Electrical Engineers

ANZSCO ID 2333

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
23,400
Future Growth
9.5%
Weekly Earnings
$2,538
Full-Time Share
91%
Female Share
7%
Average age
39

Summary

Electrical Engineers design, develop and supervise the manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance of equipment, machines and systems for the generation, distribution, utilisation and control of electric power.

Specialisations: Electrical Design Engineer, Railway Signalling Engineer, Signalling and Communications Engineer.

A bachelor degree in engineering majoring in electrical or a related field is needed to work as an Electrical Engineer. Some workers have a postgraduate qualification.

Tasks

  • planning and designing power stations and power generation equipment

  • determining the type and arrangement of circuits, transformers, circuit-breakers, transmission lines and other equipment

  • developing products such as electric motors, components, equipment and appliances

  • interpreting specifications, drawings, standards and regulations relating to electric power equipment and use

  • organising and managing resources used in the supply of electrical components, machines, appliances and equipment

  • establishing delivery and installation schedules for machines, switchgear, cables and fittings

  • supervising the operation and maintenance of power stations, transmission and distribution systems and industrial plants

  • designing and installing control and signalling equipment for road, rail and air traffic

  • may specialise in research in areas such as power generation and transmission systems, transformers, switchgear and electric motors, telemetry and control systems

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light

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 grow strongly
  • is likely to reach 30,500 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
9.5%
(or 2,600 jobs)
From
27,900
in 2021
To
30,500
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 19,300
2012 25,000
2013 22,100
2014 19,000
2015 21,800
2016 18,000
2017 16,300
2018 18,600
2019 19,800
2020 26,800
2021 27,900
2026 30,500

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 91% of people employed as Electrical Engineers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 25 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.

    More than half of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $2,538 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $2,044
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $3,000

    Median hourly earnings are $62, this is much 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. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. 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 Engineers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,538 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
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
31.7%
2
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
21.2%
3
Manufacturing
17.4%
4
Construction
9.9%
5
Other industries
19.1%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

36.2% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

20.8% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

19.3% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

5.3% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

14.0% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.6% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.1% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.7% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Electrical Engineers All Jobs Average
NSW 36.2 31.6
VIC 20.8 25.6
QLD 19.3 20.0
SA 5.3 7.0
WA 14.0 10.8
TAS 1.6 2.0
NT 1.1 1.0
ACT 1.7 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
39
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
7%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Electrical Engineers is 39 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 7% of the workforce. This is 41 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 Engineers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.1 5.0
20-24 4.6 9.3
25-34 32.0 22.9
35-44 26.2 22.0
45-54 20.6 21.6
55-59 8.5 9.0
60-64 5.0 6.0
65 and Over 3.1 4.2
Median Age 39 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 bachelor degree in engineering majoring in electrical or a related field is needed to work as an Electrical Engineer. Some workers have a postgraduate qualification.

Registration may be required in some states and territories. In addition, Engineers Australia has a non-compulsory National Engineering Register.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.

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 Engineers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 20.1 10.1
Bachelor degree 58.1 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 11.7 11.6
Certificate III/IV 6.6 21.1
Year 12 3.2 18.1
Year 11 0.1 4.8
Year 10 and below 0.3 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 Engineers who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 61%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 57%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 57%

    Critical thinking

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

  • 57%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 55%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 54%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 54%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 50%

    Monitoring

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

  • 50%

    Science

    Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • 48%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 48%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 46%

    Operations analysis

    Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.

  • 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%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 46%

    Time management

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

  • 45%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 43%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 43%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 41%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 84%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 76%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 74%

    Technical design

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

  • 71%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 58%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 57%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 57%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 55%

    Mechanical

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

  • 51%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 49%

    Customer and personal service

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

  • 48%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 47%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 38%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 31%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 31%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 30%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 29%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 29%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 26%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 25%

    Telecommunications

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


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 68%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 64%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 63%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 61%

    Problem spotting

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

  • 59%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 57%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 57%

    Inductive reasoning

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

  • 57%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 57%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 52%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 52%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 50%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 48%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 46%

    Near vision

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

  • 46%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 46%

    Visualization

    Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

  • 45%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 45%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 45%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 39%

    Colour discrimination

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


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 77%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 75%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 74%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 72%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 72%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 72%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 68%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 68%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 66%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 65%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 65%

    Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts

    Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

  • 64%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 63%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 62%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 61%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 60%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 57%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 54%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 54%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  • 52%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.


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.

  • 90%

    Analytical

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

  • 86%

    Practical

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

  • 52%

    Administrative

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

  • 43%

    Enterprising

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

  • 29%

    Creative

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

  • 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.
  • 81%

    Achievement

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

  • 79%

    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.

  • 76%

    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.

  • 76%

    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.

  • 62%

    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.

  • 62%

    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.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 99%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 95%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 93%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 91%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 91%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 85%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 84%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 83%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 81%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 81%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 76%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 76%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 72%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 71%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

  • 70%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 69%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 68%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 67%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 59%

    Competition

    Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.

  • 59%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

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, 17-2071.00 - Electrical Engineers.


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