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Electrical Construction Jobs

When you think of jobs in mining, oil and gas, or finding energy jobs, you might not immediately consider the vast number of roles available for someone qualified to work in electrical trades. As the construction phase of many projects in the Australian resource industry gets under way, electrical construction jobs are extremely important.

The construction industry contains three main divisions:
  • heavy and civil engineering
  • building construction
  • speciality trade contractors
Electrical work is a speciality trade where the electrician is solely responsible for the electrical work outlined to him in a quote or order form. Approximately 75% - 79% of electricians work in the construction industry or are self-employed with the remaining working in other industries.

What does a Construction Electrician do?

Electricians’ job duties vary from industry to industry. Within the housing industry electricians are trained and certified to do general electrical work like:
  • Read and understand blueprints
  • Install, connect, test and maintain electrical systems
  • Install and test electrical protective devices
  • Install panel boards
  • Lay cables
  • Wiring design and protection
  • Repairing electrical circuits
  • Installing specialised systems
  • Provide safeguards for personal protection

Certified construction electrician

A certified construction electrician working in the commercial industry needs to do the above in conjunction with:
  • Planning, designing and installing a structure’s entire electrical system
  • Installing telephones, video, internet connections, alarms and intercoms
  • The fire alarms can be stand-alone or multi-looped systems
  • Install surveillance systems and CCTV
  • Installing fibre optic cables for computer networks
  • Repairing and maintaining electrical wiring
  • Designing switch boards
  • Installing and repair electrical circuitry and switchboards
  • Upgrading and repairing electrical servicing
  • Updating any additional wiring for lighting or power
  • Testing local wiring for faults
  • Maintaining all electrical installations
  • Performing periodical inspections
  • Troubleshoot, test and repair cablings, low voltage systems and other electrical installations

Specialised maintenance electricians

Specialised maintenance electricians are trained to repair and maintain all electrical work on circuit breakers, machinery, transformers, motors, operational controls and generators. They solely focus on fixing and upgrading existing electrical systems. Some electricians choose to further their education to become electrical engineers where they are employed to work on intricate machinery designs.

Learning and Earning

Most electricians begin as apprentices where they receive on-the-job and classroom training. After completing approximately four years of training they are qualified to do both maintenance and construction work. Some may receive specialised training if they wish to work in industry specific areas like maintaining elevators, fire alarm systems and communications technology.

Some students prefer to do their vocational studies first and thereafter became assistant electricians or then enter into an apprenticeship. Education is a continuous process as new technologies and codes of practices are created. Careers within the maintenance of construction buildings are a lucrative and stable career option.

National Electrical and Communications Association

NECA- the National Electrical and Communications Association is a business partner for any electrical and communications contractor and provides an array of services and information to help contractors improve their business and further their skills and knowledge. The website also has information for homeowners and a list of electricians within their area.

For more information about apprenticeships, visit our Training and Development section.

Conclusion

Electrical work is predicted to rise in the future as new mining and construction buildings are being opened and built. Electricians design,install, connect, test, and maintain building electrical systems, which also can include communications, lighting, climate control, alarm systems and CCTV and surveillance security.

Visit our Construction Sectors page for more information on all the sectors needed to support the resource industry.
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