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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 more than doubled since 2001 to reach 169,300 in 2021, however levels are projected to decrease by 2025. 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 occupation of Electronics Trades Workers employment levels fluctuated between 2001 and 2020 and fell to its lowest level in 2021 with further decline predicted to 2025. Employment levels for Telecommunications Trades Workers fluctuated between 2001 and 2020 and fell sharply in 2021, but are projected to almost double over the next four years.

The 2016 census highlighted that Electronics Trades Workers are employed throughout a wide range of industries with the largest proportion working in Repairs and Maintenance followed by Construction Services. Nearly half of Telecommunications Trades Workers are employed in the Telecommunication Services industry and over 10% work in Construction Services.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were almost 50,530 program enrolments in Electrical Services related qualifications during 2020, representing a slight increase on the previous year (48,560). There were close to 11,630 program completions in 2020, in line with the 2019 figures of 11,640. Most enrolments during 2020 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 main intended occupation was Electrician (General).

For enrolments during 2020, TAFE institutes provided 70% of training in Electrical Services related qualifications overall, 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 exclusively delivered by TAFE institutes (100%) and Certificate IV in Hazardous Areas – Electrical mainly delivered by private training providers (93%). Around 93% of subjects delivered by TAFE institutes were Commonwealth and state funded; compared to 66% for private training providers, with domestic fee for service making up most of the remainder (31%). More than one quarter of students were from New South Wales (29%), followed by Victoria (24%), Queensland (22%) and Western Australia (11%). Similarly, training was mostly delivered in New South Wales (29%), Victoria (24%), Queensland (23%) and Western Australia (12%)

During 2020, there were approximately 10,400 apprenticeship commencements in Electrical Services related qualifications, a slight increase from the 10,600 recorded in 2018.  Approximately 5,500 apprentices completed their qualification during 2020, a figure relatively unchanged since 2017 but still below the peak of 6,730 in 2015.  

Most apprentices in 2020 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 (32%), followed by 25% in Victoria and 20% 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 2021 identifying that in 2020 more than 27 per cent of Australia’s electricity came from clean energy sources, with wind and rooftop solar leading the way. A further 76 large-scale wind and solar projects were under construction at the end of 2020, employing over 9000 Australian workers.

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 2021, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO 4 digit selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 3411 Electricians
    • 3423 Electronics Trades Workers
    • 3424 Telecommunications Trades Workers.

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021, 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 2021,  https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupations, 2001 to 2021, 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

  • 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
    • 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:

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 subject enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 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:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 28 Oct 2021
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