support
    • UEE30106 - Certificate III in Business Equipment
    • UEE30107 - Certificate III in Business Equipment
    • UEE30111 - Certificate III in Business Equipment
    • UEE30120 - 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
    • UEE30620 - Certificate III in Electrical Machine Repair
    • UEE31011 - Certificate III in Fire Protection Control
    • UEE31020 - Certificate III in Fire Protection Control
    • UEE31710 - Certificate III in Hazardous areas - Electrician
    • UEE32111 - Certificate III in Appliance Service
    • UEE32120 - Certificate III in Appliance Service
    • UEE33011 - Certificate III in Electrical Fitting
    • UEE33020 - Certificate III in Electrical Fitting
    • UEE40220 - Certificate IV in Electrical – Data and Voice Communications
    • UEE40307 - Certificate IV in Electrical Installation Inspection and Audits
    • UEE40320 - Certificate IV in Installation Inspection and Audits
    • UEE40607 - Certificate IV in Electrotechnology - Systems Electrician
    • UEE40611 - Certificate IV in Electrotechnology - Systems Electrician
    • UEE40620 - Certificate IV in Electrotechnology - Systems Electrician
    • UEE40820 - Certificate IV in Electrical – Fire Protection Control Systems
    • 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
    • UEE41020 - Certificate IV in Energy Management and Control
    • UEE41120 - Certificate IV in Electrical – Lift Systems
    • UEE41211 - Certificate IV in Electrical - Rail Signalling
    • UEE41220 - Certificate IV in Electrical - Rail Signalling
    • UEE41511 - Certificate IV in Video and Audio Systems
    • UEE41520 - Certificate IV in Video and Audio Systems
    • UEE41711 - Certificate IV in Rail - Communications and Network Systems
    • UEE41720 - Certificate IV in Rail - Communications and Network Systems
    • UEE42111 - Certificate IV in Electrotechnology - Electrical Contracting
    • UEE42120 - Certificate IV in Electrotechnology - Electrical Contracting
    • UEE43011 - Certificate IV in Electrical Equipment and Systems
    • UEE43020 - Certificate IV in Electrical Equipment and Systems
    • UTE10102 - Certificate I in Electrotechnology
    • UEP20218 - Certificate II in Remote Area Essential Service
    • UEP20222 - 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:

  • 2017 to 2021 program enrolments
  • 2017 to 2021 subject enrolments
  • 2017 to 2021 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:

  • 2012 to 2021 commencements
  • 2012 to 2021 completions 
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2021 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 27 Oct 2022
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