Electricians are in high demand in Australia. According to research by Indeed, electrical jobs are one of the hardest to fill in the country. Typically, 35% of jobs remain unplaced even 60 days after being listed. This creates a very high earning potential for qualified electricians in Australia.
Factors that affect your pay as an electrician?
Your living as an electrician depends on different factors:
1. Your qualifications
If you are a licensed electrician, you will certainly earn a lot more than someone who is still apprenticing or is unlicensed. To get licensed, you must complete Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician and pass for the Licensed Electricians Theory, Licensed Electricians Practice and Safe Working Practice assessments successfully.
2. Your specialisation & experience
There are many niches within the electrical industry. Common niches like household appliance/electrical repairs don’t pay very high. But, specialised niches like oil rig electrical installations or industrial/plant electrical repairs pay very high hourly rates because of the complexity of the job.
Additionally, you can earn quite a sum when you have higher experience or possess a designation like an electrical supervisor or electrical project manager.
3. Get a public liability insurance
Public Liability Insurance is a great way to protect your electrical business and your ability to earn. It is an essential tool that offers financial coverage and indemnity against any potential legal claims that you may face on account of your electrical service.
The job of an electrician is risky; not just to you, but to your clients too. It is very easy for accidental electrocutions to occur when you’re installing or maintaining electrical systems. If your client or someone on the property gets injured due to electrical accidents, you may become exposed to a negligence lawsuit by the client. Such legal action can be devastating for your company.
Public Liability Australia, offers public liability insurance for electricians at competitive terms. Reach out to us to learn more about our policies.
4. Your membership in a union
Unions have the power to demand better working conditions and better pay for their members. If you are a member of a union like the Electrical Trades Union of Australia, you stand to earn more than someone who is not a member.
5. Your location of service
Cities where the standard of living is higher, such as Sydney or Melbourne, tend to pay higher hourly rates. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t earn a decent living as an electrician in low-paying cities. Unlike in metros, suburbs, small towns and villages have lower competition, and you can access more business, increasing your ability to earn.
6. Your shift times
Any electrical work that is required at night is always charged higher. Additionally, you can increase your hourly rates if the installation or repairs are needed immediately due to an emergency. If you are working under another electrician, you may even have the option of charging overtime if your work hours exceed the usual.
How much can you expect as an electrician in Australia?
A licensed and experienced A-Grade electrician in Australia can earn, on average, $35 – $50 per hour. On average, you can expect an hourly rate of around $47.21. But this rate can increase to $80-$100 per hour if you are specialised in a niche type of electrical installation and repairs. Annually, you can earn anywhere between $60,000 and $120,000, depending on the factors we’ve discussed above.
Tips to increase your pay as an electrician in Australia
While pay in the electrical industry is relatively better than a few other industries in Australia, you can always increase your salary with a bit of effort and creativity. Here we explore how you can earn a great living as an electrician in Australia:
1. Take advantage of the labour shortage crisis
As the Indeed research shows, the limited number of qualified electricians in Australia has created a huge demand for professionals. You can use this knowledge to your advantage, by relocating to a place where there is a demand for electricians, but not enough supply.
You can track such information in the newspaper or online. Just find out information about real estate sales, construction projects or public amenities refurbishment ventures that are taking place. All of these projects will have a demand for licensed electricians. You can offer your services here and demand better rates.
2. Keep updating your knowledge and experience
As the electrical industry becomes more cutting-edge, you will have to learn more to keep up with the times. By learning how to use new tools and software, by sitting for higher-level licensing examinations and by working with a diverse set of clients, you can increase your scope of expertise.
This will open up new markets for you, increasing your ability to earn.
3. Specialise in high-paying niches
According to studies, jobs in mining can rake in salaries as high as $240,000 per year. This includes mine site electrical installations and repairs. Electricians working in mine sites can earn as high as $180,000 annually! Depending on the complexity of the job, this pay could be more.
Specialising in an electrical niche that requires such expert skills, can help you earn a great living as an electrician in Australia.
4. Freelance in addition to your regular job
Working under just one person can limit your ability to earn. Especially if your boss isn’t able to get sufficient business for all the electricians working under him/her.
But, if you include freelance opportunities in the mix, you’ll have more opportunities to earn. There are freelance marketplaces like Service Seeking, hipages and Just Link, where you can register yourself and offer services. Property owners can browse through your profile and choose you for their electrical work.
This type of freelancing is a great way to earn a living as an electrician, especially when the times are lean.