How to work as an electrician or get an electrical license in Australia?

How to work as an electrician or get an electrical license In Australia ?

    By Ausinet International – 05 August 2020 – Australian Institute of Electrotechnology

Electricians play an important role in Australia’s trades industry. Australia is always on the lookout for qualified electricians to fill job openings.

how to become an electrician in Australia

1- If you have a qualification from overseas

  • Step 1: Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR)

According to the Trades Recognition Australia website: Applicants who successfully complete a skills assessment through a TRA-approved RTO for one of the licenced occupations listed below will be issued an OTSR:

  • Electrician (General) 
  • Electrician (Special Class) 

The OTSR records the technical competencies of an applicant that meets the level of requirement of the relevant qualification. The OTSR holder must still undertake Australian context gap training and a period of supervised employment in the specific trade to be awarded the Australian VET qualification for that occupation.

  • Step 2 – Provisional license

According to the Trades Recognition Australia website, overseas trained tradespeople with an OTSR can apply for a provisional licence. The holder of a provisional licence can do work in the relevant occupation alongside a supervisor while they complete the required context gap training. You need to apply to the relevant Electrical board of your state and issuance of the provisional licence is subject to meeting other requirements.

Electrician (General) and Electrician (Special Class)

You can find detailed information on electrical licensing and context gap training for all states. See details per state below.

  • Step 3 – Australian Context Gap Training

OTSR holders need to get their Australian training done to gain specific knowledge relevant to their occupation in Australia while they work under a supervisor. Details for each state are listed below.

  • Step 4 – Get an Australian VET Qualification

See details per state at the end of this article.

  • Step 5 – Apply for a current, identified Australian occupational licence

Getting a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician is a prerequisite to get an Electrical licence.

Please remember that an electrical licence does not entitle the holder to work as a contractor. You need to undertake further training to get a Contractor’s licence. Please check with the electrical board of your state for full details on requirements.

 

Requirements for each state to get an electrical license for OTSR holders - As of August 2020

Northern Territory

To apply for a Permit to Work Under Supervision, OTSR holders wishing to work in the Northern Territory (NT) must contact the Electrical Workers and Contractors Licensing Board, who is in charge of regulation and issuance of NT electrical licences.

Holders of a Permit to Work Under Supervision must:

  • enrol in and complete Australian context gap training, and;
  • work under the supervision of a holder of a current and full electrician's licence for a minimum period of twelve (12) months.

On successful completion of the Australian context gap training and supervised employment, applicants are eligible to apply for a Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician.

You can apply for an electrical licence once you complete your 4 year apprenticeship and receive your Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician.

For specific information about electrical licences in the Northern Territory please contact the Electrical Workers and Contractors Licensing Board.

Electrical Workers and Contractors Licensing Board
T: 08 8936 4079
E: Electrical.licensing@nt.gov.au
W: Electrical Workers and Contractors Licensing Board

Queensland

To obtain an electrical work licence in Queensland OTSR holders must contact the Electrical Safety Office, who is the regulator responsible for issuing Queensland electrical licences.

  • Applicants will be issued a twelve-month electrical work training permit to allow them to perform electrical work under the supervision of an appropriately licensed worker;
  • Applicants must then complete the Australian context gap training with an approved RTO. On successful completion of the training applicants can apply for their Queensland licence;

Note: Applicants could be issued their qualification earlier than 12 months even though the permit issued is valid for a year.

For more specific information about electrical licences in Queensland, please contact the Electrical Safety Office.

Electrical Safety Office
T: 1300 632 993
E: Licensing.ProcessingServices@oir.qld.gov.au
W: Electrical Safety Office

Western Australia

To apply for an Electrician's Provisional Licence, Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR) holders wishing to work in Western Australia (WA) must contact Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS), who is in charge of issuing WA electrical licences.

Holders of an OTSR must:

  • Apply to DMIRS by completing the Application Form.
  • obtain an approval letter from the DMIRS to attend an Electrical Licensing Board approved WA registered training organisation (RTO). This allows applicants to complete gap training, assessment and workplace experience for the Certificate III in Electrotechnology – Electrician; and,
  • work under the supervision of a holder of a current and full electrician's licence for the period of the gap training.

Holders of an OTSR are eligible to apply for a Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician after successfully completing the Australian context gap training and supervised employment.

An applicant may apply for a full electrical licence after receiving the Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician.

Please contact the following for more information on electrical licences in Western Australia:

Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

T: 08 6251 2000
E: energylicensing@dmirs.wa.gov.au
A: Locked Bag 100 EAST PERTH 6892
W: DMIRS

New South Wales

To apply for a Provisional Tradesperson Certificate, OTSR holders wishing to work in New South Wales (NSW) must contact New South Wales Fair Trading, who is in charge of regulations for issuance of NSW electrical licences.

Holders of a Provisional Tradesperson Certificate must:

  • enrol in and complete Australian context gap training, and;
  • work under the supervision of a holder of a current and full electrician's licence or qualified supervisor's certificate for a minimum period of twelve (12) months.

Applicants are eligible to apply for a Certificate III Electrotechnology - Electrician in Construction after successfully completing the Australian context gap training and supervised employment.

An applicant may apply for a full electrical licence after receiving their Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician and obtaining a Certificate of Proficiency from the NSW Vocational Training Review Panel.

Applicants should refer to the Licence classes and qualifications page for Electricians in order to view the full requirements to obtain a contractor licence or qualified supervisor certificate.

For specific information about electrical licences in NSW please contact NSW Fair Trading.

Fair Trading
T: 13 32 20
E: HBLicensing@customerservice.nsw.gov.au
W: NSW Fair Trading

Victoria

To apply for a Supervised Workers Licence, OTSR holders wishing to work in Victoria must contact Energy Safe Victoria, who is the regulator responsible for issuing Victorian electrical licences.

Holders of a Supervised Workers Licence must:

  • enrol in and complete Australian context gap training;
  • work under the supervision of a holder of a current and full electrician's licence for a minimum period of twelve (12) months, and;
  • successfully complete the Licensed Electricians Theory (LET) and Licensed Electricians Practical (LEP) assessments.  

On successful completion of the Australian context gap training and supervised employment, applicants are eligible to apply for a Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician.

An applicant may apply for a full electrical licence after receiving Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician and passing the LET and LEP licencing assessments.

For specific information about electrical licences in Victoria, please contact Energy Safe Victoria.

Energy Safe Victoria
T: 1800 815 721
E: licensing@energysafe.vic.gov.au
W: Energy Safe Victoria

South Australia

To apply for a Restricted Electrical Worker Registration, OTSR holders wishing to work in South Australia (SA) must contact Consumer and Business Services South Australia, who regulates the issuance of SA electrical licences and registrations.

Holders of a Restricted Registration must:

  • enrol in and complete Australian context gap training, and;
  • work under the supervision of a holder of a current and full electrician's registration.

On successful completion of the Australian context gap training applicants are eligible to apply for a Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician.

An applicant may apply for a full electrical registration after receiving the Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician.

For specific information about electrical licences and registrations in South Australia, please contact Consumer and Business Services South Australia .

Consumer and Business Services South Australia
T: 131 882
E: occupational@sa.gov.au
W: CBS SA

Tasmania

To apply for a Provisional Licence, OTSR holders wishing to work in Tasmania must contact the Tasmanian Government Department of Justice, who is the regulator responsible for issuing Tasmanian electrical licences.

Holders of a Provisional Licence must:

  • enrol in and complete Australian context gap training through TasTAFE, and;
  • work under the supervision of a holder of a current and full electrician's licence for a minimum period of twelve (12) months.

Complete your context gap training and supervised employment then you will be eligible to apply for a Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician.

You will then be able to apply  for a full electrical licence after receiving the Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician (Electrical Practitioner Licence).

For specific information about electrical licences in Tasmania, please contact the Tasmanian Government Department of Justice.

Tasmanian Government Department of Justice
T: 1300 654 499
E: cbos.info@tas.gov.au
W: www.cbos.tas.gov.au (division of DoJ)

Australian Capital Territory

To apply for an Unrestricted Permit Electrotechnology Systems, OTSR holders wishing to work in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) must contact Access Canberra who is the regulator responsible for issuing ACT electrical licences.

Holders of an Unrestricted Permit Electrotechnology Systems must:

  • enrol in and complete Australian context gap training;
  • work under the supervision of a holder of a current and full unrestricted Electrician's licence for a minimum period of twelve (12) months, and;
  • include a letter of need fro the applicant's employer stating:
    i) the principal trade to which the incidental electrical work applies, and;
    ii) the need for the restricted electrical permit or licence in that trade.
    For permits, the letter must include the name and licence number of the person who will be supervising their work.

On successful completion of the Australian context gap training and supervised employment, applicants are eligible to apply for a Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician.

An applicant may apply for an unrestricted electrical licence after receiving the Certificate III in Electrotechnology - Electrician.

For more specific information about electrical licences in the ACT, please contact Access Canberra.

Access Canberra
T: 02 6207 8096
E: cwpl@act.gov.au
W: Access Canberra

2- If you don’t have any qualification

Most states require proof of an electrical apprenticeship in order to issue a 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. 

Please check specific requirements on the Electrical licensing website for each state. 

All the above information has been taken from the Trades Recognition Australia website https://www.tradesrecognitionaustralia.gov.au/ 

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8 thoughts on “How to work as an electrician or get an electrical license in Australia?”

    1. Overseas trained tradespeople who hold an OTSR are eligible to apply for a provisional licence. A provisional licence allows the holder to perform work in the licensed occupation under supervision while completing the Australian context gap training. A provisional licence can be obtained on application from Australian state and territory licensing regulators, subject to applicants meeting other non-skill requirements.

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