Electrical Distribution Trades Workers

ANZSCO ID 3422

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
7,300
Future Growth
-4.4%
Weekly Earnings
$2,486
Full-Time Share
95%
Female Share
1%
Average age
38

Summary

Electrical Distribution Trades Workers prepare, install, repair, maintain and patrol electric power distribution networks.

Tasks

  • 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

Characteristics

Job Type
Technicians And Trades Workers
Skill Level
Medium skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Above average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
  • Administrative
Physical Demand
  • Medium
  • Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

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.

Projected Change
-4.4%
(or -400 jobs)
From
10,100
in 2021
To
9,600
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 8,500
2012 13,400
2013 9,300
2014 10,800
2015 7,200
2016 8,400
2017 11,400
2018 9,700
2019 8,200
2020 8,400
2021 10,100
2026 9,600

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • 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)

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.
Earnings Electrical Distribution Trades Workers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,486 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
57.3%
2
Construction
22.0%
3
Public Administration and Safety
8.5%
4
Manufacturing
3.7%
5
Other industries
6.1%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

29.5% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

24.2% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

21.2% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

8.0% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

12.7% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.6% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.0% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

0.9% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Electrical Distribution Trades Workers All Jobs Average
NSW 29.5 31.6
VIC 24.2 25.6
QLD 21.2 20.0
SA 8.0 7.0
WA 12.7 10.8
TAS 2.6 2.0
NT 1.0 1.0
ACT 0.9 1.9


  • 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.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
38
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
1%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • 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)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Electrical Distribution Trades Workers All Jobs Average
15-19 1.0 5.0
20-24 8.4 9.3
25-34 32.1 22.9
35-44 22.4 22.0
45-54 23.2 21.6
55-59 8.7 9.0
60-64 3.3 6.0
65 and Over 0.8 4.2
Median Age 38 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

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.

Visit

  • 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)

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.
Type of Qualification Electrical Distribution Trades Workers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.1 10.1
Bachelor degree 1.9 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 3.8 11.6
Certificate III/IV 82.8 21.1
Year 12 6.3 18.1
Year 11 1.4 4.8
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

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 48%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 48%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 48%

    Repairing

    Fixing machines or systems.

  • 48%

    Troubleshooting

    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.

  • 46%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 46%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 46%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 45%

    Active listening

    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.

  • 45%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 45%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 43%

    Active learning

    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.

  • 41%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 41%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 41%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 41%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 65%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 61%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 47%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 46%

    Physics

    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.

  • 39%

    English language

    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.

  • 37%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 36%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 36%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 35%

    Psychology

    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.

  • 30%

    Clerical

    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.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 55%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 55%

    Oral comprehension

    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).

  • 54%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 54%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 52%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 52%

    Static strength

    Lift, push, pull, or carry things.

  • 50%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 48%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 48%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 48%

    Reaction time

    Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.

  • 46%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 46%

    Colour discrimination

    Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.

  • 45%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 45%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 45%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 45%

    Depth perception

    Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.

  • 43%

    Balance

    Keep your balance or stay upright.

  • 41%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 41%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.


Activities

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

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 62%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 57%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 33%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 90%

    Support

    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.

  • 67%

    Independence

    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.

  • 62%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 52%

    Relationships

    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.

  • 43%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 33%

    Recognition

    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.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Face-to-face discussions

    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).

  • 92%

    Dangerous conditions

    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.

  • 90%

    Telephone

    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.

  • 85%

    Dangerous equipment

    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.

  • 84%

    Teamwork

    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.

Occupational Information Network
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.


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