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Training for the electrical industry remains a good option

Learning and Earning

Analysis conducted by Energy Skills Queensland Workforce Planning has revealed the positive side of electrotechnology training and employment outcomes both in Queensland and across Australia. The following is a snapshot of these benefits:



Finishing an apprenticeship or university degree is hard work. Many don’t make it all the way. However, students training in the electrotechnology field in Queensland have higher completion rates than all other mainland states in Australia.

The most recent figure released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) indicates the individual completion rate for Queensland electrotechnology students is now 72 per cent. The closest states after this were Western Australia (at 68 per cent) and South Australia (at 66 per cent).

The Australian average for electrotechnology was 64 per cent. In Queensland, electrotechnology completions also outpaced all other trades combined at 61 per cent and non-trade vocational education course completions at 59 per cent.

Completion rates for electrotechnology students in Queensland are now approaching university students. Completion rates for bachelor university students are around 74 per cent, according to the Australian Council for Educational Research.



Getting a job and starting a career once training and education have been completed is paramount. Recent figures indicate that students training in the electrotechnology and energy utilities space have extremely high employment outcomes, especially when compared to other training and educational fields.

Approximately 92 per cent of electrotechnology students graduating in 2013 reported being employed after training, according to results from the recent NCVER Student Outcomes Survey 2014. This was substantially higher than thea average across the vocational education sector of 82 per cent. This is also higher than the employment rate of Australia’s university students. According to Graduate Careers Australia, only 68 per cent of those graduating in 2014 are employed in a full-time capacity. Across the full gamut of tertiary disciplines the only fields with better employment outcomes than electrotechnology (at 92 per cent) was medicine (98 per cent) and pharmacy (94 per cent).



Earning a competitive income in one’s chosen field is also important. Electrotechnology graduates do well compared to the average vocational education graduate. Electrotechnology graduates from 2014 and employed in first full-time job report annual earnings of $51,500. This is $2200 higher than the vocational education average of $49,300.



Having an occupation that is in demand sets one up for the future. It also ensures the skills gained through training meet the requirements of the national economy and industry. In 2015, electrical-based trades remained on multiple skills needs and skills shortage lists across Australia and Queensland.

In the 2015 National Skills Needs List from Australian Apprenticeships three electrical trades were identified as experiencing a national skills shortage, including electrical lineworkers, electricians (general) and electricians (special class).

Lineworkers have been identified as in national shortage for three of the last five years and electricians (general) five of the last 10 years. In Queensland, electricians (general) remain on the state’s Skilled Occupation List indicating more intra-state demand for these skills.

Weekly Income Figures of 2014

Looking to the future, electricians were also identified as in the top 20 national occupations set to grow the fastest through to 2019. Demand for approximately 13,900 electricians is forecast over this period. Notably, electricians earn more at $1714 (based on weekly income figures for 2014) than all of the top 10 occupations on this list.



Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills are vital to the future economic competitiveness of Australian industries.industry-graph

The electrotechnology field has the second largest concentration of qualified STEM workers across all of Australia’s occupational groups. Approximately 63 per cent of the field are STEM qualified, second only to ICT professionals (at 65 per cent) and equal to the automotive and engineering trades.


Earning a competitive income in one’s chosen field is also important.


Anthea Middleton

Anthea MiddletonEnergy Skills Queensland Energy Skills Queensland’s Workforce Planning Manager, Anthea Middleton, is an experienced workforce planning and analytics professional and has more than seven years experience in delivering workforce research and consultancy services across multiple industry sectors. In her role at Energy Skills Queensland, Anthea has delivered a number of collaborative research reports across the mining, energy and telecommunications sectors in Queensland. Notably, the 2013 Heartbeat for the Mining Industry and the QLD CSG to LNG 20-year workforce plan have been used by private and public sector to inform workforce decisions. She will be presenting at the upcoming annual conference on October 20, highlighting the future workforce issues faced across the mining, gas, electrotechnology and telecommunications industries.  To find out more, visit



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