Electricians play a very important role in making sure all buildings are wired and powered up properly. You could be in Christchurch helping with the rebuild, wiring new houses in Auckland, or spending the summer at Scott Base in Antarctica. The options are endless – wherever there is a light bulb, an electrician is in need.
You’ll begin your electrical career as an apprentice, and from there, you have a world of opportunities open to you. You could be a project manager supervising a team, passing on your skills as a trainer, or even starting your own business.
Becoming an electrician is a great way to start a long-term career, where you learn life-long skills while supporting New Zealand’s economy. The job is constantly in demand, well paid, and rewarding.
Electricians usually work in one of two specialisations: domestic/commercial or industrial.
Wherever you work, your workplace can change from day to day. You could be working inside, outside, on top of a skyscraper, or in places you never thought existed.
On any given day, you could be:
Once you complete your apprenticeship, you'll be awarded you New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory and Practice (Trade) (Level 4).
You can now register with the Electrical Workers Registration Board (EWRB) and get a practising licence, allowing you to work independently anywhere in New Zealand.
As a registered electrician with a current practising licence, you can even supervise others passing on your knowledge and skills to apprentices.
As you experience grows, you'll have the opportunity to move up to higher-level roles such as project manager or supervisor. Many electricians go on to start their own business, increasing both their freedom and income. Others move into roles in the wider industry, such as consulting or teaching.
Your electrician qualification is also recognised in other countries, so you can take your trade around the world.
Electricians need a special set of skills. You'll learn all the technical bits in your apprenticeship, but for starters, you'll need to be:
As an apprentice, you’ll be working, learning, and earning money at the same time. You’ll work closely with experienced people at your company to learn everything you need to become a qualified electrician.
During your 4-year apprenticeship, you'll learn the skills you need to become an electrician in two ways:
A supervisor at your company will work with you throughout the apprenticeship to check you are working correctly and safely.
During your 3.5-year apprenticeship, you'll learn the skills you need to become an electrician in two ways: on-job training and classroom learning
The nationwide construction boom means there is a high demand for skilled electricians.
Tradies are busy people! Your employer will appreciate having another tradie on board to help out with their list of jobs.
A fresh pair of eyes can really help any business. Your unique attitudes and skills will help expand your employer’s ways of thinking and working.
As your employer trains you up, they’ll stay on top of the latest standards, keeping their business up-to-date with a changing industry.
You’re part of the “next generation” of tradies, making sure New Zealand continues to have a highly skilled trades workforce, well into the future
Like any job, there are some basic skills that are very handy to have before you start as an electrician. These include:
Showing you already have these skills can make a good first impression on potential employers and help you get the job.
But don’t worry if you haven’t mastered all of these yet – most employers will be happy to train you up on any gaps you have.
Your CV is probably the most important document in your search for an employer and a job. Make sure you write a CV that showcases your best skills and grabs the employer’s attention. Here are some tips for a winning CV:
Right, you’ve got your CV sorted – now it’s time to find an employer who will offer you a job.
If you think about it, there are heaps of places you can look. Here are some suggestions:
If an employer has said they’re interested in talking to you – well done! Now’s your real chance to impress.
Remember that even the most casual, laid-back trades company is still a business. That means you have to act professional and make a strong first impression if you want the job.
If you have limited experience talking to business owners and managers, here are some quick tips to impress them:
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