Electrical Distribution Trades Workers
Electrical Distribution Trades Workers prepare, install, repair, maintain and patrol electric power distribution networks.
installing conductors and aerial equipment, and underground cables and equipment
installing and maintaining equipment associated with electrical supply such as transformers
attending to electrical breakdown and emergencies
maintaining poles and associated hardware, and continuity of electrical supply and street lighting
conducting routine maintenance on the aerial and underground electricity supply network
conducting low-voltage switching operations
fitting pole hardware and crossarms
preparing lowand high-voltage cable joints and cable terminations while connecting and installing electrical equipment and overhead lines
using heavy plant equipment such as elevated work platforms and portable equipment such as hydraulic drills
may undertake substation installation and maintenance, and specialised testing and revenue meter installation
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to decline
- is likely to reach 9,600 by 2026.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 95% of people employed as Electrical Distribution Trades Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 29 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $2,486 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,923
- 1 in 4 earn more than $2,704
Median hourly earnings are $57, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Electrical Distribution Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Most Electrical Distribution Trades Workers work in the Electricity, gas, water and waste services industry. They are also employed in industries like:
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Electrical Distribution Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
Around 60% of Electrical Distribution Trades Workers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Electrical Distribution Trades Workers is 38 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 1% of the workforce. This is 47 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Electrical Distribution Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||0.8||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A certificate III in electrical power lines or cable jointing is usually needed to work as an Electrical Distribution Trades Worker. These courses are often completed as part of an apprenticeship.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Transmission & Distribution VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Electrical Distribution Trades Workers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.1||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||3.6||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Electrical Distribution Trades Workers who provide good customer service, are polite and courteous and a strong work ethic.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Fixing machines or systems.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
46%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
46%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
46%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
46%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
45%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
Reading work related information.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
43%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Talking to others.
Teaching people how to do something.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
65%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
45%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
45%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
39%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
39%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
34%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
32%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
31%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
29%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
24%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
20%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Listen to and understand what people say.
55%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Communicate by speaking.
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Keep your balance or stay upright.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
89%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
83%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
83%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
82%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
81%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
77%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
74%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
72%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
70%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
70%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
69%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
68%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
68%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
68%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
67%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
67%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
67%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
64%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
61%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
53%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Talk with people face-to-face.
98%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
96%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
93%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
93%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
92%Work at heights
Work in high places (e.g., on poles, scaffolding, catwalks, or ladders).
Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.
92%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
Talk on the telephone.
89%Wear specialized protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suits, or radiation protection.
89%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
85%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
85%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
85%In an open vehicle or equipment
Work in an open vehicle (e.g., a tractor).
85%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
Work with people in a group or team.
83%Very hot or cold temperatures
Work in very hot or cold temperatures.
81%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
79%Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings
Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 49-9051.00 - Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.