Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Electrical Apprenticeship

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by kols_kebabs, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. Hi guys,

    I've been considering undertaking an electrical apprenticeship. I'm going to try to find some work experience this summer, and if it seems like it fits, I'll find myself a job in the new year.

    I had a couple of questions about pay for beginning apprentices.

    I am turning 21 in December this year. One interesting fact I've discovered, is that in SA, the state award mandates first year adult apprentices are paid at the minimum wage. This comes to a base wage of $546.65. Sources:


    At the age of 21 I would be an adult apprentice, and eligible for this relatively attractive wage.

    The question I have is, do any other states have similar adult apprenticeship systems?

    From what I can tell here:

    There is no award based adult apprenticeship system in NSW, and I would be earning about half what I could earn in SA.

    Of course what happens under the state award, and the conditions that actually exist in workplaces are different things. From what I have gathered from various media sources, employees are commonly paid above award wages. Many heavily-unionised businesses operate under separate, non award based wage schemes, which offer a lot better wages than the award, and do compensate adult apprentices. What are people actually paid out there, and what are my chances of scoring an above award job?

    Basically, what I want to know is, should I move to SA?
  2. Hell no.

    Regardless of who they pay what.
  3. I think you need more information.

    Try to find out what some apprentices in NSW are actually being paid after 3, 5, and 7 years (the 2005 data is three years old now). You may find that after a few years of discrepancy the salaries converge, and there was no point spending all that time and dough moving out to SA.

    Also, check out whether rent will be cheaper in SA. If it is, then even a few years may add up to $10-20k of extra dough and be worth the effort.

    Lastly, ask your girlfriend. She may not be happy moving to a sleepy boring town like Adelaide. :LOL:

  4. Yeah it's not a decision I'm taking lightly. That's why I'm asking here. The next step I'll consult employers and the local Australian Apprenticeships centre.

    I read somewhere that many employers are paying above award anyway to attract staff, if a job like that is attainable it would be sweet.
  5. I wouldnt get out of bed for the pittance they pay the most qualified of tradies, in that award! :shock:
  6. This will change over the next ten years or so, Most kids today don't want to jump in and do a 'trade', they would rather have nice clean office jobs etc.
    Or four years is to long......... I want to run the shop NOW!!!

    Well in 10/15 years who is going to be out there to fix all their toys etc?
    Its a sad fact that, its going to take a while before the powers to be realize that :
    We have to increase 'trade' wages to attract new blood OR everyone will be jumping up and down when we have to bring in tradies from OS when our workshops don't have enough 'qualified' personnel :?
  7. Bob, this is happening now.

    For example, in the power industry where the SEC (Vic) used to have its own apprentice intake twice a year, now that the SEC is no more the apprentice numbers have dropped to bugger all.

    There is a nationwide shortage of trades people. Try getting one around to do rennos, for example.

    As for the OP, if I were him I'd be going where the work is, whether this be in Adelaide or Mt Tom Price. If he can get on as a sparky and if he's any good he'll be able to write his own ticket.

    Any of the heavy industry trades such as fitting turning, boilermaker welder (particularly pressure welders), sparkies, diesel mechanics instrument and technical, all are in demand.

    But, as Bob has said, too many kids are leaving school hoping to go into uni, then leave uni and walk into a middle management job and work up from there, all based on some artsy fartsy arts degree. Then, ten years from now, they're whinging and bitching about how life sucks working at the counter of Centrelink or taking calls at a call centre for Telstra.
  8. You'll find that a lot of apprenticeship training is moving away from being apprenticed to an individual or a company and moving towards the Group Training Schemes. Group Training Companies are "not-for-profit" companies that employ apprentices, usually provide most of the training (sometimes in conjunction with a TAFE) and hire the apprentices out to employers.

    370 Degrees (formerly VicTec) are one of the larger specialist electrical and electrotechnology group training companies. They're based in North Carlton. Give them a call and ask about prospects etc.

    edit: sorry, just realised you're from NSW. Since the system varies from state to state, disregard the above and check with your local authority. :oops:
  9. Yes, Should have mentioned that in my post. Gippsland Group Training was borne out of the old Yallourn Training Centre, I think it was.

    Not sure how many apprentii that it hires but we take on about 3 each year. 3, with around 80 tradesmen on staff...
  10. Have you considered the military? http://www.defencejobs.gov.au/education/Apprenticeships/

    You can still ride your bike too. :cool:

    I'm ex-military but not a tradie. I had heaps of mates who had done the apprenticeships and had great skills. Some have stayed in; Others have moved back out to civilian jobs. It is something to consider. If you don't mind moving every couple of years. :roll:

    Good luck with which ever path you choose and ultimately finding a job you enjoy. :)
  11. I am trade qualified, but bailed after running the show for a year post-qualification.
    I am now much more successful, both financially and as far as job satisfaction goes, in an entirely different industry.
    It is ludicrous what people think a tradie can survive on...but what do you do? charge you and me more for services? we dont like parting with our hard earned. lose-lose.
  12. Apparently WA and Qld also have adult apprenticeship schemes in their awards, so I would get paid minimum wage in those states.

    It's annoyingly difficult to find this sort of information.

    The information I can find for NSW makes no reference to such a thing
  13. This is absolutely crazy. You really think there's someone out there who controls tradey wages? Someone with a magic switch who thinks, oh tradies should get paid more, so I'll just slide this level up a little bit and all is good?

    The reason some tradies don't get paid too much is because of the demand for their product. If there was really this huge demand for the product, instead of earning $20/h for a boss, they'd just go out and earn the big bucks themselves.

    After all, the demand is out there and they're doing the same job, quite possibly for less.

    I'd be willing to bet money that raising the wages of tradies would simply reduce the quantity employed, although I'm not sure why I'm even using the word 'tradies'. It's so broad.

    I don't discuss professional salaries like that, because it's so heterogeneous. Different tradies get different amounts. I met a 22 year old plumber on 80-90k a year, but I've also met mechanics who are lucky to get half of that. It's all about the demand for the product.

    As for the OP. I hope you're good at physics and maths. The stuff they teach you is pretty intensive. Go take a year 12 physics exam to a tradie, I have a feeling they'll nail the electrical bits. It's tough stuff.
  14. Now come on. Starting salary for a graduate is rarely less than $45,000 pa.

    All of the government departments pay very close to $50,000, plus 15% super. A few of the govt departments pay over $50k.

    Now we head into the private sector. All the big banks/financial companies pay about the $50k mark, usually without bonuses. ANZ start their graduates on $56k, Most NAB ones are about the $58k mark.

    Don't even get me started about the investment banks. I've got 2 friends working at Citi and Goldman Sachs. Both made $95k+ in their first year.

    Of all the graduates I've talked to (thousands), pretty much none do the jobs you mentioned. Career progression in a government department is about $80k within 5 years.

    I know people who have got well into the hundreds of thousands by the age of 30. All graduates.

    It's very easy to write off education without the facts. I strongly suggest you have a look through the Whirlpool forums where all the graduates discuss their starting salaries, you'll see I'm not making this up.

    edit: The next point is, why would you pay $50k+ to a graduate to just grab coffee or answer calls? Most graduates are groomed in a leadership position through intensive training and are designed to add value to the company.

    I have yet to meet a person in a grad position who does grunt work a secretary could do for $35k.
  15. Maybe.

    But then there are graduates and there are graduates.

    What sort of graduates are we talking about here?

    Ah, we're back to this again. Like your comments about superannuation.

    Thing is, it's easy to claim all of that. Lot harder to actually back it up. And I don't take what people in forums say as gospel either. If I'm interested enough in a subject I may research it further if my knowledge is lacking. Or I move onto the next topic.

    As I said, there are "graduates" who did some useless arts degree who can't get anything more decent than a job with Centrelink or some other public sector organisation and earning middle to average incomes.
  16. And this is what this whole thread is supposed to be about - the OP asking about doing an electrical apprenticeship.

    In my view he can't go wrong. If he's any good he'll do great and his skills will be in high demand, whether it's wiring up houses or working in industry.

    The trades to go for are mostly electrical or engineering trades, but carpentry and plumbing are also good vocations to get into. Of course the demand for such apprenticeships may be high too, so the guys with the better secondary quals or post secondary quals will be on the front row of the grid.
  17. http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/department/careers/graduate/index.aspx

    I personally know a graduate with a degree in Arts, majoring in Theology who joined the grad program in 02 and she is now on $80k+. She now manages her own research department in Regional Economics (probably gives away where she went).

    I don't want to share her name on a public forum, but if you really don't believe me I could possibly PM her phone number to you to verify.

    Check the government departments mate. Most have generalist programs where they intensively train graduates. Arts grads are highly valued as they are broader thinkers and usually learn faster.


    Read the Treasury page. They pay $52k first year, plus super. And in the 2nd year they pay $60k+. They also say they take Arts grads and believe me they do. Ring the person in charge of recruitment, they'll also tell you they do.

    Please do not tell me that you don't believe what's on the internet. It's a government departments website for gods sake. I'm personal friends with plenty of graduates so if you really don't believe me, PM me and I could put you in touch with graduates in plenty of companies.

    Btw, Centrelink pay their graduates $46k or very close. You can find that on Centrelink's website

    edit: I was wrong about treasury. You need a relevant degree, I don't think they have a generalist program.

    However, many others do and govt department salaries are about the same. Just google (name of govt department) and graduate, to see who they take and how much they pay.

    Usually they take most people (other than the very specialised people such as Treasury, Attorney General) and they pay a decent wage.
  18. Good on the OP for wanting to get a good trade under his belt.

    Don't think I'm pushing Uni onto anyone. Not everyone's cut out for it. I have tradie mates in almost equal measure to my Grad ones. I have a massive level of respect for trades.

    I was merely countering your point that education often leads to crappy outcomes, ie. deadend crappy jobs with lots of unhappiness.

    My aunt did her degree in Fine Arts and then did a PhD in Theology and within 7 years of her first job is making $102k writing policy for the government.

    Go figure? Even I can barely work that one out.


    Look Martin, no disrespect or anything intended. I just don't buy your comments on an education.

    An education certainly does not make the man, but it does help get your foot in the door and get you started at a higher level. Although it's not for everyone, it's just one path.

    Good luck OP, by the end of it you're going to come out a physics genius.

    I also say don't get hung up on apprentice wages. It means crap all. What matters is how much you'll make afterwards and more importantly, how happy you'll be doing it.
  19. I'm actually in my 3rdish year of an environmental science degree, so the physics and maths are not a real worry.

    I've realised I hate research and I really hate writing reports. Unfortunately 90% of the work for enviro graduates involves producing a report at some point.

    According to mycareer.com, the average wage for graduates from my current degree is higher than any other science field, $100k+. About $35'000 more than the average for a sparky.

    But money isn't everything and I'm really filled with despair by what I'm studying at the moment.

    Nah, I'm not. I'd work for $260 a week if that were the only option. But I might as well not sell myself short, if I can get a better deal.
  20. Hi!

    I'm 21 and currently a second year apprentice electrician. I work for a group training company called NECA GT. They pay me a bit more than what the other companies pay their apprentices, but not much more though.

    First year I thought was a bit tough, I was getting about $420a week. After a few months I started doing private jobs on Saturdays with a mate and was getting cash in hand, which helped a lot! At the moment, I'm getting about $520 without overtime, its still shit but what do you do? Some tradesmen I'm working with are getting paid $80k+, and that is just working for their company alone.

    If you're really wanting to be paid $500 a week, look up Energy Australia or Intergral. I think they pay their first years about that much.

    Anyways, electrical is a good trade to get into, just don't do all domestic, try getting into commercial, construction or industrial.