How To Become An Automotive Electrician In Australia?

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Students want to learn how to become auto electricians in Australia with an apprenticeship.


Do you have a deep interest in cars, technology, and automation and enjoy working in a hands-on job? Then, a career as an Automotive Electrician might suit you.


Automotive Electricians diagnose faults and install, maintain and repair electronic components and electrical wiring in motor vehicles.


To become an Automotive Electrician in Australia, you must complete a certificate III in automotive electrical technology and obtain the necessary licence.


This blog is your go-to guide to becoming an Automotive Electrician in Australia. Find out what they do, how much they earn, the courses required, qualifications, apprenticeships, jobs, where they work, and more to make an informed career decision.



1. What Are Automotive Electricians?


Automotive Electricians are qualified workers who identify faults and repair electrical wiring and electronic equipment in automobiles.


They install new electrical parts and maintain equipment in motor vehicles, commercial vehicles, and marine and agricultural equipment. Automotive Electricians often interact with customers, discussing the problem with their car and explaining the required measures.



2. What Does An Automotive Electrician Do?


Here are the general tasks and duties to perform in this role:


  • Meet and discuss issues with vehicle owners

  • Use diagnostic tools to identify and examine electrical faults on electronically controlled vehicle systems such as electronic ignition, anti-lock braking, cruise control, electronic fuel injection, airbags, fuses, air conditioning, switches, and automatic transmission.

  • Refer to circuit diagrams, and use test instruments and meters to locate electrical faults

  • Test and repair the affected electrical parts and wiring

  • Adjust engine control systems to ensure efficient operation of vehicles even at peak performance

  • Use hand tools, specialized machines, electrical tools, and instruments, including grinders, presses, drills, and lathes.

  • Weld broken electrical parts

  • Replace defective lamps, switches, fuses, alternators, generators, voltage regulators, faulty ignition, electrical wiring, and starter motors

  • Sell electrical parts and accessories.

  • Perform aftermarket alterations to vehicles, such as installing security systems, alarms, custom stereo wiring, and GPS installation

  • Ensure proper connection and safe power flow for electrically driven parts for a vehicle



3. Automotive Electrician Skills For Success


The following personal attributes will help you get ahead:


  • Aptitude for technical activities

  • Enjoy practical and hands-on work

  • Good hand-eye coordination

  • Normal colour vision and eyesight

  • Good understanding of electrical and electronic systems such as electronic fuel injection and vehicle management 

  • Working knowledge of power-driven and hand tools such as soldering iron, and lathe

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Good interpersonal skills

  • Keen attention to detail

  • Systematic and Organized

  • Like staying updated with technological changes



4. Qualifications To Become An Automotive Electrician


You usually need to obtain a vocational qualification and complete an apprenticeship to work in this role.


  • Gain your Year 10 certificate

  • Complete pre-vocational training, such as Certificate II in Automotive Electrical Technology (AUR20412) 

  • Find and enrol in an automotive electrician apprenticeship that leads you to a Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology (AUR30312)

  • Based on your state's licensing requirement, apply for a licence to start working as a professional automotive electrician.



5. Steps To Become An Automotive Electrician In Australia


Here are the steps to getting started in an Automotive Electrician profession:



Step 1: Study For An Automotive Electrician Course In Australia


Most employers seek candidates who have industry-accepted certifications in automobile electrical work. Undertaking a 4-year apprenticeship as an automotive electrician can give you a great start in this profession. 


You can begin your apprenticeship if you are at school, a school leaver, re-entering the workforce, or looking for a career change.


This structured training is usually available as a school-based apprenticeship through a registered training organization. It includes completing a Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology (AUR30312).


A Certificate III qualification trains you on computerized diagnostic equipment and advancing systems such as vehicle management and electronic fuel injection.


It provides the knowledge and skills needed to repair and maintain the electrical components and systems of cars and other automobiles.


After completing the course, you can work in the following automotive electrician jobs:


  • Automotive Electrical Diagnostic Technician

  • Automotive Electrician

  • Automotive Electrical Technician

  • Automotive air conditioning specialist



Top Course Providers In Australia:


  • Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology - Kangan Institute of Technology

  • Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology - TAFE QLD

  • Certificate III In Automotive Electrical Technology - TAFE NSW



Step 2: Gain Work Experience


Once you complete the qualification, consider gaining experience as an assistant or mechanic with an experienced electrician. 


Such industry exposure will boost your employability for the role and impress prospective employers.



Step 3: Become Licensed


Once you complete your apprenticeship, you must apply for a licence to perform electrical work. As different states may have other registration and licensing requirements, it is better to check your state-level requirements to get a clear idea. 


You need a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate (or undertake supervised training under a licensed automotive electrician) to provide your professional services. According to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety in Western Australia.


But before you apply for a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate, you need to obtain a National Police Certificate from the Australian Federal Police.


Once you have the required registration, you can apply for local automotive electrician jobs in your state.



6. Can An Electrician Become An Auto Electrician?


Yes, you can, but you must complete a Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology and obtain the relevant licence. A Certificate III is an ideal entry-level course in the automotive electrical technology sector to become a qualified automotive electrician.


This nationally recognized qualification is for preparing new employees or distinguishing existing workers who are into repairing and maintaining electronic and electrical systems of cars and other vehicles.


During the course, you work on various machinery and vehicles and get insight into the innovative technology in this fast-growing industry. It covers:


  • Customer relations and using tools

  • Health and Safety

  • Repairing, servicing, and testing all the elements of electrical systems


Graduates of this course will be considered qualified tradespersons in the automotive electrical industry. They can find work in automotive repair garages, dealerships, and mining.



7. What Is An Automotive Electrician's Salary In Australia?


According to Pay Scale, the average hourly auto electrician salary is AU$57,493 per year, equivalent to AU$26.43 per hour.


Automotive Electrician Salary Based On Experience:


  • Entry-level Automotive Electricians (<1-year experience): AU$20.49 

  • Early career Automotive Electricians (1-4 years of experience): AU$22.62 

  • Mid-career Automotive Electricians (5-9 years of experience): AU$27.76 

  • Experienced Automotive Electricians (10-19 years of experience): AU$32.17 



8. Working Conditions For Automotive Electricians


Automotive electricians usually work in auto shops for self-employed automotive electricians, service stations, and vehicle dealerships. Some even work in the mining industry on a Fly In/Out basis.


They usually work during standard daytime business hours, Monday to Friday, but may occasionally require working on weekends and travelling to customers' workplaces or homes.


Automotive electricians may sometimes need to work in unfavourable environmental conditions. It includes responding to an urgent service call at night and fixing electrical issues even when it rains.


Automotive electricians wear protective clothing to ensure the safe execution of their duties. The job requires them to stay in constant public contact.


While at work, they use hand and power tools and technologies such as a soldering iron, lathe, or drill to repair and install electronic and electrical equipment.



9. Employment Opportunities For An Automotive Electrician


Automotive electricians have opportunities to work for motor vehicle repairers, large transport firms, vehicle dealerships, and automotive electrical specialists. 


They work with motor vehicles at workbenches to repair parts or offer mobile and roadside repair services.


Most Automotive electricians undertake additional industry certification to specialize in the electrical wiring of motorized vehicles, which includes installation and repairs.



10. Automotive Electrician Job Prospects In Australia


Australia has a robust automotive repair industry. As cars become technologically advanced, they depend more on complex electronic systems to control everything from fuel intake and engine timing to start the vehicle.


It leads to the need for Automotive electricians, or Specialized car mechanics, to identify and repair problems concerning automotive electrical systems.


ANZSCO OCCUPATION GROUP: 3211 Automotive Electricians



Employment Projections


According to Labour Market Insights, automotive electrical skills are in demand, with employers searching for qualified automotive electricians to fill vacancies. 


The future automotive electrician job opportunities are stable from November 2021 to November 2026.



Working Arrangements


Around 90% of people working as Automotive Electricians work full-time for an average of 48 hours per week. (All other jobs average: 44 hours per week). 


More than half of workers often work beyond regular hours (either paid or unpaid).



Employment Across Industries


  • Other services: 63.3%

  • Mining: 16.5%

  • Manufacturing: 6.3%

  • Retail trade: 5.1%

  • Other industries: 7.6%



Employment Across Locations


Queensland and Western Australia are the two states with the largest share of employment. Areas with the largest share of workers are:


  • Mackay - Isaac - Whitsunday

  • Perth - South East

  • Perth - North East

  • Perth - North West

  • Melbourne - South East



Automotive Engineers also work in other Australian states in the following proportions:


  • New South Wales: 25.1%

  • Victoria: 18.3%

  • Queensland: 25.6%

  • South Australia: 6.6%

  • Western Australia: 20.4%

  • Tasmania: 2.2%

  • Northern Territory: 1.1%

  • Australian Capital Territory: 0.7%



Worker Age and Gender Profile


  • The average age of employed workers is 37 years, most of them between 25 to 34 years (All jobs average: 40)

  • Females constitute only 2% of the workforce which is 46 percentage points lesser than the average of all other jobs, i.e., 48%.



11. How Can International Students Study Automotive Electrician Course In Australia?



Step 1: Study A Course


Study one or multiple courses for a minimum of two years, including Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology (12-24 months).


Pathway to AUS conducts an automotive electrician course for international students, such as a Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology in Sydney. 


The course teaches how to diagnose, repair, and service all electrical faults in cars. You get the required experience and knowledge to work in the automotive electrical service and repair industry.


Graduates of the course will become qualified tradespersons and can work in automotive dealerships, repair garages, and mining.



Step 2: Get A Temporary Graduate Visa


The post-study work visa permits the holder to live and work for up to 18 months in Australia. 


You can apply for a temporary graduate visa when studying for two years and completing 360 hours of vocational training.



Step 3: Complete The Job Ready Program (JRP)


When completing the JRP, you will obtain a positive skill assessment for the objective of general migration. Under this program, you will work as a qualified Automotive Electrician for at least 12 months.


As you complete the JRP, you don't require visa sponsorship from the employer. It makes it easier for the employer to recruit you and increases the chances of finding employment.



Step 4: Get A General Skilled Migration Visa


The positive skills assessment you obtain as a result of completing the Job Ready Program enables you to apply for a general skilled migration visa.



12. Conclusion


Since any vehicle is incomplete with electrical parts, an automotive electrician is a vital component of the automobile service and repair industry. 


With the growing use of electronically controlled systems, aspiring Automotive Electricians will have job stability and decent earnings throughout their work life.


Due to intense competition in the industry, you need to prove your skills and capabilities to make a long-term career in this profession. Upskilling and staying updated with tech advancements will help you excel.


For those interested in becoming an Automotive Electrician, a Certificate III in Automotive Electrical Technology is the best way to enter this profession.


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