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Automotive electrician

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Summary of occupation

Automotive electricians assess vehicles and find faults using diagnostic testing equipment. They also install and repair electrical and electronic equipment – this can be in passenger and commercial vehicles to marine, and in mining equipment. Automotive electricians often interact directly with a customer; asking for clarification of the problem with their vehicle, and then explaining what needs to be done.

ANZSCO description: Installs, maintains and repairs electrical wiring and electronic components in motor vehicles (registration or licensing may be required).
Alternative names: Automotive Electrical Fitter, Automotive Electrical Mechanic
Specialisations: Fuel Injection Systems Specialist, Vehicle Computer Specialist
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

An Automotive electrician needs:

  • a good background in reading, writing and mathematics
  • good eyesight and vision for detail
  • good problem-solving skills
  • to be able to interact with customers
  • to be able to use hand and power tools confidently
  • to be willing to undertake ongoing training.
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Working conditions

An automotive electrician would normally work regular hours, Monday to Friday. Some work on weekends, and travel to customers' homes or workplaces. If they work in the mining industry, it may be on a Fly In/Fly Out basis.

Automotive electricians typically work in a workshop for a self-employed automotive electrician, vehicle dealership, service station or at a mine site. Work may be completed from within the vehicle itself, or else, at a workbench. They usually wear protective clothing.

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Salary details

On average, automotive electricians can expect to earn between $1,500 and $1,749 per week ($78,000 and $90,999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

Automotive electricians need to have a good understanding of electrical and electronic systems so that they can repair and install electrical and electronic equipment. They also need to be skilled in using hand and power tools, for example a soldering iron, drill or lathe.  

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an automotive electrician, you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in automotive electrician. The automotive electrician apprenticeship usually takes 42 to 48 months to complete, and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

To work as an automotive electrician in Western Australia, you will need to obtain a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate (or work under the supervision of someone who holds a current certificate) from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. A National Police Certificate is required to gain a Motor Vehicle Repairer's Certificate.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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