Average Electrician Salary - Australian Wage Breakdown

December 2, 2021

If you've decided to become an electrician in Australia, you’ve chosen a trade with incredible prospects. While every job has its drawbacks and areas for improvement, many sparkies report great earning potential, strong career options and a better life-work balance than many other sectors.

Due to a long-standing skills shortage in the electrical industry that doesn’t seem like it will be resolved any time soon, there’s a good chance qualified electricians will enjoy prosperous conditions for years to come. 

Whether you’re thinking of heading to trade school to enter the electrical field or simply want to understand how your wages stack up against the industry average, we’ve run the numbers to help you make the right decisions for your situation.

 

More Experience Equals Better Wages

In Australia, the average electrician base salary is $86,685 per year or $46.77 per hour. However, this figure doesn’t tell the whole story alone as experience level plays a big role in how much someone can expect to get paid. 

As you likely know, everyone in the electrical industry starts their career on apprentice wages before achieving their qualification as an A-Grade electrician. This status means you have obtained your full certification and can work unsupervised. With these apprenticeships typically lasting four years, the average base salary dips to $53,459 per year or $17.29 per hour.

However, once you’ve become fully qualified, the payscale improves quickly. For example, an entry-level electrician with up to three years of experience earns an average salary of $65,426. However, a senior-level electrician with eight or more years of experience can expect an average salary of $111,004.

Don't forget that these numbers are just the base electrician average salary. Many employers also contribute overtime pay, bonuses and other benefits to boost your expected compensation.

 

Location, Location

The cost of living in Australia can change dramatically depending on where you live, with the major cities and some regional areas offering top-notch wages for qualified sparkies. While moving to the big smoke for a salary increase might seem tempting, balance this pay bump against the extra cost of housing, groceries, entertainment and more. 

So where are electricians most in demand? The latest industry research discovered that job ads for electricians surged in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia throughout the pandemic. As more people than ever before began working from home, the smooth operation of their electrical systems became critical to getting through the day. 

If you’re planning on moving across the country for a better wage, consider how these estimated electrician base salaries from capital cities measure up: 

  • Perth: $103,035 per year
  • Darwin: $92,298 per year
  • Hobart: $84,689 per year
  • Sydney: $83,184 per year
  • Melbourne: $80,160 per year
  • Adelaide: $79,267 per year
  • Brisbane: 78,357 per year
  • Canberra: $75,697 per year

 

Although property prices are hot in almost every part of Australia, part of the reason tradies in Perth can demand higher salaries is due to the looming housing supply crisis. However, a widespread skills shortage prevalent across much of the country means launching a sparkie business in almost any part of the country will generate big demand.

 

Specialise to Reach the Next Level

While the salaries we’ve discussed so far have been for general electricians, several specialised roles can also increase your wage and take your career in a new direction. Below, we’ve highlighted just a couple of niche roles in Australia that might capture your attention.

 

Maintenance Electrician

Maintenance electricians make frequent assessments and carry out repairs to ensure a building’s electrical system never fails. As system failures can be incredibly costly for the organisation involved, knowing how to quickly identify issues and deliver an effective solution is critical to success.

Maintenance electricians must be particularly talented at making preventative repairs while having outstanding technical skills. This means these sparkies can often command a higher base salary compared to general electricians. According to Seek, maintenance electrician roles across Australia are usually advertised with an average wage of $80k to $110k.

 

Industrial Electrician

Industrial electricians are typically tasked with providing maintenance, troubleshooting and repair services on large-scale projects such as factories, plants and mines. As these settings often rely on complex systems that require specialist knowledge to fix, industrial electricians have an advanced skill set that ensures they can overcome complicated problems that threaten a massive operation.

Meanwhile, industrial electricians often work in especially hazardous circumstances, with high-voltage systems and heavy machinery requiring workers to have the utmost respect for safety standards. Although the average base salary falls between $90k to $110k, salaries can reach as high as $150k depending on experience and location.

 

Instrument Technician 

Measurement and control systems must always remain incredibly precise to ensure maximum safety and performance. Instrumentation technicians are specialised electricians that know how to install, calibrate, maintain and repair these systems. Although several industries require electricians with these skills, instrumentation technicians commonly work across the mining, manufacturing, food processing and petrochemical sectors.

Considering the specialised nature of this position, electricians who decide to upskill with this qualification set themselves up for an even better wage. With the average base salary estimated at $95k, this already impressive figure can grow to surpass $150k in the ideal role. 

 

Level Up Your Sparkie Business

Heading into the electrical industry is one of the best steps for your career if you’re thinking about studying a trade. With top-notch salaries and virtually unmatched demand around Australia for the foreseeable future, you won’t have to worry about job security any time soon. 

If you’re already qualified and want to level up your career even further, adding FieldPulse’s business management app to your work is just what you need. As this in-depth tool helps tradies keep track of client information, schedule jobs, process invoices and much more, climbing out from underneath that stack of paperwork has never been easier.

Ready to conduct your business more effectively on the go? Schedule a free demo to discover how FieldPulse can increase your productivity while saving you loads of time and money.

Upgrade your trade with everything you need in one place.