How to become a licensed commercial or industrial electrician
With skilled electricians very much in demand across all industries, pursuing a career in the trade offers scope for variety and progression, good remuneration and the opportunity to specialise in a range of areas. Below we set out the most straightforward pathway to becoming a commercial or industrial electrician, specifically referring to gaining your license in NSW.
Working as an electrician requires a high level of technical and mathematical skills alongside physical fitness and good eyesight (e.g. you cannot be colour blind as you need to be able to distinguish between colour coded wires). It is a job that demands a keen attention to detail and safety procedures and the ability to manage risk. You also need to be able to read and interpret complex electrical diagrams.
While there are a number of pathways to becoming a licensed electrician, according to the NSW Department of Fair Trading the most direct route is as follows:
- Completion of Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician AND all of the following:
- A Certificate of Proficiency as an Electrician or an Electrical Mechanic from the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) or the Vocational Training Tribunal (VTT).
- At least 12 months relevant electrical wiring work experience* utilising knowledge and understanding of the AS/NZS 3000:2007 in the residential, commercial and/or industrial areas required by NSW Fair Trading ‘Referee’s Statement Electrical Work’ form current at the date of the application.
*‘Experience’ means experience that is lawfully gained by the applicant (whether during or after completion of an apprenticeship) as a bona fide employee who has been paid during the relevant period of employment in accordance with an award or enterprise agreement.
Once you have been attained your electrician’s license, going on to specialise in commercial or industrial electrotechnology often means a combination of on-site training and further study.
Firstly, look for a role with a Level 2 Accredited Service Provider (ASP) that specialises in commercial and industrial services, giving you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field. Working alongside electricians who are highly skilled in the industrial and/or commercial sector is the best way to learn what’s required in the role and to discover where your strengths and interests lie.
You may also want to consider further study while you’re working, in order to enhance your skills in a particular area, such as photovoltaic systems, electrical machine repair or data & communications, to name just a few of the specialisations on offer.
Although becoming an electrician takes some time and commitment, it is one of the most secure trades on offer and is only going to become more crucial as electrical systems evolve. If you’re interested in applying for an apprenticeship or a role at Caslec, visit our Careers page.