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Industrial Control

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Industrial Control sector, which is a component of the Electrotechnology industry.

The Industrial Control sector includes the design, installation, and maintenance of instrumentation, control and automation systems. The Industrial Control workforce is employed in industries such as Construction, Mining and Manufacturing.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required for Industrial Control sector related occupations such as:

  • Electricians
  • Electronic Trades Workers.

Nationally recognised training for the Industrial Control sector is delivered under the UEE – Electrotechnology Training Package.

For information on Electrical Engineering, Electrical Services, Electronics and Computers, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning and Renewable and Sustainable Energy 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 Electricians has more than doubled since 2001 and although dips were seen between 2013 and 2014 and again in 2018 to 2020, there was a significant increase in 2021 to peak at 169,300. Levels are projected to decrease over the next four years however to 147,600 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.

The employment level for the occupation of Electronics Trades Workers has fluctuated over the years, with a decline in 2021 to 25,900. Projections indicate employment levels will decline slightly to 24,400 by 2025. Electronics Trades Workers are employed in a wide range of industries according to the 2016 census with the largest proportion working in Repairs and Maintenance followed by Construction Services.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were approximately 2,660 program enrolments in Industrial Control related qualifications during 2020, a slight decrease on 2019 enrolment numbers. There were just over 1,070 completions in 2020, a figure below those recorded since 2018, but slightly above the 2017 completion figures.

The majority of enrolments during 2020 were at a certificate IV level (63%), with certificate III at 33% and the remainder at diploma or higher. Half of those enrolled in Industrial Control related qualifications were studying a Certificate IV in Electrical - Instrumentation (51%) with the intended occupation of an Electrician (General). Around one third were enrolled at a certificate III level (33%), of which the only qualification was a Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control, and the only intended occupation was Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (Special Class).

For enrolments during 2020, the majority of training was delivered by private training providers (66%), with TAFE institutes accounting for 27% and universities making up the remainder (6%). Funding for subjects was mainly divided between Commonwealth and state funded and domestic fee for service, at 64% and 34% respectively. When considering training providers individually, universities (95%) and TAFE institutes (89%) received a higher proportion of Commonwealth and state funding than private training providers (55%).

Close to 35% of students who enrolled during 2020 resided in Queensland, while 31% were from Western Australia and 13% from New South Wales. In addition, Queensland had the highest proportion of training delivered (42%), followed by 31% in Western Australia and 10% in New South Wales.

In 2020 there were 170 apprenticeship commencements, an decrease on the previous year (around 180 in 2019) but higher figures than those recorded in 2017 and 2018. Apprenticeship completions increased steadily from 2011 and peaked at roughly 200 in 2016, however a sharp decline to around 140 was recorded in 2017, followed by decreases each year to 90 in 2020.

The majority of apprentices were training towards the intended occupation of Electronics Instrument Trades Worker (Special Class). Almost one third of apprenticeship training was reported by Queensland (32%), followed by New South Wales and South Australia (16% each), and Victoria (15%).

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 Electrotechnology IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast reports that industrial process automation services and devices are now commonplace, creating demand for skills based around the servicing of these technologies. In addition, automated and smart systems such as security systems, smart lighting, heating and air conditioning, and camera systems are being used by growing numbers of Australians, and not only do these systems allow for remote access and control, many also enable consumers to conserve and monitor energy usage. As highlighted in the Electrotechnology IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast, the Electrotechnology industry will need to anticipate and adapt to the widespread integration of these technologies and upskill the workforce appropriately.

Specifically, the Electrotechnology workforce involved in the Industrial Control sector, will require aptitude and skills in the following technologies:

  • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) programming

  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.

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, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 3411 Electricians
    • 3423 Electronics 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 occupation, 2001 to 2021, May Quarter
    • 3411 Electricians.
    • 3423 Electronics 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 and UTE Electrotechnology Training Packages

  • Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control
    • UEE31207 - Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control
    • UEE31210 - Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control
    • UEE31211 - Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control
    • UEE31220 - Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control.
  • Certificate III in Switchgear and Controlgear
    • UEE30707 - Certificate III in Switchgear and Control Gear
    • UEE30711 - Certificate III in Switchgear and Controlgear
    • UEE30720 - Certificate III in Switchgear and Controlgear.
  • Certificate IV in Electrical – Instrumentation
    • UEE40407 - Certificate IV in Electrical - Instrumentation
    • UEE40410 - Certificate IV in Electrical - Instrumentation
    • UEE40411 - Certificate IV in Electrical – Instrumentation
    • UEE40420 - Certificate IV in Electrical - Instrumentation.
  • Certificate IV in Industrial Automation and Control
    • UEE43211 - Certificate IV in Industrial Automation and Control
    • UEE43220 - Certificate IV in Industrial Automation and Control.
  • Certificate IV in Industrial Electronics and Control
    • UEE40910 - Certificate IV in Industrial Electronics and Control
    • UEE40911 - Certificate IV in Industrial Electronics and Control
    • UEE40920 - Certificate IV in Industrial Electronics and Control.
  • Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control
    • UEE42210 - Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control
    • UEE42211 - Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control
    • UEE42220 - Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control.
  • Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation/Instrumentation and Control Engineering
    • UEE50211 - Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation
    • UEE50220 - Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation
    • UEE50911 - Diploma of Industrial Electronics and Control Engineering
    • UEE50920 - Diploma of Industrial Electronics and Control Engineering
    • UEE51010 - Diploma of Instrumentation and Control Engineering
    • UEE51011 - Diploma of Instrumentation and Control Engineering
    • UEE51020 - Diploma of Instrumentation and Control Engineering
    • UEE60611 - Advanced Diploma of Industrial Electronics and Control Engineering
    • UEE60620 - Advanced Diploma of Industrial Electronics and Control Engineering
    • UTE30899 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Instrumentation.

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 and UTE Electrotechnology 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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