How to work as an electrician or get an electrical license In Australia If you don’t have any qualification

    By Ausinet – 12 Jan 2022 – Australian Institute of Electrotechnology
Ausinet Blog

Please note we are not offering Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician to International students due to the strict licensing requirements and restrictions detailed below.

Most states require proof of an electrical apprenticeship in order to issue an electrical licence.  An apprenticeship requires full-time work and study for 4 years. Only students with permanent residency or a visa that allows full-time work and study for at least four years can currently pursue a four-year electrical apprenticeship. 

Based on the student visa current work limitations at 20 hours a week it is currently not possible for international students to get an apprenticeship contract.

Most Electrical boards in Australia advise that it is illegal for anyone to work in the electrical field if they don’t have a licence, an apprenticeship contract or a specific permit. This is a very dangerous trade that is not taken lightly by licensing authorities. 

Based on the above advice, it allegedly would not be possible for international students to get experience as electrical trades assistant.

Getting Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician should normally enable students to apply for a 485 visa (TRA has advised the first step of the Job Ready Program is available – but no further steps of the program due to the strict licensing requirements) this would require at least 360 hours of work experience however due to the licensing restrictions mentioned above it is unlikely the students would be able to meet that work requirement in the electrical field.

Most states require proof of an electrical apprenticeship in order to issue an electrical licence.  Please check specific requirements for Electrical Licence application on the Electrical licensing website for each state, the information below is meant as a generic guide, please check each website for up-to-date information.



  • Current photographic identification  (copy of current driver’s licence or passport)   
  • A copy of your Notice of Completion of Training (issued by Australian Apprenticeship Centre NT)   
  • A copy of your final academic record (issued by your RTO)   
  • Evidence of at least 12 months practical experience (Statutory Declaration available from the Board’s website) AND/OR 
  • Reference letters from supervisor(s)

  • a Queensland work licence applying for an additional class of licence  
  • a licence expired longer than 12 months 
  • a qualification obtained through an apprenticeship outside of Queensland 
  • an Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR) 
  • have completed CPR training (and PTR for electrical linesperson) within the last 12 months.
  • having completed an apprenticeship in Queensland more than three years ago.

Electrician’s Licence – Western Australia

To satisfy the Electrical Licensing Board that you have completed an approved apprenticeship and that you are competent to be licensed as an electrician, you are required to provide the following information to the Licensing Office:

  • proof of identification;
  • payment of the current appropriate application and registration fees;
  • trade certificate issued by the Department of Training and Workforce Development;
  • a copy of your Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician or Certificate III in Engineering – Electrical/Electronic Trade issued by your registered training organisation (RTO);

Electrician’s licence application forms

Electrical training – to apprentices and trainees. An apprentice/trainee electrician will have a licence card issued for the period of the apprenticeship/traineeship. Training organisations and employers should ask to see the licence card to demonstrate that the apprentice is appropriately licensed to perform electrical work.

To be eligible for this licence you must:

  • have successfully completed an apprenticeship, or a course or skills training programme approved by the Electrical Licensing Board, or a VET course
  • satisfy the Board that you have the required experience and / or training for the type of work to be carried out under the licence
  • have passed all examinations or have been exempted by the Board from the requirement of passing any examinations
  • satisfy the Board that you have been assessed as satisfactory in relation to safety issues
  • satisfy the Board that you are a fit and proper person to hold this licence
  • comply with the fit and proper requirements for electrical workers.

  • Complete Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30806 or UEE30807 or UEE30811) and have all of the following:
  • A certificate of proficiency** as an electrician or an electrical mechanic from the Vocational Training Review Panel of NSW (the VTRP) or its predecessors. The VTRP was formerly the Vocational Training Tribunal (VTT). 
  • At least 12 months relevant electrical wiring work experience using knowledge and understanding of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000:2018. This experience must be in the residential, commercial and/or industrial areas required by our ‘Referee’s Statement Electrical Work’ form.

We may require the following to verify you are able to do or supervise electrical wiring work:

  • an assessment of your understanding of the current edition of the wiring rules AS/NZS 3000-2018
  • evidence of your employment to confirm any employment periods.


**Certificate of proficiency : 

  • A copy of a completed Australian qualification in the relevant trade for which you are seeking a certificate of proficiency. 
  • Evidence of a minimum of 12 months employment in the trade in Australia.  
  • Evidence you have trade skills and knowledge demonstrated in trade employment of 3 years or more
  • You must: Be living in NSW or living in Australia and intending to work in NSW.




You may apply for an Electrician’s licence if you fall under one of the following categories. Go to ESVConnect and create a user profile to check your eligibility.

You have:

  • satisfactorily completed the Licensed Electrician’s Assessment (LEA) conducted by an assessment centre approved by ESV within five years from the date of your application.
  • hold a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician or equivalent
  • completed a four-year contract of training as an apprentice electrician, including at least 12 months’ experience carrying out electrical installation work with written confirmation by the employer. See sample: A-Grade application support letter.
  • a letter of completion confirming the completion of your apprenticeship from the VRQA
  • the application fee.


Electrical Workers Registration – To be eligible for a trade licence from 1 January 2016 an applicant must have: 


  • Completed an Australian based trade apprenticeship in a licensed trade including an eligible Certificate III 



  • Completed an eligible Certificate III in a licensed trade that was issued on or before 31 December 2015 

 Important note: You must provide an eligible trade certificate that is recognised as an Australian based trade apprenticeship, which consists of four (4) years on the job training and successful completion of a Certificate III in the relevant trade from a Registered Training Organisation


Qualification:  provide  evidence  of  successful  completion  of  one  of  the  following  Certificate  III qualifications in Electrotechnology Electrician issued within five (5) years prior to making the application: UEE30811, UEE30807, UEE30806, UTE31199 

The acceptable qualification (referenced above) must contain one of the following units  of  competency  that  has  not  been  obtained  through  Recognition  of  Prior 

Learning (RPL): 


  • UEENEEG105A 
  • UEENEEG005B 
  • UEENEEG005A  
  • NUE 505A  
  • NUE 505B

All the above information has been taken from the following websites: TRA website & Electrical boards websites from each state.

If you already have an electrical licence from overseas you can check our article : How To Work As An Electrician Or Get An Electrical License In Australia If You Have A Qualification From Overseas ?

Last reviewed date: 12/01/2022

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